Ending the speculation and whispers, Mayor Matti Bower officially filed papers last week to run for a seat on the Miami Beach City Commission this November.
The Mayor is prohibited by the city’s charter to seek a fourth consecutive term, but is allowed to seek a position in the commission.
In Article 2 of the charter, the term limit of elected officials is spelled out as eight consecutive years for commissioners and six consecutive years for mayor. There is no particular cap on the years a person can serve in government.
“It does not prohibit switching from office to office in perpetuity,” said Activist Frank Del Vecchio of the charter language in an e-mail.
If victorious, Bower will have successfully created a cycle of jumping from the commission to mayor and back to commission.
This cycle was started in 1999 when she was elected to office as a commissioner for that year’s group six. Since then she won reelection as a commissioner, and won three consecutive terms as mayor.
Bower enters a race with three other candidates whom have long since started their campaigning. The mayor’s name recognition could nullify the other three candidates’ head start, but also provides a figurehead target for dissatisfied residents.
The candidates that filed before Bower are Joshua Carles Dunkelman, Michael C. Grieco, and Sherry Kaplan Roberts.
In the first quarter reportings, Dunkelman raised $34,904.47 with $1,000 loan, Grieco raised $78,830.00, and Roberts raised $21, 955.63 with $10,000 in loan.
Bower has won five of her last six campaigns for office. Her last defeat was in 1997 for a commission seat to Simon Cruz.