By Kevin Deutsch
Longtime Coconut Creek Commissioner Lou Sarbone has resigned his commission seat after five terms in office, making the bombshell announcement during a city commission meeting.
Sarbone, who served as mayor during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—and implemented the first pandemic curfew in Broward County—said during the March 10 meeting he would file retirement papers by month’s end.
“Yeah, this is pretty big,” Sarbone said before his announcement. “I’m going to make a statement, and I’m going to ask that no one ask me any questions. Because everything I have to say, I’m going to say.”
Sarbone reeled off some of his accomplishments in office and referenced the scrutiny he came under last year over questions about his residency.
Coconut Creek News reported in Feb. 2021 that Sarbone, mayor at the time, resided primarily in Fort Myers rather than Coconut Creek, legally disqualifying him from holding a local commission seat.
“It has been very difficult facing some scrutiny, specifically about my dedication and commitment to the city,” Sarbone said. “I know in my heart, and I know my constituents know, that Coconut Creek has always come first. It has become clear to me now that I must now put my family first. Our next meeting will be my last meeting as a commissioner.”
Of his time leading Coconut Creek amid the initial COVID wave, which killed and sickened scores across the globe, Sarbone said:
“It’s hard to admit, but that year took a hell of a lot out of me.”
Choking back tears at one point, the five-term city commissioner said it was “time for me to embrace the next chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to spending as much time as possible with my family and friends.”
Coconut Creek is seeking applicants for an appointment to Sarbone’s vacated seat. The current term runs until March 2023.
According to city records, applicants for the seat must be qualified voters, at least 18 years old, and primarily domiciled in District D of Coconut Creek for at least one year.
To be considered for appointment, residents must submit a statement of interest and eligibility questionnaire to the city clerk no later than 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.
The documents can be sent by email or mail/hand delivery to the City of Coconut Creek, City Clerk Department, 4800 W. Copans Road, Coconut Creek, Florida 33063.
Applicants must also email a short video answering the question, “Why do you want to be appointed as a Commissioner to District D?”
Commissioners will hold a workshop on April 28 to consider all applicants and will appoint a new commissioner at the commission meeting that night, city records show.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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