A former Sweetwater commissioner and the president of the city’s chamber of commerce are among the residents interested in a vacant Sweetwater City Commission seat.
On Sept. 20, 13 residents submitted their résumés to the city clerk’s office.
The seat was left vacant after Jose Diaz was sworn in as mayor on Aug. 12. Diaz replaced Manny Maroño, who was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges and suspended by Gov. Rick Scott last month. Jose Bergouignan Jr. became vice mayor.
The commission has 90 days from the creation of the vacancy to fill it. On Sept. 9, commissioners had been expected to appoint someone to the seat but voted to postpone action. Commissioner Manuel Duasso was absent. Commission President José Bergouignan residents interested in the position had until Sept. 20 to submit their résumés. It is the first time such a move has been implemented, as city rules call for an appointment by the commission.
The list of residents interested in the seat include: former commissioner Cecilia Holtz-Alonso; Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce President Jesus Castañón; shipping company manager Ronald G. Adams; construction manager Alexander Llaguno; former candidate Juan Rene Fernandez; community volunteer Idania Llanio;volunteer Eduardo Suarez; Carver Middle School social studies teacher Madelin Vinat; former Everglades National Park ranger Jenny Guerra; business owner Saul Diaz; real-estate agent Nancy Merida Ruiz; education specialist Jerrie Mckibben-Perez; and accountant Enrique Diaz.
Those who submitted their résumés will have a background check conducted — a first for commissioners. Bergouignan suggested the background check because of the recent turmoil the city has faced. Fellow commissioners agreed with him. He said it was a great way of displaying transparency.
Commissioners have also kept mum on endorsing anyone, except Commissioner Prisca Barreto, who has gone on the record supporting former commissioner Holtz-Alonso.
A date for appointment has not been set.