Michael Davey was elected mayor of Key Biscayne Tuesday night after voters in the posh island community chose the former member of the village council over a sitting one, rival mayoral candidate Luis “Lucho” de la Cruz.
About 12 percentage points separated the two mayoral candidates after Key Biscayne’s lone polling place, the island community center, reported its ballots shortly before 9 p.m. Davey had 56 percent and De la Cruz had 44 percent of the vote. About 3,600 people voted in Key Biscayne.
Voters in the oceanfront village of 11,000 people also rejected a charter change to eliminate special elections to fill vacancies on the village council in favor of letting the remaining members appoint a replacement. The vote was 42 percent to approve and 58 percent to reject.
The two-person mayoral race was to fill an open seat after incumbent Mayra Peña Lindsay was unable to run again under term-limit rules. Peña Lindsay held the post for two consecutive two-year terms. The Key Biscayne mayor is a largely ceremonial post and presides over the seven-member village council as a voting member. A village manager, hired by the council, runs the government.
Three of the six regular council seats were also open for this election, and five candidates ran for them. Council seats are elected village wide, so the the top three finishers in Tuesday’s election are elected to the board.
The winners are: Ed London, with 25 percent of the vote; and Luis Lauredo and Ignacio Segurola, with 22 percent each. Falling short were candidates Tony Winton, with 19 percent, and Jeffrey Gonzalez, with 12 percent. Village council members are elected to four-year terms, and the mayor serves two years. The other three council seats will be up for election in 2020, as will the mayor.
As a current member of the village council, de la Cruz, 66, ran on continuing Key Biscayne’s efforts toward existing challenges, including health warnings on beaches and a costly infrastructure problem tied to sea-level rise. Davey, 52, ran as an outsider, criticizing the current council as lacking accomplishments. He served on the Village Council between 2006 and 2014.
No incumbent commissioner was up for reelection this year, but Lauredo and London have served before.
London, 78, served on the Village Council between 2012 and 2016. He wants closer oversight by the board of village operations, including detailed monthly reports on results. He wants the village to hire a chief financial officer who would report to the Village Council and “work with” the village manager.
Lauredo, 68, served on the original village council nearly 30 years ago, when Key Biscayne broke away from Miami-Dade and formed its own municipality in 1991. He’s a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States under President George W. Bush and was an organizer of various hemispheric summits and initiatives in the 1990s and 2000s. Lauredo said he wanted to see the newly elected government consider what residents wanted when they formed their own local government nearly three decades ago.
Segurola, 44, is a lawyer. He’s been vice president for six years at Casa del Mar, the condominium building where he lives, and has also been the vice chairman of Key Biscayne’s task force for studying the burying of utility lines. For Key Biscayne’s top challenge, Segurola cited the long list of projects being eyed by the local government — drainage improvements for storm water, more playing fields and parks, beach renourishment, and overall planning for sea-level rise.