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New El Portal mayor to appoint task force

Mayor-elect Daisy Black says she wants about 10 people to serve on an advisory group on village affairs.

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
As her first order of business, newly elected El Portal mayor Daisy Black says she is organizing an advisory board of village residents.

A former mayor in the late 1990’s, Black got her old job back after defeating current mayor Joyce Davis in Tuesday’s election. Vice Mayor Harold Mathis and Village Council member Linda Marcus reclaimed their seats.

Village Council Seat 3 will be filled in a separate election within the next three months. Only one person, Omarr C. Nickerson, filed to run for that seat, but he didn’t qualify because he was not registered to vote in the village, according to the village clerk, Albertha Patterson.

For those elected last week, a swearing-in ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Village Hall, 500 NE 87th St.

Black, a part-time substitute teacher for Miami-Dade, garnered 379 votes compared to her opponent’s 315, according to the Miami-Dade County elections. Results are unofficial until certified by the canvassing board. Davis, a retiree, has been on the council since 2006 and has lived in the village for 13 years.

A 20-year resident of the village, Black said she is ready to work with residents by setting up a task force.

“The first thing I’d like to do is form a mayor’s task force of El Portal citizens who will work with the El Portal Council and police department,” said Black. “We are a small village and this can be accomplished easily with a task force of about 10 residents. Any resident who would like to be a part of this task force should call the village clerk.”

The village’s population is 2,479 according to the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. About 41 percent of village voters came out to cast their ballots, according to Patterson.

Mathis, who won council Seat 1, is humbled for the victory.

“Now that I have reclaimed my seat, I do have some thoughts, but right now I want and need to continue my work for the Villager’s now that this election cycle is over,” he said. “Firstly, economic growth within the village limits and secondly, code enforcement.”

Mathis, a paralegal, was appointed to the council in 2006, after county Commissioner Audrey Edmonson stepped down as mayor. Since then, Mathis, an 11-year resident, has served on the village’s Administration and Finance committee.

On council Seat 4, longtime council member Marcus, an independent grant writer, defeated newcomer Sadri Manrique. She has been on the council since 2004 and has chaired the code enforcement committee.

Marcus said she is ready to push the village forward.

“Election Day highlighted the residents’ concern over issues such as use of the Rader Church and village maintenance to name two,” she said. “My first concern will be to speak with the residents who will drive project focus for the next term.”

She has said she would like the village to buy the Rader Memorial United Methodist Church site located at 205 NE 87th St. noting that “it could be used for a city hall or community center — enough to fill a variety of uses and yet is not a fiscal drain.”

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