Two new supervisors — Anita Kane and Simon Fernandez — were elected to the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District Board of Supervisors at the district’s annual landowners meeting Monday, unseating 18-year veteran Supervisor David DeMarois by a wide margin. Former Supervisor John Ryan chose not to seek re-election.
Voting for both seats was based on acreage and proxy balloting, rather than one-person, one vote. Only one seat, held by Supervisor Laura Danowski, is elected by popular vote.
Kane won the first round of voting with 1,884, defeating DeMarois, who had 976.
Fernandez won the second round of voting with 1,919, defeating DeMarois, who had 941.
Neither of the results was contested.
LGWCD Attorney Mary Viator explained that proxy voting consists of a landowner allowing another person to cast a vote for the owner if he or she is unable to be there.
While waiting for the results of the first round, Kane, who chairs the town’s Finance Advisory & Audit Committee, thanked residents for showing up.
“There’s a really nice group of people here tonight, and I think that’s wonderful,” she said. “Regardless of what happens this evening, I do want to let everybody know that I have really enjoyed traveling the 8,000 acres of Loxahatchee Groves the last couple of months. I’ve heard a lot of stories and met some really spectacular people, and it really is an honor to be in this community and be a part of the community.”
Fernandez, who owns several local businesses, said the board needs to get the district back on track.
“There’s a lot of people who have been here a long time, and the landowners need new blood and new board members,” he said. “The objective is to make things better and bring new ideas.”
DeMarois said the new supervisors should be recognized for stepping up.
“It’s not a popular job,” he said, explaining that it has been hard to get people to run. “I just want to give them the first thank you for running. The job is a lot of hard work. They’ll have to catch up on the laws of the State of Florida and how the district runs.”
Fernandez thanked everyone for participating.
“We went out and hit the pavement, listened to the landowners, and I think this is one of the reasons why it turned out as big as it was,” he said. “There was a lot of people who were misinformed, and they like to be informed.”
Fernandez said that he would strive to keep everyone informed about district business. He added that his phone would always be on, and that he intends to follow up on e-mails he was getting from residents about issues while he was running.
“A lot of women went out and a lot of women took their time, so I’m going to give credit,” he said. “I’m going to call this a ‘good ol’ girl’ town now.”
Kane thanked the property owners who supported her.
“The town is growing as a community, and that’s what I really look forward to being a part of,” she said. “There’s a lot of concern from people about fighting that has been happening, about name-calling and finger-pointing, and what I really look forward to… is leaving that in the past and moving the town forward in a positive direction.”
DeMarois thanked the new supervisors and sitting supervisors, Danowski, Frank Schiola and Don Widing, saying that it had been a pleasure to sit with them and represent the people of Loxahatchee Groves.
The board will elect new officers at its meeting in July.