Outside of Oakland Park City Hall, draped in red, white and blue, Michael E. Carn stood with his right hand up taking the oath of office as the city’s new mayor.
The city’s government votes in commissioners with each rotating into the mayoral seat each year. Just before him, former Mayor Jane Bolin was sworn in as commissioner and Aisha Gordon became vice mayor. All were flanked by their loved ones as the sun began to set over the city. City officials, including former Mayor Carol Stevens, were in attendance.
“Tonight is not about either one of us singularly,” Carn told the crowd. “But it is about this tribe, it is about the opportunity afforded to us by you the citizens of Oakland Park to serve you and serve in leadership in this time and in this time and in this place. We are grateful to you.”
He emphasized to The Gazette that the commission works as a team and their recent strategic plan that includes redevelopment of the west side of Oakland Park, raising the standards of the city, as well as its goals to better the environment.
Carn recently stepped down from his campaign for the House 94 special election, which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022 with an executive order. Through a statement on Facebook, Carn explained that in order to continue with the campaign he would have to step down from his role as mayor the day after he was sworn in.
He told The Gazette that he couldn’t do that to the people he serves and his “tribe” who helped him get to where he is today.
“They’ve invested in me, they’ve brought me to where I am since I was 5 years old,” he explained. “They’re the ones that took me aside and I couldn’t do that to them. And my heart is here.”
Carn will, however, participate in the regular election, which will begin with the August 2022 primaries. This will force him to leave his post as mayor a few months early and hand over the reins to Vice Mayor Gordon.