The Coastal Star

Gulf Stream: Five incumbents, two challengers vie for five commission seats

By Steve Plunkett
    Martin O’Boyle, who has plastered Gulf Stream with public-records requests and lawsuits over the past four years, is running a second time for a seat on the Town Commission.
    O’Boyle, whose entry in 2014 made that election the town’s first contested one in 21 years, will be joined on the March 14 ballot by Julio Martinez, former president of the Place Au Soleil Homeowners Association. Martinez’s candidacy, along with incumbent Donna White’s, means voters for the first time can choose two commissioners from among the 93 homes on the town’s west side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
    The four other incumbents — Paul Lyons, Scott Morgan, Joan Orthwein and Thomas Stanley — also qualified to run for office. It is the first time Lyons has stood for election. Commissioners chose the then-chairman of the Architectural Review and Planning Board in August to fill the seat of Vice Mayor Robert Ganger, who resigned for health reasons.
    Each voter will choose up to five of the seven candidates. Commissioners are unpaid; their terms last three years.
    O’Boyle and fellow resident Chris O’Hare have filed thousands of public-records requests and dozens of lawsuits against Gulf Stream since spring 2013 after O’Boyle was denied variances for a remodeling project on his Hidden Harbour home.
    “I entered this election to win and effect change, and with the help of the people, I accomplished all goals,” O’Boyle wrote his supporters after his 2014 loss. He got 122 votes that year; the winners received vote totals ranging from 313 to 325.
    Martinez said all the incumbents were doing a good job, but he became a candidate to offer voters a choice.

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