This past Tuesday Key West voters rejected a proposed study to determine the effects of a channel widening project by nearly a 3 to 1 margin.

4,531 voters checked NO on their ballots this past Tuesday, capturing nearly 75 percent of the vote and clearing the channel study off the table.

Mayor Craig Cates, a proponent of the study who defeated challenger Margaret Romero by 9 points said its time to bring the community back together in wake of the controversial decision.

“I support the peoples voice 100 percent and what the community decides to do,” Cates said a couple days after the election.

His campaign victory will be short-lived as he will facing another election in just ten months since the city of Key West opted to move their elections to coincide with the county’s primary election.

“This will save a lot of taxpayer money,” said City Clerk Cheri Smith.

The commissioners are in office for three years, but Cates only gets ten months for his third term. At the moment he is focusing on uniting Key West again and championing city projects.

“We have the groundbreaking of the Truman Waterfront coming up and the new fire station,” said Cates. “I am also going to make sure the $40,000,000 worth of projects stays in the budget.”

The evening was bittersweet for the Cates family as his wife, Cheryl lost out on her bid for Utility Board, Group 3.

Tim Root captured a 40 percent of the vote, but not enough to seal the election. Utility Board candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the vote in order to win. Root will face political newcomer Vidal in a run-off election scheduled for November 5. Cates came up 73 votes short of Vidal.

In the race for City Commission, District 1 Jimmy Weekley handily defeated his opponent Tom Milone by raking in 942 of the 1217 votes cast.

Overall there was 41 percent, or a 6,185 out of 15,087 voter turnout rate of citizens in the poles. According to Smith more people should come out for the next election due to date that occurs with the county’s primary election.

“The citizens voted two years ago and this is a unique circumstance for a rushed election,” she said. “There are numerous cities in Florida doing the same process and there will be less confusion as a result.”


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