Meads to seek re-election – Purdo wants return to office


Islamorada Village Councilmember Cheryl Meads is seeking re-election and will be challenged by former councilmember David Purdo for Seat 2 on the dais. 

“I really do love it,” she said “It was a tough first year, but now everything is good.”

As of Tuesday, Meads has yet to file paperwork, but qualifying does not begin until Aug. 14 and closes on Aug. 21.

Meads and her husband became Islamorada residents more than seven years ago. Their son is enrolled in a private high school in Winter Park, Florida and Meads said she slips away to visit him about once a month. 

She is facing Capt. David Purdo, whom she defeated as a political newcomer in 2016. 

Purdo is a former Detroit police officer who moved to the Keys 41 years ago. He served two terms on the Village Council, from 2010-2104.

“I am unhappy with the current council,” said Purdo. “I am not in favor of the pedestrian bridge and I don’t want to see taxes raised.”

Purdo said his top priorities are affordable housing and fighting “Big Sugar” to enhance nearshore water quality.

He also supports the referendum to extend and stagger the terms and hopes to eliminate districts in the future in favor of an at-large election. 

Meads is not in favor of longer terms and voted against the ordinance when presented to the council. 

When reflecting on her first term in office, she refers to the strategic plan as a recent accomplishment and is proud of the recent advances of the building department to help streamline the permit process. She does feel there is more work to be done. 

“Residents should be able to do stuff on their home without complications,” she added. 

There are no other challengers for the other four seats on the village council. The incumbents include Deb Gillis (Seat 1), Jim Mooney (Seat 3) and Mike Forster (Seat 5). With current mayor Chris Sante (Seat 4) opting not to run again, Ken Davis looks to secure unless another candidate qualifies. 

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