Village meeting to swear-in new members, select mayor and vice mayor

Format still virtual for public viewing

Five new Islamorada decision makers will be sworn in during the first meeting of village council following the November general election.

Set for Thursday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m., the virtual meeting will start with the swearing-in of Pete Bacheler, Mark Gregg, Joseph “Buddy” Pinder, Henry Rosenthal and David Webb by Judge Sharon Hamilton. The new dais follows the departures of Jim Mooney and Mike Forster, who won elections for state representative and county commission respectively; Deb Gillis, who termed out; and Chris Sante, who decided he wouldn’t run again after filling the term of former councilwoman Cheryl Meads. 

Bacheler, Gregg, Pinder and Webb won their elections. Rosenthal was declared winner of his race after former Vice Mayor Ken Davis’ passing in early September. Gregg is the only incoming member with council experience, having served on the dais from 2000 to 2004. 

Immediately following the swearing-in ceremony, council will vote to elect a mayor and vice mayor to serve for the first year of their two-year terms in office. While the position is ceremonial, the mayor runs and maintains order during council meetings, signs documents for the village and represents Islamorada at local, state and other meetings and functions. 

Once seated, the council will call upon former councilman Forster to unveil the plaque created for the dedication of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at Fire Station 20 to Davis. He passed away from heart failure and a massive stroke on Sept. 12. A longtime resident of the Keys, Davis, 64, served in the U.S. Coast Guard before spending 22 years in the DEA. He retired in 2008, having served as the agent-in-charge of the Florida Keys DEA the last four years.

Upon his departure from the DEA, Davis was deployed as a civilian with the U.S. Army to Iraq where he eventually served as director of intelligence, leading a 30-person training team to advise Iraqi police on fighting terrorism. His experience working and living throughout the country and world brought a long track record of success in working with different government levels.

Wanting to serve the public again, Davis campaigned as the Republican candidate for Monroe County sheriff in 2008. While Davis lost to Democrat Bob Peryman in the election, his desire to serve his local community didn’t go away. On Jan. 24, 2018, Davis filed to run for Islamorada Village Council. He won the November 2018 general election against Eric Carlson for seat 4.

The plaque will be placed in the room where first responders, and all those who enter to perform their critical roles during emergencies, will see the dedication and remember Davis’ impact on the community.

Following the dedication plaque presentation, departing village council members Forster, Gillis, Mooney and Sante will be acknowledged for their service to the community.

The regular meeting will follow the ceremonial activities. The relatively light agenda contains varied items for Council action and discussion. View the full agenda on the village website. 

The public is encouraged to watch the meeting on Monroe County’s MCTV Comcast Channel 77. Alternatively, the public may view the meeting streamed live on the Village website from their personal computer, tablet or phone via the following link: www.islamorada.fl.us/departments/communications/live_village_broadcast_meeting.php.

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