City sued after commission deadlocks on interim commissioner appointment

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Staff report

Less than 24 hours after Delray Beach commissioners could not select an interim commissioner and made it clear they would not hold a special election, one of the candidates has filed a lawsuit against the city.

Resident Kenneth MacNamee, who applied to fill Seat 2, has filed a lawsuit in the Fifteen Judicial Circuit on Dec. 7 for a writ of mandamus. A writ of mandamus is a judicial remedy where a superior court can order a public authority to do a specific act that the body is required to perform under the law.

In this case, MacNamee is referring to the city’s requirement to hold a special election if the commission fails to appoint an interim commissioner to the post after two attempts.

“I just want the city to comply with the charter,” he said.

Commissioners deadlocked between Yvonne Odom and Josh Smith. Mayor Cary Glickstein and Commissioner Jordana Jarjura supported Odom and Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz supported Smith. Only Jarjura was open to revisiting the list to try to find a candidate everyone could compromise with. The commission failed to agree.

Interim city attorney R. Max Lohman said it would be impossible for the city to hold a special election for several reasons including the city doesn’t have an agreement with the supervisor of elections for 2017 elections and the first available time for a possible special election is two days after the charter would mandate the city hold a special election.

MacNamee said there are no excuses in the charter for not holding an election.

The case has been assigned to Judge Martin H. Colin.