WUFT News

Malever, Musleh Elected to Ocala City Council, Three Amendments Struck Down

By on October 15th, 2013
Both Brent Malever and Aaron Fiehn had representation at the Durid Hills Church precinct six voting location on election day.

Erica A. Hernandez / WUFT News

Both Brent Malever and Aaron Fiehn had representation at the Druid Hills Church voting location on Tuesday, Ocala City Council election day.

Ocala residents voted to elect Brent Malever and incumbent Jay Musleh to District 1 and 3 city council seats respectively during Tuesday’s election.

Two of the five proposed amendments to the city charter were approved.

The Marion County Supervisor of Elections office hosted a public of  live results breakdowns by voting precinct.

Ordinance two, which grants the city council control to govern Ocala’s downtown taxing district, passed with a difference of 79 votes.

Ordinance five, which was titled “deleting obsolete provisions regarding the planning director, planning and zoning commission and board of adjustment” passed with a difference of just 32 votes.

Only about 3,000, or 10 percent of the roughly 32,500 registered voters in Ocala cast ballots, on Tuesday.

“It’s not enough,” Musleh said. “It’s disappointing, but I don’t know how to increase it.”

On Tuesday, Malever campaigned outside of First Christian Church. He didn’t want to comment to the news media until results were in.

“I’m very pleased with people who helped me get into office,” Malever said after official results had be reported at about 7:45 p.m. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Ocala.”

Malever also said he was excited to go home and relax for a few hours.

Incumbent city council members Suzy Heinbockel of District 1 and Jay Musleh of District 3 attended a regularly scheduled city council meeting at Ocala City Hall from 4 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m.

Ocala City Hall on Oct. 15, City Council Election Day. Both incumbents and one first time candidate attended a city council meeting here Tuesday.

Erica A. Hernandez / WUFT News

Ocala City Hall on Oct. 15, City Council Election Day. Both incumbents and one first time candidate attended a city council meeting here Tuesday.

Heinbockel said she checked on her campaign signs around the city Tuesday morning. She said she had cast an absentee ballot earlier for convenience, in case anything came up that needed monitoring on election day.

Musleh said he also had a busy day checking on campaign signs at polling locations he hadn’t visited Monday night. He voted at Precinct 6 around 8 a.m. before reporting to work at Gateway Bank of Central Florida.

First-time District 3 candidate Aaron Fiehn campaigned at his precinct’s voting location, Druid Hills Church. He reiterated his reasons for jumping into the race.

“People weren’t happy with any of it,” Fiehn said. “I decided I needed to do something so I threw my name in the hat.”

About five members of the Professional Firefighters of Ocala, including the association’s president, Robert Altman, also campaigned at Druid Hills Church.

Erica A. Hernandez / WUFT News

Ocala firefighter Robert Altman, 45, campaigned for District 1 candidate Brent Malever all day Tuesday and for the past two and a half months.

The 45-year-old firefighter, a 24-year employee of the city of Ocala, and his coworkers were campaigning for Malever from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We interviewed all the candidates before they ran,” Altman said. He said his organization reached out to Heinbockel but received no response.

Both Gary and Tannye Johnson, 27-year Ocala residents, said they hadn’t made up their minds on how they would vote on the candidates and the amendments.

“I haven’t even heard about those so I’m going to have to read them for the first time,” Gary Johnson said.

They both voted at Precinct 5 Tuesday.

“We try to vote every time that there’s an election,” Tannye Johnson said.

Altman said he and his fellow firefighters have knocked on more than 3,000 doors campaigning with Malever in the past two and a half months.

“I want the power to be to the voters,” Altman said, adding that he voted against all five amendments.


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