It seems Chairperson Margaret Fineberg will not seek a fourth term on Gateway’s Board of Supervisors after-all.
Fineberg announced she had withdrawn from the 2020 election during the “Supervisor comments” portion of yesterday’s Gateway District meeting. Lee Elections records had already been updated to show Fineberg withdrew, meaning that Fineberg’s election opponent Flavia Walsh will replace Fineberg later this year.
Supervisor-elect Flavia Walsh, I should say.
“I decided to step aside because I am confident that Flavia Walsh will be an excellent Supervisor,” Fineberg told the Gateway Sun via email.
That’s nice of Fineberg to say, but I suspect that Fineberg’s political calculations were the same as mine: Fineberg had no chance in November. So rather than face what would been the largest defeat in Gateway District history, the decision to quit the race means that Fineberg gets to go out on her own terms.
Fineberg became a Supervisor on June 18, 2009. Fineberg had lost in the 2008 election, but after former Supervisor Dave Harley resigned on June 9, 2009, Fineberg was hand-picked by the remaining Supervisors to complete Harley’s term. (Which is the normal process under Florida law.)
Fineberg ran unopposed in 2012, and in 2016 Fineberg narrowly defeated George Huskamp. Fineberg was named Chairperson of the Gateway District board after both the 2016 and 2018 elections.
Unless Fineberg resigns before the election, Walsh will most likely be sworn in as Supervisor at the November 19 or December 3 district meeting. Walsh will be committed to the job, of that you can be sure. She’s a relentless worker when it comes to Home Owners Association issues and has been a fixture at Gateway District meetings for years. The sitting Supervisors that I’ve spoken to about Walsh have expressed confidence that Walsh will be a good addition to their board.
I do have another important piece of Gateway election news to share with you, but that deserves its own article rather than a blurb in this one. Look for that piece tomorrow.
Thank you to Chairperson Fineberg for the years she’s spent serving the residents of Gateway. While I haven’t appreciated her style of back room deals and secret moves (although they often weren’t as secret as she believes), I will say that she cares deeply about the Gateway community and the district itself.
And lastly, congratulations to Supervisor-elect Walsh! We all look forward to seeing the progress you’re able to help the district achieve.