Sea change: New Miami Beach Mayor, Commissioners to be sworn in Tuesday morning

Miami Beach swearing in
The city’s new Mayor is ‘eager to hit the ground running.’

More than half the seats on the Miami Beach Commission will change hands Tuesday morning.

At 11 a.m., city officials will swear in Mayor-elect Steven Meiner, Commissioners-elect Tanya Katzoff Bhatt, Joe Magazine, and David Suarez.

A city news release said the ceremony will occur during a meeting in the temporary Commission chambers at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The session begins at 9 a.m. and will include a farewell to three outgoing elected officials.

Meiner, a federal enforcement lawyer and the city’s current Vice Mayor, beat three other candidates this month for Miami Beach’s most prominent elected post.

He ran on a platform prioritizing law-and-order policies, including proposals to expand a city prosecutor program and add more misdemeanor crimes to the city code.

Meiner, replacing term-limited Mayor Dan Gelber, said in a statement that he is “eager to hit the ground running.”

“The residents have high expectations for public safety and quality of life,” he said. “I won’t let them down.”

Gelber, a former Democratic state lawmaker who endorsed Meiner as his preferred successor, said he has “great confidence” Meiner and the City Commission “will continue to make Miami Beach a more livable and special place for residents and visitors alike.”

“I’m proud of our accomplishments over the last six years,” he said. “It’s been my great privilege to serve the only hometown I’ve ever known.”

Meiner has no party affiliation and defeated former Democratic Commissioner Michael Góngora in a runoff race last week with 54% of the vote. The pair outpaced two others — former Democratic Rep. Mike Grieco and former MTV executive Bill Roedy, an Independent and first-time candidate — in early November. But neither secured a large enough share of the vote then to win outright, forcing a Nov. 21 runoff.

Bhatt, a Democratic marketing professional, defeated nonparty real estate broker Andres Asion on Nov. 7 with 56.5% of the vote to take Group 4. Meiner vacated the seat to run for Mayor.

Suarez, a marketer with no party affiliation, outpaced Democratic hotelier Mitch Novick with 52.5% of the vote to replace Commissioner Ricky Arriola in the Group 5 seat. Like Gelber, Arriola is leaving due to term limits.

Magazine, a finance executive, won by a razor-thin margin over fellow nonparty candidate Marcella Novela for the Group 6 seat. The seat’s soon-to-be-former occupant, David Richardson, is leaving office early to run for Miami-Dade County Tax Collector.

Mayors in Miami Beach are elected to two-year terms and may serve no more than three terms. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms and are limited to two terms.

All elected officials in Miami Beach win office by a citywide ballot.

Meiner will continue — and Bhatt, Magazine and Suarez will begin Tuesday — to serve alongside Commissioners Laura Dominguez, Alex Fernandez, and Kristen Rosen Gonzalez.

The Commission is temporarily meeting in rooms 222-225 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


One comment

  • Johann Moore

    November 28, 2023 at 11:47 am

    And not a word regarding the multiple allegations of the incoming mayor being a serial sexual predator?

Comments are closed.


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