Sun-Sentinel
March 13, 2001
Oates ousts LHP mayor after
heated battle

By MEGAN O'MATZ Sun-Sentinel

LIGHTHOUSE POINT -- City Commission President Dan Oates won a commanding
victory in the city's mayoral race Tuesday in a bitter contest against incumbent Marsha
Linville.

In a crowded City Commission race, first-time candidates George Labelle and Fred Schorr
claimed the top two spots, while incumbent Mike Long secured the third seat after an
automatic recount.

Separated by only a handful of votes from Long, incumbent Jane McLaughlin was defeated
in the second tally. Residents Meredith Chaiken-Weiss and Larry Shendell also lost the
commission race.

Long said he and McLaughlin supported Linville in the mayoral contest, perhaps causing
Oates' supporters to abandon them.

"Obviously, the commissioners were affected by the mayoral election," he said.

From the start the mayoral race was a heated one, as Oates and Linville sparred frequently
over taxes, infrastructure repairs and city management.

In the final days, the rhetoric turned ugly as Oates mailed a flier to residents claiming that
Linville's husband, Phil, was acting as a "co-mayor," and had advocated a takeover of the
city's police department by the Broward Sheriff's Office. "It's ridiculous. It's just lies, lies,
lies," Marsha Linville said Monday. "It was sent to cause discontent and fear and
controversy."

Earlier in the race, Linville had mailed a flier to voters depicting Oates with a paper bag
over his head talking out of two mouths.

"I think the mayor has run a very negative campaign, calling me a liar," Oates said recently.
"I have chosen not to do that. I have chosen to stay with the issues."

Several voters Tuesday said they supported Oates because he, unlike Linville, opposed
building a costly new city hall complex.

Throughout the campaign, Linville protested that she had never advocated building a new
city hall, but had only presented possible blueprints for a new police, fire station and library
complex, at the commission's request.

An attorney, Oates, 48, has served on the City Commission since 1993. Linville, 55, was
elected mayor in 1999. She had been a city commissioner previously.

More congenial than the mayor's race, the commission candidates all stressed the need to
continue to repair roads and bridges and dredge canals but differed on how to pay for the
improvements.

Retired Coca-Cola engineer and political newcomer Schorr, 52, claimed an advantage over
his opponents for his expertise in overseeing multi-million dollar building projects. Also
new to the commission will be George Labelle, 41, chair of the city's Code Enforcement
Board.
Megan O'Matz can be reached at momatz@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4518.
Dan Oates
BRHS Class of 1970