Florida Mayor Voted Out Less Than A Year After Condo Building Collapse

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On Tuesday, residents of a small South Florida community voted their mayor out of office after a beachside condominium building collapsed last summer, killing 98 people.

According to uncertified results from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett came in third place in a close race. Shlomo Danzinger, a business owner, won the election with 499 votes, followed by Vice Mayor Tina Paul (476 votes) and Burkett (466 votes).

Surfside is a small town north of Miami Beach with a population of around 6,000 people. On Wednesday, the newly elected mayor and commission will be sworn in.

A substantial piece of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building collapsed without notice in the early morning hours of June 24.

The structure was 40 years old at the time and was undergoing Miami-Dade County’s 40-year recertification procedure.

Emergency personnel searched for survivors and then human remains for weeks. The litigation over the collapse is still ongoing while the parties try to reach an agreement. Attorneys say the property where the building formerly stood will be auctioned off at the end of April. One offer of around $120 million has been on the table for months, but as the auction approaches, there may be others.

Surfside is home to a mix of new and historic flats, houses, condominiums, and hotels, as well as restaurants and shops that cater to an international mix of inhabitants and visitors. The main oceanfront road is lined with glass-fronted luxury condominium towers, although the inland side has more modest homes. Snowbirds, Russian immigrants, and Orthodox Jewish families all live in the neighborhood.