Bal Harbour Village Hall

Bal Harbour candidate elected after incumbent councilwoman withdraws from race

By Joey Flechas  

A longtime restaurateur is being elected to the Bal Harbour Village Council after his only opposition, a sitting councilwoman, withdrew from the race.

Richard “Buzzy” Sklar, former owner of Burger and Beer Joint and other local restaurants, has won the District 3 seat on the council after incumbent Patricia Cohen, first elected in 2009, withdrew from the election on Sept. 10.

Cohen withdrew too late to have her name removed from the ballot, so voters will see her name next to Sklar’s on all ballots for the Nov. 6 election. But voters will be advised that votes for Cohen will not count. Miami-Dade County’s elections department will mail out notices with absentee ballots and signs will be posted at precincts during early voting and Election Day.

Bal Harbour, the small oceanfront enclave best known for being home to the upscale open-air shopping center Bal Harbour Shops, has a five-person elected council that oversees a municipal government run by a village manager.

Cohen’s withdrawal leaves no competition in this year’s council elections. Two other incumbents, Mayor Gabriel Groisman and Councilman Seth E. Salver, automatically won re-election when no one challenged them.

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