By David Volz
During the November 15 meeting, Tommy Ruzzano was elected as the mayor, and Arlene Schwartz as the vice mayor.
A Margate business owner and a Florida-licensed general contractor, Ruzzano has been involved in building and development in South Florida for more than 20 years. He was elected to the Margate Commission in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. During his time on the commission, he was appointed to one-year terms as mayor in 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2023.
Ruzzano has been a resident of Broward County for more than two decades, and he has lived in Margate since 2002. He and his wife Amanda have been married since 1998, and they have four children, namely Alina, Thomas Jr., Michael, and Sophia. Ruzzano was born and raised in Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Schwartz has a long career in public service. She was first elected to the Margate Commission in 1991 and was a commissioner from 1991-1994, 1997-2004, and 2016- 2020. She was re-elected in 2020 for another four-year term. From 1999 to 2001, she was appointed by her fellow commissioners to serve as the city’s first female mayor.
She started her career as a teacher in Broward County Public School and later worked as an administrator, focusing on underserved groups. Schwartz has a bachelor’s degree in arts from the City College of New York and a master’s degree in American History from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has also earned a degree as an education specialist in administration and supervision (Ed.S) from Florida Atlantic University and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She has a son who currently resides in Tennessee.
Schwartz is a native of New York and a 41-year resident according to the City of Margate
Ruzzano had served as vice mayor and spoke as outgoing vice mayor. “Thank you for electing a mayor. I promise to put my heart and soul into it,” he said.
Former mayor and now Commissioner Anthony Caggiano said, “It has been a pleasure working to move this city forward. We have accomplished a lot, and I am looking forward to seeing what we are going to do in the future,” he said.
The terms are for one year.
- David Volz has worked as a writer in South Florida for 35 years. He has written for the Sun-Sentinel, Hollywood Gazette, School Transportation News, South Dade News Leaders, Observer among others. He has an MA in Communications from Florida Atlantic University and a BA in Communications from Valparaiso University. Volz teaches Communications at Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College. He lives in Coral Springs and enjoys running and participating in 5Ks and half-marathons.
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