MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Monday was swearing-in day for businessman turned politician Philip Levine as Miami Beach’s new mayor.
The mayor’s job was Levine’s first run for political office and he won with a hard-fought campaign against sitting commissioner Michael Gongora and comedian Steve Berke.
According to Gongora he was outspent 10-to-1, perhaps making this mayoral election the most expensive in Miami Beach’s history.
“It’s all about the money. I think we learned a lesson in this race. As optimistic and hopeful as we are when somebody is spending millions of dollars in attempt to buy the mayor’s seat in a small town… it’s hard to compete with that,” said Gongora.
Three new commissioners will join Levine in City Hall.
Joy Malakoff, a retired community banker who beat outgoing Mayor Matti Herrera Bower for the Group III seat, criminal defense attorney Michael Grieco, and realtor Micky Steinberg.
Since Miami Beach’s City Manager handles the day-to-day operations of city government, Levine and the commission focus on policy issues which, once decided, are given to city employees to implement.
Even though he is mayor, Levine’s vote will be just one among a seven-member commission.