Oakland swears in first new mayor in two decades

Shane Taylor took the oath of office at the Oakland Town Commission meeting Tuesday, March 26.

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In a meeting hall full of residents, family and friends, Shane Taylor took the oath of office as newly elected mayor of the town of Oakland.

Former mayor Kathy Stark presided over the ceremony, which took place at the Town Commission meeting Tuesday, March 26. Commissioner Mike Satterfield also was sworn into office for another four-year term.

After being sworn in, Taylor thanked everyone who attended, those who believed in him and elected him into the position.

“We were able to launch a truly grassroots campaign,” he said. “The biggest thanks goes to the Oakland voters — you were ready for change. … To the Town Commission: I know we have more in common than we do differences or we wouldn’t be here together. Change is hard, pride has been hurt, but you can’t deny that change was (desired) by residents.”

In his first action as mayor, Taylor read three proclamations designating March 26, 2024, as Barbara Bishop Day; April as Water Conservation Month; April as Child Abuse Prevention Month; and April 5, 2024, as Wear Blue Day.


The applicant for Oakland Village at The Grove was given approval to move forward with his proposed development. The project site is about five vacant acres at 15551 W. Colonial Drive, in the town’s urban corridor design area.

Commissioners approved the second reading and public hearing of two ordinances pertaining to the project: a small-scale Future Land Use Map amendment from Mixed Use Commercial to Mixed Use Activity Center and a zoning map amendment from Agriculture to Planned Development.

This is the second time the project has come before the commission. At the March 12 meeting, applicant/owner New Horizons Investments LLC, represented by Franco Scala, proposed two three-story buildings with a maximum of 48,000 square feet of commercial and retail on the first floor and 72 multi-family units on the second and third floors.

At that time, the commission asked the applicant about the potential commercial that would move into the buildings and asked him to look at golf cart access to the project.

The applicant, at the March 26 meeting, provided a list of proposed uses: business and professional office, medical clinic, indoor commercial recreation, pub/tavern/bar, restaurants (with or without beer and/or wine and with on-premises consumption of liquor), and retail sale and services (indoor only).

The applicant said future golf cart access could potentially be coordinated with the Catherine Ross Road extension.

Mayor Taylor suggested changes to the development agreement: add that multi-family dwelling units only be located on second and third floors; prohibit the keeping of RVs, boats and commercial vehicles on the property; and assure parking is provided consistent with town’s Land Development Code parking standards. The applicant agreed to all three.

The next step is for the applicant to share the preliminary subdivision plan with the Appearance Review Board, Planning & Zoning Board and then the Town Commission.


Per the town charter, the commission has 30 days from the March 12 election to fill Seat 3, vacated by Commissioner Sal Ramos so he could run for mayor, or the governor will appoint a resident. The town has no real process for this since it has only happened once or twice in the past.

After discussing several options, the commission decided to make an application available to residents at Town Hall and on the town website. The application deadline was Monday, April 1.

The commission will hold a special workshop prior to the Tuesday, April 9, Town Commission meeting, and all candidates will be required to attend both the workshop and meeting. The person selected to fill the seat will be sworn in that evening.

Commissioners serve four-year terms; however, the incoming commissioners will serve two years, the remainder of Ramos’ term.


• The Oakland Town Commission approved the consent agenda, which included an agreement to renew the program contract between Discover After School and Oakland Avenue Charter School for before- and after-school care, as well as care during school breaks.

• Commissioners tabled two ordinances relating to a proposed development at West Colonial Drive and Fourth Street at the request of the applicant.

• Commissioners passed a resolution declaring certain town-owned properties as right-of-way and approved the name as Catherine Ross Road. This is the former Motamassek Road that now extends from Oakland Avenue to West Colonial Drive to serve as another north-south connector in the town.

• The town continued its discussion of trying to reduce dust from the dirt roads. Officials have visited the town of Windermere to see what product is used there.

“We want to go ahead and put a test section down so we know what’s going on in the future,” Town Manager Andy Stewart said. “It’s not budgeted for this year.”

The initial price was just under $25,000, and he wants to look for something cheaper to test.

• Stewart announced finance director Renee Mullen is retiring in May after nine years in the position. She will be replaced by Gabrielle Leon.


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