Sawnick becomes Vero Beach’s youngest mayor

VERO BEACH —  Kevin Sawnick, 28, became the youngest person ever selected as Mayor of Vero Beach on Friday after being voted in 4-1 by his fellow council members. Tom White, who had nominated former mayor Sabin Abell, cast the lone dissenting vote. Abell was then elected Vice Mayor by a 3-2 vote with newly elected members Charlie Wilson and Brian Heady voting no.

Sawnick was elected to the council last November, becoming the first Democrat to sit on the Council in decades. In accepting the gavel, Sawnick quoted the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, “It’s not about power and it’s not about money, it’s about helping people.” Heady asked to say a few words to the public, expressing that he was “sincerely honored and I would ask that the public would hold me as accountable as I did the council when I was up there,” Heady said.

Heady said a friend called him after the election to see if he could still call and talk to him about concerns the way he had always done and that he asked if anything had changed. Heady relayed that he told the man “something has changed because one of us is now a higher authority because one of us is an elected official,” and he went on to explain himself, saying “the higher authority is now you because I work for you.”

“I want you to hold me accountable and I do hope that during this two-year term that I represent you at all times,” Heady said.

Wilson thanked his family, his supporters and the voters and said he would not back down from his positions on the issues for which he was elected.

“I understand exactly why we’re here. What you have just witnessed is democracy at its best and a peaceful change of authority,” Wilson said.

The council took a recess to pose for photographs and will resume with a required briefing about the Sunshine Law.

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