Gomez Appointed Interim Century Mayor; Special Election Set For Mayor And Council Seat

August 29, 2023

The Town of Century has a newly appointed interim mayor for the next few months.

Council president Luis Gomez, Jr. was appointed Monday night by the town council to replace  Ben Boutwell who resigned August 22. He will hold the seat until a replacement is elected. Gomez was forced to resign his council seat in order to accept the interim mayor appointment.

Gomez told his fellow council members that he was interested in the appointment to interim mayor.

“If ya’ll want me to take that seat, I’ll take that seat,” he said prior to the vote. “I am confident that the town will benefit from me being in that seat, and I’ll go from there.”

A motion by Alicia Johnson to appoint Gomez passed 3-1, with Shelisa McCall voting no and Gomez abstaining. After a several-minute search for a Bible, Gomez raised his left hand and took the oath of office.

All of that set several next steps into motion.

The council has set November 1 as the date for a special election to elect a mayor and a council member. They will be sworn in shortly thereafter and will serve through the first Monday of January 2025. Both offices will also be on the general election ballot in November 2024 for complete four-year terms.

The council opted to wait until a regular meeting on September 19 to fill the seat on the council vacated by Gomez. In the meantime, they are asking any interested and qualified citizen to contact the town hall to express an interest in an appointment.

The four remaining council members voted Dynette Lewis as the new council president and McCall as the new council vice president.

Pictured top: Luis Gomez, Jr. raises his left hand to take the oath of office as interim Century mayor as his wife Denise Gomez holds a Bible Monday night. The oath was given by Town Clerk Leslie Howington. Pictured below: New council president Dynette Lewis. Pictured inset: Council member Shelisa McCall voted against  Gomez’s appointment as interim mayor. Pictured below: About a dozen people, mostly town residents and employees, attended the Monday meeting. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


41 Responses to “Gomez Appointed Interim Century Mayor; Special Election Set For Mayor And Council Seat”

  1. Beulahwood on August 30th, 2023 3:42 pm

    Well now you know who had their face covered at the “swear in”

  2. FTP on August 30th, 2023 8:25 am

    Well you know something is wrong, they can’t even raise the proper hand when being sworn in!

  3. Elwood on August 30th, 2023 3:37 am

    He wants the seat and believes the town would benefit with him taking the seat. Then says he’s in over his head and wants to give money to a consultant to help him. Stupid is as stupid does.

  4. Ensley Miss on August 29th, 2023 10:57 pm

    Shouldn’t the left hand be on the bible?? When Justice Brown was sworn in, she put her left hand on the Bible.
    If so, is he really sworn in?

  5. Caveman32565 on August 29th, 2023 10:29 pm

    Century needs help

  6. CJ Lewis on August 29th, 2023 7:41 pm

    The single most important charter amendment that the town council can propose at anytime to include on November 1 would be to make the Mayor the presiding officer of the town council perhaps with a power to vote to break tie votes and with no veto power. That is how they do it in Charleston the model voters in Pensacola were told they were going to get but did not. Even in Jay, the Mayor is a voting member and the leader of the town council. Another option would be to reduce the town council to five members including a Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Again, that option can be given to voters on November 1st and if approved with immediate effect. One benefit of making the Mayor a member of the town council is that voters can recall them from office. When Gomez was a councilmember and Council President, voters could remove him by recall. Now, as Acting Mayor, Gomez cannot be removed by recall. Again, all it will take is the votes of three council members to put this change on the November 1st ballot.

  7. Hmmm on August 29th, 2023 6:38 pm

    Swearing in backwards should be a good indication of the direction things will be going…

  8. I’ll T on August 29th, 2023 5:30 pm

    It won’t be long now as the saga unfolds lets s how many of these self appointed officials will stand the heat in the kitchen!!! Cause I gonna get real hot watch and see!! I can’t wait until it all implodes !! They will scatter like a covy of quail!!!

  9. JDR on August 29th, 2023 3:19 pm

    well we all get to watch the circus in the coming months and do not have to buy a ticket.

  10. Jumping jack on August 29th, 2023 3:07 pm

    @Just Saying… no kidding most of the people at that table live in the same neighborhood. Nah…. Nothing strange about a neighborhood running a town. Nothing strange at all.

  11. Willis on August 29th, 2023 3:03 pm

    Should make for some really good reading in the coming months.
    We can only hope that Karma will catch up shortly.

  12. Mr. Metoo. on August 29th, 2023 1:38 pm

    Now here’s you opportunity to help Century. Put down the phone. Get on the ballot. Run for mayor or council member.

  13. Just Saying on August 29th, 2023 1:34 pm

    Nepotism is alive and well in Century. Mayor is brother-in-law to new council president. When will the citizens of Century come together and stand behind the person they elected and not let the incompetent counsel members bully someone that
    is trying to get something done. He argues when he is wrong about Sunshine law, he doesn’t know how to take an oath, and yet he want to be mayor. This town is on it way to hell in a handbasket. The State of Florida should pull the charter.

  14. RaD on August 29th, 2023 12:55 pm

    If a group of citizens got together and penned and signed a letter to the State’s Attorney General’s office asking the State to investigate the City and laid out the numerous issues that have been reported over the last decade by northescambia.com, I would not be surprised if it got someone’s attention. The State has the power to pull the charter and return the area to County control.

  15. Old Skinny on August 29th, 2023 12:46 pm

    BEST SET OF PICTURES EVER!!! Everyone please let the pictures tell the story. We have the well-dressed man in the suit hiding his face because he doesn’t want anyone he knows to know that he witnessed this train wreck… and then there are the ladies, if you’ll look at the facial expressions of the lady in the flowered dress and the one in blue….. their expressions are priceless!!! No words needed in this story … Man swearing in left handed, guy hiding his face and the ladies! All Priceless!

  16. Old Skinny on August 29th, 2023 12:42 pm

    Hilarious pictures … if you will all look at the faces of the 2 ladies in the inset pictures, you can read their faces… they are both thinking what we are all saying!!! This is a great set of pictures… We have the guy in the suit hiding his face and the ladies are just… well, just look at their expressions! hahaha

  17. BIG JOHN on August 29th, 2023 12:25 pm


  18. Shantia S. on August 29th, 2023 11:32 am

    Why is it so hard to give this man a chance. Geeez I believe this is exactly what Century needs. A little change has never hurt anyone.

  19. bob c on August 29th, 2023 11:16 am

    Mr. Luis Gomez … why did you NOT put your Left Hand on the Bible for Swearing In as Mayor of Century?
    Is this some pre-planned Exit Strategy so when all roads lead to State/Federal investigations you can say, “I never properly was sworn in”?

  20. Ed on August 29th, 2023 10:47 am

    Well this wonderful counsilwbere we have had made the worse decision ever Gomez is a freaking idiot.I put the blame on Ben Boutwell for showing his no back bone self and quitting and turning it over to this clown.when will the people stand up am I the only one that will.

  21. bob on August 29th, 2023 9:51 am

    Town of Century proves that ignorance and incompetence can be inclusive and diverse…

  22. Swamp Gas on August 29th, 2023 9:48 am

    The man in the suit and tie clearly does not want to be a witness to this train wreck.

  23. Spill The Tea on August 29th, 2023 9:39 am

    Break out your popcorn… this will be something to watch!!!

  24. So Sad in Century on August 29th, 2023 9:01 am

    Most fundamentally, a legal gesture such as raising one’s right hand can, in appropriate circumstances, serve as a public signal that a legal change is taking place. A left handed oath is an oath not intended to be binding. Gomez doesn’t follow the rules at any time so why do it now? My heart breaks for our town!!

  25. Nearby neighbor on August 29th, 2023 8:51 am

    Can it get any worse for the Town of Century? I think the state needs to step in and stop this circus.
    It’s no wonder the Town can’t get businesses to move to Century and employ local folks. Most companies will look at the local government and see that it is incompetent and not bring their business to town.

  26. Well on August 29th, 2023 8:44 am

    All the good things to come !!!

    I meant good stories to come !!!

  27. LU on August 29th, 2023 8:38 am

    Well he just Broke the US Constitution! He wants to be Mayor but don’t even know what Hand goes on the Bible! The one closest to your heart. So his Oath of Office is just like the Rest of the Democratic Office. No Oath of Office. It make them Unconstitutional. People of Century Need to file with the State AG. If you don’t read between the Line. Wake up people.

  28. DLo on August 29th, 2023 8:25 am

    He raised his left hand, that’s the most Century thing I’ve heard in a while, is that the political equivalent of crossing your fingers when you make a promise?

  29. Lack of concern on August 29th, 2023 7:53 am

    Why not make a motion to, at minimum, have a non-binding referendum on the November 2024 ballot asking the voters of Century what pathway of governance they want to pursue?

    Such a move would be a positive step in determining what citizens want and identify as the best path forward.

    What would it hurt to know, by vote, what Century residents envision in terms of future government and utility services management and maintenance?

    In the current situation, without knowing what citizens are expecting, Century government will be called czarist, crazy, incompetent, etc. But if the citizens want it this way, Century government will be given a mandate to get its act together.

  30. Ed on August 29th, 2023 7:32 am

    Well the town has hit the bottom now .when will the people in this town wake up and come together and get rid of all this mess up there.

  31. JTV on August 29th, 2023 7:17 am

    Checkmate, Century loses

  32. Vicky on August 29th, 2023 7:13 am

    Well you know what the old saying is put the fox in the hen house

  33. Debbie on August 29th, 2023 7:03 am

    Ok I very well could be wrong as I have been many times before but isn’t Mr.Gomeg the member who missed more meetings than he attended in the past ? Like I said I could be wrong. Whoever I’m thinking of missed meeting when it was known ahead of time that they would be voting on something. Do these people get paid and if so do they get paid for their attendance ? I clearly don’t know much about this city position.

  34. Anne on August 29th, 2023 6:46 am

    Gomez….CZAR of Century.
    Oh, Help….Prayers for the Citizens and OUR Pocketbooks.

  35. Thomas Paine on August 29th, 2023 6:20 am

    A mockery of democracy.

  36. James on August 29th, 2023 6:11 am

    Well, the clowns are fully running the circus now!

  37. Resident on August 29th, 2023 5:02 am

    Some observations:

    1. Raise your right hand is the norm in the USA. Heck, most of the world. What’s with the left hand?
    2. The council members drink bottled water. They don’t drink the town’s untested water either. That should tell you something.
    3. What is the guy in the tie hiding from in the crowd?
    4. Gomez as mayor? Man the lifeboats. This ship done sunk.

  38. Shawn Barroy on August 29th, 2023 4:55 am

    Finally someone with a backbone to take the the town of century under his wing and let it prosper to the best that this state has to offer. Mr Gomez is exactly what the town of century needs, someone with a view of the future, Mr Gomez is it going to sit around and wait on changes, he’s going to make it happen because he knows what the town of a century needs to thrive… I can only hope this leads to a permanent mayor Gomez..

  39. Bag on August 29th, 2023 4:49 am

    I’m sure he will straighten things out.

  40. Denbroc on August 29th, 2023 4:46 am

    Can’t make this stuff up.

  41. Ohhh Crappie on August 29th, 2023 3:31 am

    Well why don’t you guys see this he doesn’t even want to obey sunshine law but he the Mayor wow.

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