PLANTATION, Fla. – A Plantation resident who successfully fought the city to keep his family's Christmas light display is now the newest member of the City Council.
"What's the old saying? 'You can't beat City Hall.' Well, we proved that you can," Mark Hyatt said.
Hyatt was elected Tuesday night to the Plantation City Council. It's the same government entity that chose to file a lawsuit against his family for operating a massive annual holiday light display.
"The residents are mad," Hyatt said. "Cities don't sue residents, so that's something that I'm going to make sure that does not happen again in our city."
Plantation's City Council called the nationally recognized attraction a nuisance and demanded that the spectacle be scaled back. After the Hyatts refused, the city slapped them with a lawsuit in 2014, but the city recently lost the battle in court.
"I've got to put that behind me," Hyatt said. "I really do. You know, obviously, we spent quite a few years in litigation with the city. It affected my family deeply, and it affected a lot of the residents."
Hyatt said he wants to work to change what he sees as wasteful spending by the city, but he intends to work with the mayor and other councilmembers, despite their legal attack.
"I would hope that we could bury the hatchet," Hyatt said.
As for his display this year, it's not up yet. But it will be soon.
"We're going to do (something) a little scaled-down at this point, but I'm pretty sure we're going to move forward and give that gift back to the community, which is something we have enjoyed and the residents have enjoyed also," Hyatt said.