Gables Insider Asks Commission And Candidates To Sign Civility And Respect Pledge

Following the February 9th City Commission meeting and listening to resident concerns during and after the meeting, Gables Insider has asked candidates and members of the City Commission if they would sign a civility and respect pledge.

The pledge is aimed at ensuring respect and civility towards each other and towards residents, by current and future members of the City Commission when it comes to discussion of items and the input of residents.

THE PLEDGE

The pledge reads as follows:

“On this 10th day of February of 2021, I, (NAME), option of Member of the City Commission or Candidate for City Commissioner pledge to:

  1. Demonstrate respect and civility towards others, including those whose opinion differs from my own;
  2. Allow for others to express their opinions, without interrupting them;
  3. Ensure that residents of the City have the opportunity to voice their opinions on all issues affecting the City of Coral Gables;
  4. Defend the rights of residents to speak and address the Commission;
  5. Work to promote fruitful dialogue between voices from all sides on all issues;
  6. Promote the respect of residents by members of City staff;
  7. Stop disrespectful language and actions taken by other members of the Commission; and
  8. Using the following as my basis for expressing my opinion:
    • Speaking the truth on all issues before me;
    • Treating others with respect, including those who I disagree with or disagree with me;
    • Listening to those who come before me on the City Commission;
    • Treating every resident with the same level or respect, whether I agree with them or not;
    • Making all arguments to present my opinion, without any personal attacks towards those who I disagree with or who disagree with me.”

SIGNED

As of 6:00PM on February 10th, the following signed pledges have been received. They are listed in the order in which they were received:

Javier Baños – Candidate for Commissioner, Group III

Mayra Joli – Candidate for Commissioner, Group II

Tania Cruz-Gimenez – Candidate for Commission, Group II

Jose Valdes-Fauli – Candidate for Commission, Group II

Rhonda Anderson – Candidate for Commission, Group II

Kirk Menendez – Candidate for Commissioner, Group III

OPTING NOT TO SIGN

Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr. – “This is an admirable idea but I respectfully opt out. Not because I disagree with the pledge but because I already adhere to those values and hold them in very high regard. It feels unnatural to sign something agreeing to do things I already do, especially immediately following a controversial meeting. Nevertheless, thank you for the invitation.”

Commissioner Michael Mena – “We are already subject to the civility pledge set forth in a resolution that we passed in 2017 and that is part of our oath of office. See attached. So I’m not sure what this exercise is about honestly. For what it’s worth, I agree with everything in your pledge and will continue to abide by such values.”

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5 thoughts on “Gables Insider Asks Commission And Candidates To Sign Civility And Respect Pledge

  1. Wrong on all counts, Who. I have not sided once with that commission and am against the code change. But you can’t fight city hall with last minute civic groups, threats to employee jobs, and lies about the process. Anyone who does is just as bad as the people they criticize.

  2. I do not know who you are Nick Jones but my assessment from your comments on everything is that you either work for the City, are associated with someone who profits from the City or you are related to someone within City Hall. You always side with the terrible leadership and their decisions on most subjects. You are not a resident of Coral Gables or you would not keep supporting the mess that is coming out of City Hall.

  3. Perhaps this can serve as a healthy reminder to act fairly, with integrity and civility in all City matters or public forums. It is these values that can contribute to a stronger community. If you are reading this I’m sure you were on or made aware of the disastrous, embarrassing, condescending Coral Gables zoom meeting of Feb. 9th. We need to evolve not regress.

  4. The residents have been disrespected many times by members of this commission, most notably the mayor. We are frustrated by continually being cutoff mid sentence when we only have two minutes to speak and being reminded, in a snarky fashion, how many times we have spoken at previous meetings. Residents are disregarded as not knowing what is right or best for this community, disregarded as if we were children. Our residents should be able to speak at every meeting without being chastised. I think what we witnessed was the culmination of that frustration with our government who wants to bulldoze ahead on an issue that is clearly distressing to many residents. Civility needs to start with this commission and they need to lead by example. This is not the first time this mayor has treated residents with a total lack of respect. In regards to this pledge, while I understand they already have sworn an oath of civility, why the hesitation? If this is something they already do and have already signed an oath of civility then what will it hurt to reinforce their commitment? At the very least it is a gesture of goodwill towards our community and its residents.

  5. Perhaps some residents should sign that pledge too. It is not enough to go to church on Sundays if you talk about people with disdain and push to get hard working city employees fired.

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