On The Issues: Candidates For Commissioner – Group II

What is your stance on development in Coral Gables?

Development has become too dense and lacks sufficient set-backs from property lines.
Residents have strongly expressed their concern about the size, density, increased traffic,
insufficient parking and loss of green/open space resulting from commercial and residential
buildings. This results in a “canyon” effect with reduced pedestrian friendly areas, tree
canopy and open space, and more traffic on surrounding residential neighborhoods and
commuter routes through Coral Gables. Development projects such as the Paseo on U.S. 1
and The Plaza on Ponce de Leon fail to follow Merrick’s vision of transitioning from
residential to commercial areas. Development should not detract from the quality of life, but
should add to the tax base and the quality of life for all residents.
Too many projects are approved with little, inadequate or no notice to residents. An
example of no notice types of projects are the “as of right” projects such the Aloft hotel, and
projects approved administratively such as the change of the low income
housing/restaurant project in the MacFarlane district to the Wawa gasoline station. The
Aloft project never was reviewed by the residents’ Planning and Zoning Board and no
resident or property owner within 1,000 feet of the Aloft was ever notified of the project
before it was apparent from the excavation of the site for underground parking. On the
other hand, the site plan for the Wawa project was administratively approved without any
input from the residents, the Planning and Zoning Board or a Commission vote. The
Commission and our Boards cannot inform residents and design better projects if their
involvement is administratively by-passed.
As a result, I support notice and review of all “as of right” projects by the Planning
and Zoning Board after full and clear notice to the residents in plain language with the
physical address of the proposed development and a photograph of the front rendering with
a URL or QR code where residents can review additional documents. In addition, I support
having every commercial and multi-family project featured on the City’s website like it was
before the last web-site up-date. For instance, if notice had been received on the Aloft
hotel project, rather than leaving only 24 inches of space for pedestrians to walk in front of
the building, the City could have traded a few feet of land from the under-used parking lot
behind the Aloft to make a welcoming pedestrian walkway/corridor on LeJeune, with a
continuous veranda and shade trees. Such a corridor would have improved pedestrian
safety, enhanced the street and building, and encouraged residents to walk to Miracle Mile.
Further, with resident input, pedestrian safety features could have been included at the
cross-walks at LeJeune and Valencia to ensure that all pedestrians can safely cross without
risking being run-over.
In addition, I am in support of modifying the Mediterranean Ordinance/Bonus program
because it gives developers far too much for too little. Mediterranean bonuses reduce set-backs and increase height and bulk (F.A.R.) of a building not otherwise permitted in the
Zoning Code. This is a bonus program, not a property right. Therefore, it can be altered
without risking the City (and ultimately the residents) incurring liability for changing or
reducing the bonuses. During an amendment process of the Med Bonus, I will seek ideas
and comments from residents regarding the features and designs that the residents would
like to promote in buildings and the type of bonuses projects should or should
not receive. Based upon the comments of residents I have received, bonuses should be
geared to higher quality LEED certified buildings that satisfy key efficiency and sustainable
features (green space, additional charge stations, solar panels, etc.).
In my months of walking and talking to neighbors, most agree: What the Commission has done in recent years is allow development to run wild putting developers' interests in maximizing profits before residents' strong desire to stop rampant overdevelopment and maintain their quality of life. All one has to do is look at the Ponce Plaza Project and the new projects along US-1 to know that something is not right. Having 17-story structures immediately abutting single family residential homes makes no sense whatsoever and places an extreme burden on existing homeowners. Imagine stepping outside of your home to see a 17-story wall facing you -- never mind the increased, unmitigated traffic and ongoing construction. What I have come to find is that much of the overdevelopment does not come as a result of "as-of-right projects," but rather those that seek variances and exceptions to increase the density and intensity of said project. That practice must end. We must not allow the market to dictate the future of our City. We must set our vision first and allow the market to operate within the confines of that vision.
I am for balanced development and would like to see these efforts and resources go to projects that better the community.
Stop!
I’m concerned about the direction development is going in our city. Growth should be smart and gradual taking into consideration many factors such as traffic, density and chief among them, public safety, all of which are quality of life issues. Currently our city’s fire department has the same number of firefighters on staff it has had since 1991. That’s 30 years too long. According to the standards set the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) we should have 11 more firefighters per shift than we currently have. There are a number of high rises that have gone up recently if we were to have to have a high rise fire we would not be prepared to handle that ourselves. Considering the growth we have had especially in the last 4 years this is already not smart growth and it is not only an oversight but it’s also grossly negligent. We have to sit down and come up with immediate solutions to this right away as well as long term plan before we suffer a tragedy endangering our residents and fire personnel. Considering that we are the most affluent city south of Manhattan and the property taxes we pay here, our police and fire should be adequately staffed and equipped and have a solid plan in place if we are to consider our growth smart.
My views on development in Coral Gables are centered around adhering to the building codes, ensuring scale, walkability, and environmental integration to live, work and play, and respecting the residents by participating in a respectful dialogue with neighbors.

If you had a vote, how would you vote on the upcoming Zoning changes on Miracle Mile?

The Commission voted on March 9, 2021 to down-zone the Mile. The vote on second-reading is on March 23rd. Before this vote, the Zain Friedman Overlay passed in the 1980s reduced the maximum height from 150 feet to 70 feet. Therefore,before the recent down-zoning, the code allowed a maximum height of 70 feet with a parking pedestal, and additional height with Med. Bonuses and TDRs (Transfer of Development Rights from another parcel).
A prior attempt to build a 70 to 83 foot tall building occurred on the north side of Miracle Mile
and was adverted by providing additional building rights for properties on the Aragon side of
the block. Currently, property owners have begun purchasing/assembling contiguous lots on
the Mile that could lead to a similar attempt to build a 70 to 83 foot tall building, with parking,
facing Miracle Mile. Further, large parcels such as those at the Barnes and Nobel site,
could be paired with tall mix-use buildings on the Anastasia side to achieve a 70 to 83 foot tall
building, with parking, on the Mile.
As a result, further down zoning of the height on Miracle Mile is clearly the preferable
option if it can be done without incurring potential liability for the value of lost building
rights on Miracle Mile. In order to determine how much the height of the Mile could be
down-zoned without exposing the City to liability for lost building rights, the City ordered an
appraisal to determine the possible options. An appraisal completed in February supported
a down-zoning of Miracle Mile to a maximum 50 feet with a maximum of three (3) stories
with a fourth (4) story with a minimum set back of 10 feet (or more) for roof-top activation,
if off-site parking was allowed for all new buildings meeting these requirements. The
appraisal supported this height reduction if the maximum FAR (Floor Area Ratio) was 3.0
without Med Bonus or 3.5 with Med Bonus. This proposal also prohibited use of TDRs.
Because this is the only proposal that completely and mandatorily down-zoned the
height of the buildings on Miracle Mile, and because a building with similar height and off-street
parking currently exists on the Mile, it was the best option to prevent Miracle Mile from
having a 70 to 83 foot building facing the Mile. Therefore, I agree with the vote taken on March 9 to
down-zone the Mile.
I would absolutely vote no on the upcoming Zoning changes on Miracle Mile. My preference would be to instead defer the item until we give all the stakeholders (residents, businesses, preservationists, arts & culture organizations and developers) an opportunity to be heard as to their separate visions for Miracle Mile in a post-retail, post-pandemic world and develop a truly holistic vision for the future of our Miracle Mile and the entirety of the Central Business District (CBD), not just for the next two years, but for the next 100 years and beyond.
I would vote against it
I will vote NO. Keep it commercial! Residents do not wish for any changes to the Mile.
I am concerned for the businesses on the mile. Many did not survive the streetscape project and many of those that did were forced to shut down amidst the COVID 19 quarantine. Another construction project at this time could yet again negatively impact business holding on by a thread. I would like to see relief money, incentives, grants or anything that can aid and mitigate the financial burdens offered to businesses on the mile if they had to survive yet another major construction project. I would like to preserve the character of our city and limit height on the mile. Considering the current code already allowed for 7 stories, I was relieved the vote did not take us to the maximum height allowed and the decision to cap at 4 was for me a relief and a step in the right direction. That doesn’t mean that other won’t try to continue to push the envelope to reach that 7 story limit. We must remain vigilant and my vote would be reflective of what the residents want.
I would vote no on Miracle Mile zoning changes. I do not believe that "building up" solves the retail street's problems and that the landlords need to work with their tenants to ensure that the market can support these establishments.

If you had a vote, how would you vote on the upcoming Zoning changes on the Crafts section?

The upcoming Zoning changes to the Crafts section are in Block 36, which is the block
closest to the San Sebastian hotel, that is currently zoned Single Family Residential (SFR) or
Multi-Family Duplex (MF1), to Multi-Family 2 (MF2) District on all lots of Block 36. I would
vote “no” based upon the comments I sent to the Planning and Zoning Board on March 2, 2021. Those comments stated:
Dear Honorable Planning and Zoning Board Members:

With regard to the proposed rezoning of Block 36 the Crafts Section, which is the portion
of the Crafts Section closest to the historic San Sebastian hotel, based upon the view in the
attached photographs, the undersigned submits that the a height of no more than two
stories, with an MF-1 designation, would be appropriate for Block 36.
An MF-1 designation with two story height limitation would be consistent with the new
duplexes in the attached photograph on the east end of the block, would properly transition
for the surrounding residential neighborhood, and would best compliment the historic
building.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I would vote no on the upcoming zoning changes on the Crafts section until the holistic vision for the Central Business District can be developed to ensure whatever changes are done now do not conflict with the holistic vision referenced above.
I would vote against it
Oppose to the proposal to upzone Block 36 of the Craft Section.
I would need to have all the information to make that decision. I would look back at what the area was intended for originally, and how it came to be. I would consider what the code allows for and why. I would consider what the craft area residents want and those immediately affected by it. I would hear all sides and arguments and would not rush to make a hasty decision.
This one is more difficult because the neighbors supported it. Still, I would probably have voted against it because I am concerned about establishing precedence in other areas adjacent to greater density and visibility, such as near SW 8th Street, 57th Avenue, etc.

What is your vision for Miracle Mile?

An eclectic combination of restaurants, services, culture offerings and specialized small
retail shops offering a wide variety of goods that attract customers. In order to keep
Miracle Mile an exciting place to visit, the City, the Chamber and the Business Improvement
District need to partner to attract new brands and businesses.
A multi-faceted approach will be necessary to find the optimum mix of retail, service and
restaurant businesses that will draw pedestrians back to the Mile. The City must
identify and consistently communicate with retail brokers. In addition, the City must
designate a person well educated on the City’s current retail space inventory to attend the
ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) retail shows where the national and new
brands pitch their companies and monitor retail trends and real estate. In addition, the City
should engage our cultural boards to suggest new programs to attract customers.
In the interim, the Mile must be cleaned up. Trash accumulation and dirty storefronts
will discourage prospective tenants from opening a store or business on the Mile and
customers to return.
In 2025 Coral Gables will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. What is often missed when many invoke the name of revered our founder, George Merrick, and his visionary plan for our City is simply – that he had a vision. He had a plan.
This past year Our Community (and the world) suffered a once-in-a-lifetime event. One that has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and play. And while we are finally returning to some semblance of normalcy, there are some changes that are here to stay. For example, traditional retail was already failing prior to the pandemic because of online shopping. The pandemic merely accelerated it. Regrettably, numerous businesses in our downtown are gone for good.
Like 1925, when George Merrick founded Our City Beautiful, we are entering a new economy. In this new economy, technology, mobility, and sustainability will be at the forefront. Architecture and design must adapt to a post-pandemic world, with more open spaces and outdoor areas for people to gather, nearby locally owned businesses that cater to residents’ actual needs, and alternate modes of transportation. Similarly, this new economy must also factor the increasing impact of climate change on our community.

Given the current number of closures on Miracle Mile, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform what has been a very dark and difficult year for many, to create a vision for the Model Resilient Post-Pandemic City. This vision should respect Our City’s history and unique architecture, seeing them as a driving economic force instead of as an impediment to progress. It must include plans for a thriving business district, comprised of locally owned businesses, that cater to residents; and that harnesses and develops the talent in our own University of Miami.
My vision for Miracle Mile is simple. Take the historic qualities that make the Mile the Mile and re-energize them with life and activity. We can begin by restoring historic properties whenever possible. Tax abatements for the maintenance of historic structures is an example of the type of approach that I would take. We should also encourage the adaptive reuse of existing structures with abatements, waiver of permitting fees and providing the property owner with the assistance to identify and apply for local, state, and federal grants.
Not long ago, Miracle Mile was one of very few areas in Greater Miami where you could find specialty boutiques, exceptional restaurants, and a unique ambiance (Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, etc.). Now, we have Wynwood, Brickell, Downtown Miami, the Design District, the River, South Miami, and Doral. With this increased competition, Our City has done little to innovate. Instead, we have lost popular events like the monthly gallery night.
We still have amazing galleries and cultural centers, including the Historic Museum. Wynwood should not have a monopoly on art and culture in Greater Miami. Coral Gables must reclaim its status as a cultural center. An easy way to start is to work with landlords that have vacant storefronts and convert them to temporary art exhibits to reinforce the cultural offerings already in place creating a critical mass.
As to the nightlife, without visible activity, we will not attract new patrons and will ultimately lose repeat business. We must do more to activate the sidewalks. As an example, why not encourage more live music, especially on our expanded sidewalks. With more life and an enhanced ambiance, we can attract new innovative businesses and top brands to the Mile. We also must do a much better job of marketing the Mile and working collectively with the Business Improvement District (BID) and small business owners to develop new events to launch. Temporary permits allowing outdoor seating following the pandemic should be made permanent to keep local businesses thriving, while immediately developing practicable, cost-effective solutions to keep residents dining outdoors during the hot, summer months.
Another way to attract new businesses would be to make the City’s processes and procedures more efficient. Many businesses (and potential residents) avoid Coral Gables because of its reputation of being business unfriendly. I find that unconscionable. The permitting process is particularly problematic. Requiring submission of paper plans is extremely inefficient and costly to businesses, unnecessarily wastes money and paper, requires already limited storage space and is not easily searchable. Expediting e-permitting services to allow for concurrent review of the applications by each building discipline (building, structural, electrical, zoning, plumbing, etc.), as well as immediately implementing an online payment mechanism, would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes residents and businesses to obtain building permits, while increasing government efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Similar, integrated technology should be implemented in all our departments.
Finally, we MUST address parking. This is another issue that is adversely impacting business and the vitality of Miracle Mile. What I have learned is that we are behind on directing people to the parking available throughout the CBD. Providing valet service on Miracle Mile is good for many, but not everyone is comfortable parking valet and it is expensive. They also want to park a short distance from their destination, especially during our hot and rainy summers. One thing you will notice is that there is little, if any, static wayfinding signs in the core. In addition, there is technology that has been around for a decade that would help drivers locate open parking spaces within close proximity. It seems that in technology, the City is substantially lagging, with many of its processes and procedures being antiquated and inefficient. We must also move forward on updating the two city-owned parking garages on Valencia. The existing garages are falling apart. The Gables deserves better. And now that the Miracle Mile re-zoning proposal has passed, which allows for remote parking, we must consider the potential impact it will have on our CBD. As a starting point, we must have a plan to ensure that: (i) upon commencement of construction, any surrounding, existing businesses are not negatively impacted, as they were during the mismanaged street scape project, resulting in many restaurants and retail shops going out of business; (ii) we provide a residents/visitors using the remote parking option a free shuttle service to Miracle Mile, such as the Freebee, that they can easily reserve via the Freebee app; and (iii) extend the Freebee's service into residential neighborhoods to decrease the amount of vehicular traffic coming into the CBD, as well as to promote the CBD and provide residents ease and incentive to access it.
A miracle mile that is comprised of Small Buisnesses and the identity of Miracle Mile is maintained.
My vision is to keep the Miracle on Miracle Mile. Small boutiques, low density buildings, festive environment, family and fun!
My vision includes first taking care of the business that are already there that may be struggling. Coral Gables currently stands to receive more than $20 million in relief funding that must be used for specific types of projects and I want our business to get what what they need. I would like to bring in business that will economically stimulate the mile. Currently, when I shop, I don’t go to Miracle Mile. Truthfully, unless you’re getting married and shopping for a gown, ring or invitations, The Mile is mostly for dining. We need to attract solid business that will attract shoppers and find creative transit solutions expanding trolley service, the freebie, create an app for our parking garages and other technologically smart solutions to alleviate the parking situation to make it what it once was.
My vision for Miracle Mile is a pedestrian-friendly street with shopping, restaurants, and services adjacent to Ponce de Leon and our central business district's expanding influence. We should have easy access, adequate parking, and various opportunities for residents and visitors to work, live and play.

Traffic is a large issue in the City. What would you do to address the gridlock?

The existing gridlock may be relieved with the following combination of solutions:
(1) The synchronization of traffic lights on major thoroughfares.
(2) Increasing trolley and Freebie service where feasible.
(3) Pressing the County to expand rail to South Dade, because few individuals will take the extra time to wait for multiple transportation modalities to reach a destination (drive or walk
to a bus, and then disembark and wait for a train, after which you use Metromover and/or walk to the final a destination).
(4) Minimize City service trucks from blocking lanes of traffic during peak hours.
In my months of walking and talking to neighbors, most agree: What the Commission has done in recent years is allow development to run wild putting developers' interests in maximizing profits before residents' strong desire to stop rampant overdevelopment and maintain their quality of life. All one has to do is look at the Ponce Plaza Project and the new projects along US-1 to know that something is not right. Having 17-story structures immediately abutting single family residential homes makes no sense whatsoever and places an extreme burden on existing homeowners. Imagine stepping outside of your home to see a 17-story wall facing you -- never mind the increased, unmitigated traffic and ongoing construction. What I have come to find is that much of the overdevelopment does not come as a result of "as-of-right projects," but rather those that seek variances and exceptions to increase the density and intensity of said project. That practice must end. We must not allow the market to dictate the future of our City. We must set our vision first and allow the market to operate within the confines of that vision.
Cut back on development
Stop contributing to the disaster by allowing more developments.
Expanding public transportation services including the trolley, the freebie and others.
Coral Gables is located centrally in Miami-Dade County, and numerous cars pass through our city daily. I would encourage Metrorail and expand the trolley between the University of Miami campus and our city’s central business district. I would find ways to enhance the viability of the Ponce trolley and expand the freebee service too. Traffic calming devices can help to minimize safety risks and improve public welfare and safety. In an environment of expanding rideshare services, I would examine ways to encourage this type of transport to build our urban core with fewer cars.

How would you address cut-through traffic on residential streets?

With the agreement of the residents, propose the following solutions for the residents to select from:
• Add diverters to prevent traffic coming into your street from a certain direction.
Diverters are available in “T” and “L” shapes. The “T” shapes allow traffic to come in and out, but prevent left hand turns out and into the street — thereby reducing some of the traffic.
The “L” shapes only let traffic in and out from a certain direction.
• Add speed tables to slow down traffic.
• Add curbing on each side of the speed table to prevent drivers from dodging around the speed tables. Curbing also provides a sense that the street is narrower than it is, which causes drivers to slow down.
• Add brick in sections of the street. The smoother the street, the faster cars go. An example of this is available on the short section of Segovia north of North Greenway Drive
that connects Alhambra Circle to Segovia.
• Ad Rumble strips or narrow medians. If a street is not wide enough for a narrow median, rumble strips down the center would discourage drivers from taking the center of
the road. Most drivers drive down the center of residential streets when they want to speed.
• Add Traffic Circles where space permits, and/or
• Add Signs prohibiting entering the street from one end during peak hours. (ie, 7 am to 9am, or 4 pm to 6 pm).
Spending the last few months speaking to residents as I walk and knock on their doors, it is abundantly clear to me that one of the greatest issues affecting our quality of life is high-speed cut, through traffic. Slowing down traffic will save lives!

After speaking with residents and traffic engineering experts, I have taken the time to develop what I am calling my "Safer Streets Plan" with the ultimate goal of protecting the lives of every Coral Gables resident.

It is what I worry about most when our girls are playing outside and, after weeks of talking to our neighbors, I know it is the one issue we must confront immediately. When I am elected as your City Commissioner, I promise to make it my top priority.

This is my Safer Streets Plan :

1. Work together with neighbors, block by block, to find the best traffic calming solution for their particular street.
2. Ensure that the City expedites the installation of approved traffic calming solutions.
3. Enhance residential street illumination where possible to help avoid dangerous accidents.
4. Mitigate the traffic impact of any new developments by directing them away from residential streets and towards major thoroughfares.

We must protect our children, seniors and pets from the high-speed traffic infesting our residential streets. Working together, we can protect our loved ones from dangerous accidents and maintain the calm peaceful nature of our neighborhoods.
Cut back on development
Too late for that. The damage is already done. Mitigate by reducing to ZERO over development. Discouraging traffic by creating barriers will cost us residents money and will disfigure our beautiful city.
Look at the citywide traffic study that was recently conducted and use alternative traffic measures to divert cut through traffic. Some traffic circles have not been enough and we need to look at adding speed bumps in some situations. Pedestrian safety is extremely important to me especially since our community loves to exercise on our sidewalks, push their kids in strollers and walk their dogs.
Cut-through traffic on residential streets can be improved with traffic calming devices such as roundabouts, narrowing turn lanes, and other innovations to enhance public safety.

What is your view on the role of residents in the Legislative process in the City?

Critical and essential. All residents need to receive notice of meetings in plain language, and all neighborhood associations should be able to register to receive electronic notice.
Notice for development projects should electronically posted and sent at least 14 days
before any public meeting. Meetings for development projects must done at hours most residents can attend in person or via zoom. We cannot make our City a better place without resident participation.
I hold dear the First and Fourteenth Amendments very dear to my heart, particularly as they relate to our fundamental rights to Free Speech and Due Process. A substantial part of my personal life's work has been dedicated to these very issues. Therefore, as a Commissioner, I will respect the right of every person to speak before the Commission and provide their thoughts on all relevant issues. I will fight for their right to speak and to have an open and transparent process that the City's follows in good faith, even, if, and when, I disagree with the expressed positions. I will fight against any attempt to silence residents' individual or collective voice. As a public official, it would be my duty to do so and one that I take very seriously. I am not being asked to run for office, I am seeking the office. Unfortunately, several of our current public officials either pay residents lip service, or try to silence them all together. Sometimes they use intimidation. Other times they use ridicule. And shockingly, sometimes they simply mute their voices or walk out during public comment. That is unacceptable! Any legislation can only be enhanced by listening to the residents. They come from different walks of life and have different life experiences that can serve to color issues in ways that others do not or cannot contemplate. In summary, I view the role of residents in the Legislative process as ESSENTIAL. Period.
I believe that residents as voters should have final say in the affairs in the City and
As it stands today, they got none.
My focus is on transparency. If we are to ensure our residents have a seat at the table and a voice, I insist on holding alternate commission meeting scheduled having some meetings at night so that those who work or have small children or other daytime commitments can participate in the process. Along with that, folks will not want to participate if they feel they cannot understand what is going on in the meetings . For this reason I would move to do away with the use of acronyms such as TDR or FAR from all public meeting requiring that city staff and those presenting before the city use layman’s terms so that everyone participating can understand. Furthermore continue using zoom so more people can participate.
Our government system at the federal, state, and local levels relies on engaged citizenship. I would not only host forums to share ideas, collaborate and enhance mutual understanding; I would also actively engage in discussions to cooperate, dialogue, and seek input from engaged citizens. I would expand the governmental committees to focus on specific areas (arts advisory panel, code enforcement, disability affairs, etc.) and appoint individuals to serve who are committed to working with an engaged citizenry. I would also work with the city to collaborate with our engaged citizens to ensure a vital role for residents in the legislative process in the city.

How often have you participated in City Commission meetings?

Frequently in the past 6 months, and periodically over the past couple of years.
I have routinely watched City Commission Meetings on City of Coral Gables Television and have participated in the Public Meetings related to the controversial City-wide Zoning Update, the Crafts Section Re-zoning and the Miracle Mile re-zoning.
Infrequently.
Very frequently.
I have worked in the public sector for over 20 years. My entire career has been in the legislative process both at the city level and in Tallahassee and have attended countless commission, council, committee and board meetings in my career. I also hold both a Bachelors and Masters degree in public administration which is the field you study to learn how to run government. This uniquely qualifies me to hit the ground running.
Over the years, I have participated in many meetings in person and virtually via Zoom and Coral Gables Television. Because of my brother’s involvement as mayor, I have not played a public role in our city.

What will your top 5 priorities be if elected Commissioner?

(1) Development issues described above.
(2) Budget issues, including reducing unnecessary expenditures and achieving greater work force efficiency, and facilitating the local business community to recover from the impact of Covid and revitalization of Miracle Mile.
(3) Expediting the streamlining and modernizing of the on-line permitting.
(4) Improving notice and transparency to all residents of all issues, including all
development projects submitted for review to the Development Services department. All commercial development projects should be posted to the City’s website like they were prior to the last website up-date.
(5) Critical infrastructure improvements impacting the sustainability of the City from sea level rise, including but not limited to, septic to sewer conversion, raising bridges, revising zoning codes to meet anticipated sea level projections, and promoting and incentivizing
“greener” building practices such as electric vehicle charging infrastructure, solar panels, and LEED Gold building certifications.
1. Stop Overdevelopment: All one has to do is look at the Ponce Plaza Project and the new projects along US-1 to know that something is not right. Having 17-story structures immediately abutting single family residential homes makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Imagine stepping outside of your home to see a 17-story wall facing you. What I have come to find is that much of the overdevelopment does not come as a result of as-of-right projects, but rather those that seek variances and exceptions to increase the density and intensity of said project. That practice must end. We must not allow the market to dictate the future of our City. We must set our vision first and allow the market to operate within the confines of that vision.
2. Protect Miracle Mile: As we approach our City’s next century, I intend to work with all stakeholders (residents, business owners, community organizations and developers) to create a new, resilient vision for Miracle Mile and our CBD that respects our City’s history, while harnessing technology, planning and design to mitigate traffic, promoting alternative modes of transportation, adding tree canopies and other shading features to allow for greater pedestrian activity, and addressing existing infrastructure and post-pandemic challenges.
3. Implement my "Safer Streets Plan": As stated previously in this questionnaire, most residents with whom I have spoken consistently complained of high-speed, cut-through traffic significantly disrupting our residential streets, putting our elderly, children, and pets at risk. This high-speed, cut-through traffic, coupled with poor illumination and years of broken City promises related to traffic mitigation, can no longer be tolerated. The City has already undergone an extensive study and has a plan to install traffic mitigation devices throughout the City. I intend to expedite this process to ensure that residents’ safety and security remain our City’s top priority.
4. Audit City Departments/Expedite E-Permitting: I would immediately work to audit all City processes and procedures to increase efficiency and accountability, and to reduce waste and redundancies. Many City processes are extremely antiquated and customer service could be quickly and efficiently improved by moving to online platforms. The permitting process is particularly problematic, with even industry-savvy residents and business owners suffering unacceptable delays and an inability to make payments online. Additionally, requiring submission of paper plans is extremely inefficient and costly to businesses, unnecessarily wastes paper, requires necessary (and already limited) storage space and is not easily searchable. Expediting e-permitting services to allow for concurrent review of the applications by each building discipline (building, structural, electrical, zoning, plumbing, etc.), as well as immediately implementing an online payment mechanism, would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes residents and businesses to obtain building permits, while increasing government efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Similar, integrated technology should be implemented in all our departments.
5. Ensure the Sustainability and Resiliency of our City: I will look for ways to work with County Commissioners Regalado and Sosa, and to actively seek their assistance in pushing our priorities at the City level. A large part of our City Beautiful’s allure is its historic, charming nature, tree-lined streets, abundant wildlife, and waterfront properties. A truly modern city must be resilient and must protect its natural resources.
As to Sea Level Rise, Sea level rise is an existential threat to our community. Greater Miami has been identified as “GROUND ZERO” for sea level rise by most experts when analyzing the value of the property at risk by the rising tides. Coral Gables has miles of oceanfront and low-lying properties that are at serious risk. The reality is that there are things we can do and none of them come cheap. What steps we take are contingent upon the topography and elevation of any given area.
Miami-Dade County recently released its Sea Level Rise Strategy. The current forecast shows a sea level rise of anywhere between 10 inches to 3 feet by 2040. The Strategy provides several mitigation strategies that must be implemented depending on the location of the property. For oceanfront properties, they recommend “building like the Keys” creating elevated structures and reinforcing seawalls. For low-lying areas, the plan advocates for utilizing fill material to raise the elevation on which the structure is built. It also encourages creating small spaces for water in yards, streets and parks.
In addition to the threat to our real property, sea level rise is also threatening the quality of our water due to the scourge of septic tanks. The County’s plan also addresses this reality.
I agree with the County Sea Level Rise strategy and, if elected, I will sponsor a Resolution directing City Staff to analyze the report and provide recommendations as to what the City can do to further each. I will also sponsor a Resolution to prioritize advocacy before the County, State and Federal governments for the necessary funding to protect the long-term viability of our homes and our community. I also believe that any new City-owned buildings must be designed to outlive the forecasted rise.
One of our greatest future challenges will be to convert all properties still on septic to sewer. This is an expensive proposition so we must find a way to do so without creating an undue burden on residents. We must work with Miami-Dade Water and Sewer to develop a long-term plan to protect our drinking and navigable water, as well as our marine life.
Ameliorate the parking, curb development, work to make coral Gables sustainable, work towards accessibility for our disabled residents, create funding for sobering centers.
"1. Keep block 36 as residential for the entire block and not split and keep Miracle Mile comercial
2. Immediate auditing disclosing of developers' connection
3. Stop wasteful spending on politician's pet projects
4. Separate moneys from City General Funds' account from Arts in Public Places' account
5. Emergency funding for the needs of our city's finest: Coral Gables' Fire and Police Departments."
"Transparency- moving to alternate commission schedules and removing the use of acronyms from public meetings so our residents understand what construction projects are coming down the pipeline and more importantly know how it will potential impact them. While I have a firm grip on the fact that all cities must grow and evolve, that growth needs to be smart and gradual. I will ask the right questions about future projects ensuring that our residents are aware of what we are voting to stop being blindsided by projects that are not to scale are not in line with the caharacter of our city.

Public Safety- Making sure our police and fire have what they need to protect our residents and keep them safe.

Pedestrian Safety- minimize cut through traffic. Implement traffic circle and speed bumps where it is smart to do so always considering the residents input.

Our Seniors - It’s high time our seniors have a home bound meal program. Too many seniors well into their 90’s are living on fixed incomes and paying Coral Gables taxes. Other cities take care of their Senior population and we should too, that includes expanding the wellness center and providing transportation for them to get there once it’s safe to go out again.

Bring Solutions- As commissioner I will not only serve to identify problems. We must find solutions to address what is already here. I’m referring to WAWA and high rise projects. Legally these are here to stay. Moving forward we must put good faith practices in place to avoid having our residents feel the frustration that comes from being blind sided by construction that directly impacts them. We must get ahead of any identifiable issue that may arise from having a gas station in front of the school and be proactive to take steps to avoid them. We must engage Wawa to make them good neighbors and ensure they are good community partners and champion the neighboring schools cause to help turn a negative situation into a positive one."
"My five priority areas – not in any specific order – are to work collaboratively with others. We need to enhance a dialogue to engage our citizens and city leadership for a shared vision. My five areas are:

1. Enhance traffic calming
2. Maintain a solid zoning code
3. Expand environmental initiatives and green / park spaces
4. Preserve our unique historic buildings and charm of our city
5. Manage our finances for long-term sustainability to maintain low taxes."

Do you believe City staff is doing a good job?

Staff endeavors to do a good job, but like most organizations, there are areas that definitely need
improvement. Each department needs reviewed, and delays in responding to residents’
inquiries and voicemail messages must be corrected.
When talking about the delivery of City services, we should separate Public Safety from General Services when addressing the level of services that we are receiving from each, since resident opinion is sharply divided in this regard.
As to Public Safety, not a single resident with whom I've spoken is unhappy with our Fire or Police Departments. Rather, the consensus is that these departments are first-class and second to none.
Specifically, our Police Department is making great strides to police effectively and equitably. Soon they will have body cameras to help ensure their safety and the safety of others. This modernization along with their sensitivity and mental health training programs are allowing the Department to effectively and proactively confront the relevant needs of our time. I intend to look for additional improvement in the area of traffic speed enforcement, especially in our residential neighborhoods.
Our Fire Department is simply amazing. Understaffed with 32 active duty positions at any given time, they are there when we need them. The new fire stations we will soon see will only serve to enhance their service, but we need to do more to protect our residents and firefighters. The national standards established by the National Fire Protection Association tells us that we must increase our ranks to 43 active duty positions. At a time when we see more development we must ensure that we have enough fire and rescue personnel ready to serve the increasing population of our community. We should not have to rely on mutual aide. The same is true with respect to our police force.
As to City General Services, there is great room for improvement. Especially with our Planning, Building and Zoning departments. The environment for residents and businesses alike can only be characterized as unfriendly and overly cumbersome. We are stuck in the dark ages of paper when all permitting should be on-line and inspections should be allowed remotely for minor repairs. Beyond that, responsiveness is a major issue with too many calls going to voice mail and too many emails going unanswered. The City MUST improve and focus on a Customer Service Model that would integrate resident and business complaints into a strategy to provide needed services more efficiently, effectively and transparently. Having to deal with City Hall should not be an impediment to accessing the services available. It should be a welcoming environment with a focus on providing the best Customer Service to our stakeholders.
Yes but we can always do better
There is no enough knowledge to present and informed and fair opinion. Let's prepare a list of the City staff personal and their job description, then we will know who is who and what do they do.
I would first need to meet with them to properly assess what they are working with, if there is anything they need that is missing to help them carry out their job descriptions more effectively and efficiently before providing feedback. As an outsider however, the only thing I would suggest for city staff would be for those public facing employees to strive to communicate in a manner that is easy to understand during public meetings.
I think some areas are doing an outstanding job - but others need help to live up to the standards of our city.

The Commission will need to make tough decisions on the City’s financials in the 2021-2022 budget, what changes would you make to address shortfalls?

1. Review intergovernmental agreements to ensure the City has received all revenues due (ie, utility fees, gas taxes, etc.), and if those funds have not been paid in full, pursue collection.
2. Examine and implement appropriate impact fees for new construction of buildings that require increased fire, EMT and police personnel and equipment. The burden of those costs should not be placed on the existing businesses and residents.
3. Examine department organizational chart for opportunities to consolidate redundant positions for greater efficiency, and
4. Examine viability, feasibility and cost savings of utilizing a bond program to address the pension debt.
Should we encounter a reduction in tax revenue generated from our CBD and a concurrent increase in costs for services, keeping the tax millage rate flat, while challenging, is not impossible. We have local examples where government was able to maintain taxes and fees flat in the face of similar challenges. Based on past best practices, this is how we do it:
1. Seek efficiencies: There is no large institution that is free of inefficiencies. Often, these inefficiencies are the byproduct of the "that's the way we have always done it" mentality. I will not accept that answer. As a City, we must seek better and more cost-effective ways to deliver municipal services. Every department must come to my office with reasons justifying every dollar spent and what they can do to reduce costs while maintaining, if not, improving, our City services.
2. Seek New Revenue: We must maximize the financial return of City assets. What can we do to generate new revenue from City owned properties? Are there opportunities for public-private partnerships? I would always caution against the outright sale of a City-owned asset for short-term gain at the expense of a more long-term approach where the City’s residents can continue to subsidize their taxes for generations. The COVID Cares Act funding should generate $20 million in additional revenue and we must not squander it. We must use it effectively and not on special interests or pet projects. Also, we should explore potential private, state and federal grants to offset investments in our City, particularly as related to infrastructure issues (e.g., conversion from septic to sewer).
3. As a Last Resort, Prioritize Services: If reductions in City revenue cannot be fully offset through cost savings, we will have no choice but to prioritize services if we are to keep taxes and fees flat. These are among the most difficult decisions an elected official can ever make. I am ready to take on the challenge in a very thoughtful and thorough manner should it present itself.
A detailed, specific, accurate and transparent data list of every form of income and expenditure created to manage and review the accounts every month for the City. Eliminate politicians' pet projects. Utilize the percentage of the arts in public places developers' fee to address the shortfalls. Improve cash management procedures. Simple domestic budgeting 101.
I would ensure that our city gets every dollar that we are entitled to with relief funding. Search for inefficiencies in the budget, apply for grants and make sure that we strive to build our budgets reserves. I would not cut back on our beloved city services including trash, police and fire.
I believe the city should reexamine the city's budgeting perspective and engage in bottom-up budgeting to determine our objectives and align our finances accordingly. The budget should align with the city's goals, objectives, and perspective. We need a fresh look.

We live in Tree City USA, what is your stance on our tree canopy and its preservation?

The tree canopy of Coral Gables is one of the key features that make our City a special place to live. The canopy must be preserved and routinely maintained. Where feasible, development should embrace the existing canopy.
Our tree canopy is what differentiates us from every other community in Miami-Dade County. All one has to do is look at an aerial map of the County and you can pick out the City limits by simply looking for all that green on the map. We must not only protect it, we must enhance it to provide additional shade therefore promoting pedestrian activity. A larger tree canopy also provides additional environmental benefits that must not be overlooked. When elected, I will work with arborists and other stakeholders to find unique ways to enhance the tree canopy with native shade trees in the CBD and especially in our residential neighborhoods that lack a thick canopy at the moment.
I am for it but I think if a tree is on exisiting property the property owner should have greater say in the removal if it poses a great threat to them.
Imperative! I will also follow very closely any request to cut trees that don't appear to be sick on the outside by the naked eye.
Our plush tree canopy is part our city’s signature mark. We need to preserve and continue to enhance it.
From the beauty of Old Culter Road to Coral Way, our city’s tree canopy is unique and vital to our identity, adds shade and beauty, and has a strong environmental impact. We should preserve these canopies around the Gables – and expand them too. This foliage adds beauty while enhancing comfort from the heat and helping to sustain our environment. But, I also want to emphasize that our sidewalks are essential, too – and we need to enhance the protection of these walking paths to promote human health and safety.

What is your stance on climate change and what role do you believe the City can play in curbing it?

1. Electric Vehicle Charging: In 14 short years, major vehicle manufacturers will only be producing electric vehicles. For new construction, the City should require at least 20% of all parking in new buildings as electric vehicle “Infrastructure Ready” and 20% of all parking in public parking garages to have Level 2 charge stations. Currently, only 2% are required to have charge stations and an additional 1% are required to be Infrastructure Ready.
“Infrastructure Ready” only requires providing a working electrical outlet where the vehicle’s charge cable or an after-market charging unit can be plugged in.
2. Electric Fleet Expansion: Electric and hybrid trolleys and garbage trucks have been successfully purchased and used by other cities. The frequent stops and starts make them an excellent option for an electric fleet. For vehicles that must use gasoline, incentivizing the
use of carbon neutral fuels would help the City reach a zero emissions goal.
3. Update the Zoning Code to Address Sea Level Rise. The recent up-date to the Zoning Code has not addressed sea level rise. For instance, in new construction, underground
parking garages are still permitted. The City must coordinate with Miami-Dade’s Sea Level
Rise Strategy. Currently, the elevation of the land is not reviewed for properties
that are not next to the waterways. Our planning must look at least 50 years in advance and implement the ideas outlined in the County’s draft Strategy. See miami-dade-county-sea-level-rise-strategy-draft-mdc-hub.arcgis.com.
4. Septic to Sewer Conversion: The Septic to Sewer conversion must be expedited. First, all low-lying areas must be identified and prioritized for conversion. Second, we need to simultaneously determine which type of system will work best for Coral Gables (traditional
gravity fed which may cease working as sea levels rise and require roads to be excavated for installation, or vacuum or pump systems that can function with rising sea levels and do not require road excavation for installation of pipes.
5. LEED Building Standards: The current ordinance only requires LEED Silver certification
for buildings 20,000 square feet or more and does not mandate features or off-sets that will address the CO2 the building creates during construction and during use. LEED Certification should be incentivized for buildings 10,000 square feet or more. For buildings 20,000 feet or more, a LEED Gold standard should be required. Use of cement with carbon sequestration should be incentivized to encourage cement facilities to offer that product. Other federal or state incentives should be encouraged for carbon neutral or negative
products (ie, lower sales taxes for carbon neutral or negative building materials).
Desirable features such as solar panels or participation in the FPL solar program where roof space or design do not make it feasible to install solar panels should be encouraged.
Capture and reuse of grey water for irrigation and/or toilet flushing should be required. In addition, rainwater should be reused for irrigation and pools or contained in a drain field where it can naturally recharge the aquifer rather than flow through streets where it collects pollutants before discharging in the waterway.
6. Planting of Shade Trees in our Central Business District. For many years, discussions have been on going about adding shade trees to the Central Business District and barren surrounding streets to encourage pedestrian traffic and reduce the heat island effect. This goal must be accelerated. In addition, new projects should be required to add the street
trees to both sides of the street. For trees that die after planting, the developer must be
required to replace the trees or pay a fine that would encompass the total cost for the City to replace the tree. For instance, after multiple requests for replacement of dead trees on Valencia, City staff declined stating it was the developer’s responsibility. That development was completed over 5 years ago. To this date, those dead trees have not been replaced.
Like it or not, climate change is a reality. While the City of Coral Gables plays a small role in the overall human activity adverse impact to our climate, my must do our role to help mitigate it. The goal is to make our City as carbon neutral as possible. I do not support a carbon tax, rather sound policies that would incentivize green initiatives. First, the entire fleet of city vehicles, including waste trucks, trolleys and other large diesel power vehicles must be converted to electric as soon as practicable. These vehicles are available on the current market and the long term maintenance cost is a fraction of what we see with combustible engine equivalents. We must transition from an antiquated, costly and environmentally unsound paper filing system to a paperless government that utilizes user-friendly online platforms. We must incentivize building or renovating green from the single family home to our larger residential and commercial buildings. We must also make it easier for homes to transition to solar or other forms of renewable electricity.
I believe and understand climate change and initiatves such as a carbon tax would help steer the city in the right direction.
The climate will not stop changing. If one City is to be praised for preserving and it essence that is Coral Gables. Over development is the unnecessary ill to climate change. They are the causes of climate change, the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect (natural and man made). The City's role? Stop high density. Spread out not up!
We need to look at what we are already doing and see where there is room to do more. Work with all the stakeholders to help us be more climate conscious. Our county just hired a chief bay officer we need to engage them and work together to identify solutions and put a plan in place and work the plan immediately.
We live in a community impacted by climate change, and we need to take action for our well-being and aid future generations as well. We need to expand the city's electric fleet while also recognizing that we need to be prepared for hurricanes (maybe we can't go completely electric; it is important to think globally and realistically about our approach). We need to educate residents and businesses about recycling and expand these initiatives. We can change light bulbs, build more robust sea walls, and prepare other initiatives for these changes. It is also vital that we collaborate with other cities, the county, and the state as partners. We can't work in silos and we must work collaboratively.

What is your vision for the City’s historic preservation?

Historic preservation must remain a priority, because like our tree canopy, historic properties make our City
special and attract customers and visitors. The sole factors in determining whether an individual has the right to seek historic preservation of a qualified building should not be
limited to only those residing within 1,000 feet of a property. That restricted criteria could result in the
loss of many more of our historic buildings.
The historic nature of our City is one of our greatest assets that we must protect to maintain the quality of life that Gables residents value and others aspire to. Historic Preservation and the protection of property rights are not mutually exclusive. Where there is conflict, we must work diligently to strike a balance. Rather than issuing broad mandates, I prefer providing incentives to further an initiative. Tax abatements for the maintenance of historic structures is an example of the type of approach that I would take. We should also encourage the adaptive reuse of existing structures with abatements, waiver of permitting fees and providing the property owner with the assistance to identify and apply for local, state, and federal grants.
Our Historical Resources Department should also be a top priority. Digitally archiving and cataloguing the City’s enviable collection of original, historical documents will preserve their contents in case of damage and allow residents and businesses to easily search and retrieve these documents. It will also help to expedite renovations to existing historical structures and provide residents and businesses with fair and adequate notice of a structure’s potential historic designation, aiding to prevent future conflicts between property owners and City government.
My vision is working to preserve Coral Gables and maintain the identity and aesthetic of Coral Gables.
My vision is their mission! To promote the understanding and importance of historic resources and their preservation for generations to come.
The historic character of our city is its what makes Coral Gables charming. It is a big part of why I live here. Preserving our historic properties is top priority for me now and always will be.
I live in a 1927 Paist and Steward home designated as historical because I love the house, and I am attracted to this charm. I believe in historic preservation, and I take pride in this unique attribute of our city. Historic preservation is vital for the various homes and buildings, but the entire city too. I would find innovative ways to encourage historic preservation to help homeowners also. This preservation is about various structures, but also about the city's scale as well.

What do you believe makes you best qualified for this job?

For 16 years I have passionately addressed development and traffic issues, and served on
the Public Safety, Sustainability and Planning & Zoning Boards. During this service, I demonstrated the patience to listen and resolve issues, and gained the knowledge and experience in critical areas impacting the future of our City.

My educational background and broad professional experience provides a perspective that the other candidates do not have. In my law practice, I have critiqued financial expert reports, and vigorously pursued disability access and pedestrian safety issues. My 33 years of trial and appellate practice have provided me the experience to critique proposed code changes.
I live in Coral Gables, own a small business here and both my daughters attend Coral Gables Preparatory Academy. Put simply, everything important in my life is found within our City limits. The crippling impact of the pandemic on our Central Business District that resulted in numerous business closures, coupled with the mismanaged street scape project and its unacceptable delays and cost overruns, inspired me to run for Coral Gables Commissioner. It became evident that we did not have a holistic vision to revive our CBD and to ensure a thriving, stable and predictable business environment. Additionally, the more and more residents with whom I spoke, it became clear that there are several other pressing issues that must be immediately addressed, including: that most residents had yet to see any of the long ago promised, and still eagerly awaited, traffic mitigation devices in their respective neighborhoods; that many of our City’s processes and procedures are antiquated, inefficient and user-unfriendly for residents and businesses alike; and that our normally peaceful City’s business and political environment was becoming unstable and threatening our quality of life and our ability to attract new business.
As a small business owner whose office is in the CBD, lives within walking distance, and has represented some Miracle Mile establishments pro bono after they received faulty eviction notices during the height of the pandemic, I understand first-hand the challenges many local businesses have faced this past year. The success of the surrounding businesses is essential not only to me personally (as someone who moved to the North Gables, precisely so that I could live, work, and play in this community), but also to the overall viability of our local economy. I understand that our local businesses, which help subsidize our property taxes and general services, are the lifeblood of our City, critical to its resiliency and, ultimately, our quality of life. If elected, I pledge to have an open-door policy for all stakeholders, including business owners, and to work to make our business landscape as favorable and predictable as possible.
Additionally, as a complex commercial litigator who has spent almost seventeen years representing multinational corporations in high-stakes litigation, I have practical experience in resolving even the most daunting of challenges facing businesses. My training has taught me to advocate aggressively on behalf of those I represent, while building consensus whenever possible and finding pragmatic solutions to complicated problems. If elected, I will work diligently to streamline City processes and procedures, (including expediting the implementation of e-permitting, remote permitting and online payments), and to ensure we have a stable business and political environment.
I am someone who is honest and pratical who has fresh dynamic ideas and with the emergence of a post COVID world we need to think creatively
Because I am not THEM!
My entire career of 20 + years working in the public sector and for elected officials uniquely qualified me for this job. I know how to get the job done and feel strongly about being accessible to the residents keeping office hours for them to have a place to voice their concerns and find solutions to their problems. I will take pride in being a pothole commissioner serving the residents, listening to them and helping them as they deserve. I want to be seen as the approachable commissioner; the people's commissioner.
I am gifted in working with numbers and finance, and I will put my 35 years of experience as a banker to work for the city. I retired as bank president many years ago, and I will focus my city endeavors in a full-time capacity. I have been involved in the community focused on health, education, and culture. I will use this knowledge and my sense of aesthetics and arts and culture to benefit our community. I am also passionate about our city, and my interests will fuel my commitment to our community.

What can be done to improve the state of our City’s pension system?

Continue to pay down the existing debt and examine the feasibility of issuing bonds to decrease the cost of funding the existing debt. For non-police and fire positions, examine the feasibility of offering alternative retirement plans.
The current pension system has had its challenges no doubt. It was seriously underfunded by previous administrations, however the City has put together a solid financial plan to fully fund the pension system within the next 12 years as long as we continue down that course of paying into the system. Our bargaining units have come to the table and made concessions to help make this a reality. As to whether the City should move from defined benefit to a defined contribution model, I am opposed to doing so in the areas of Public Safety. These positions have no true private sector equivalent and employees in those areas face risks to their person that are not faced by those in more traditional settings. As to General Services employees, we can maintain the current defined benefit, but give them the option to converting to defined contribution should their own individual circumstances lend to that structure.
We need to properly budget and make sure our pension is properly funded and that will require to move funds and cut back on wasteful spending.
Stop wasteful spending! A pension is a retirement fund for an employee paid into by the employer, employee, or both, with the employer usually covering the largest percentage of contributions. When the employee retires, he's paid in an annuity calculated by the terms of the pension. Who is caught with the hand in the cookie jar?
First we need to be sure it’s funded more than it currently is. It also needs to be user friendly so our staff can easily access their benefits and navigate a paperless system to be able to make decisions on their retirement date.
I recognize our obligation to our loyal workforce and our responsibilities to adequately fund the pension for the sake of the city’s employees and retirees and the city’s overall wellbeing as well. We need to continue Mayor Casen’s work on lowering the deficit to ensure a fully funded pension for long-term sustainability.

How can residents learn more about you?

Review my website at RhondaforCoralGables.com, email me at
[email protected], or call/text me at 786-529-8766. I will be happy to meet with you in person or discuss issues over the telephone.
Residents can learn more about me by visiting my webpage, TaniaCruzGimenez.com, sending me an email at [email protected] or by simply calling me on my personal cell, 786-325-5956.
My website and social media
everywhere! joliforcoralgables.com; jolilaw.com email messages, @jolimayra @mayrajoliforcommissioner @thenoddinglady @fashionnightonbrickell @thejolifoundation @mayrajoliforcoralgables @mayrajoliforcongressfan page @mrscoragables @mayramoda
FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, YouTube, Paler, WhatsApp, Google, TV, Radio, Workshops, webinars, zoom meetings, in church, call me!"
I am an open book, I am certainly not here to hide and my personal cell phone is on all my materials. I love to connect and interact with residents. I have a website as well as a Facebook page where residents can see what I’ve been up to on my campaign train. My website is votemiro4gables.com, my facebook page is Claudia Miro for Coral Gables Commissioner and my personal cell phone is and has always been 786-539-6873. I am a working single mom with a full time jon so if I don't answer leave a message or text me I will respond to you as soon as I am able.
Please visit us on our website at https://josevaldesfauli.com .
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