The next Village Council will face a number of significant issues that will have an impact and possibly change the image of Miami Shores as a Village.
I'm talking of course about the desire to redevelop the downtown district and the study that the last Council commissioned which produced a financial feasibility report offering three scenarios recommending that if the Village wants to do a deal with a private developer as part of a public/private partnership, they will have to consider raising the height of buildings "to a minimum of 5 stories," allow for residential living in some of these buildings, and even possibly giving the property that the Village Hall, Police Station and Catholic Charities buildings sit on to the developer as part of a deal.
Because these scenarios are controversial, and because we've already seen several instances of bad decision making by both the Council, and the Village Manager involving the renegotiated contract with the Golf Course/Country Club, and the abuse of his office exhibited by Vice Mayor Steven Zelkowitz, who voted to award the contract to the company who produced the financial feasibility report at the same time that the company was bidding on a project in another county with a proposal that included Zelkowitz and his law firm Gray Robinson as consultants to this company, I did not think it unreasonable to be concerned that decisions could be made by this new Council, that could after the fact, benefit one or more of the Council members.
That was why I put together a Pledge Against Self Dealing as part of a question I submitted to the Miami Shores Homeowners Association before last week's Candidate's Forum.
The Homeowners Association chose not to include my question, but it didn't matter, because I had put a copy before each of the candidate's microphones before the meeting started, and to my pleasant surprise 4 of the 6 candidates signed the pledge.
The two candidates who didn't sign the pledge, and who I asked personally after the debate if they would, were Jonathan Meltz and Liangy Fernandez-Calli.
Meltz told me he was going to think about it, and Fernandez-Calli told me that she never signed any documents without her husband looking at them first, which was not an answer that I would have expected from a supposedly 21 century, emancipated woman running for public office
HERE ARE THE SIGNED PLEDGES BY THE 4 CANDIDATES
Graphic designed by John Garcia
I'm pleased to announce that Liangy Fernandez-Calli signed the Pledge Against Self-Dealing, which now leaves only Jonathan Meltz as the only candidate for Village Council who hasn't. The Pledge is simple and straightforward and it's now time for either Meltz to sign or give his reasons why he won't.