We live in the most beautiful City. From our historic entrances, to our great neighborhood parks, to our lush tree lined streets, and the incredible people that make up this community, Coral Gables has always been an oasis in Miami-Dade County.
We love our City and would not live anywhere else, but there are things we can do to improve it.
Here is my vision for Coral Gables:
We have over 50,000 residents in the City of Coral Gables. There are many different points of view on what future development should look like in our City. As we approach our centennial in 2025, we must work to formulate the vision we, the residents, want for our next 100 years. The message I have heard from you has been clear, we need to slow down the fast pace of growth that is encroaching in our residential neighborhoods. We cannot allow for developers to dictate what our Zoning Code should look like, and we must stop approving changes to the Zoning Code to benefit individual projects. What is the point of a Zoning Code if we are not going to adhere to it? As Commissioner, I will work to curb our speed of growth and work with residents who are the ones that should decide what growth is allowed in their neighborhood.
Doing renovations or painting your home in Coral Gables has never been an easy process. The amount of red tape has been burdensome on many and caused endless delays and unnecessary additional expenses on residents. Over the last two years, the process has become worse due to a lack of leadership and accountability in that department. As Commissioner, streamlining the permitting process will be one of top priorities. I will work to ensure improved customer service and accountability to residents. The words “that’s the way its always been done” will no longer be uttered in this building. There is always a better way! With your support, I will work to streamline our flawed permitting process.
SECURING OUR FINANCIAL FUTURE & SETTING OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
As a dad, securing a strong financial future for Stephen is a priority. When it comes to the Commission, securing the City’s financial future must be the priority. $63 million. That is the estimated cost for construction of the controversial Mobility Hub. The City has said it plans to change the use of the building before we finishing paying off the debt. Over 1,000 residents signed a petition in opposition to the project. The Commission ignored their desires. This begs the question, are our priorities straight? There are much better ways to spend $63 million for resident priorities. Like…
- Completion of Burger Bobs;
- Training staff to address permit delays;
- Repairing broken Sidewalks;
- Completing unfinished projects;
- Re-striping our streets and crosswalks;
- Filling our pot holes,
- Restoring City Hall; our Historic White Way Lights and historic Alhambra water tower; and
- Replacing faded street signs
Just to name a few…As Commissioner, my priorities will not be led by the pet projects of an outgoing City Manager. They will be led by the wishes and needs of the residents who have invested in making Coral Gables the community it is today.
The safety of residents is the number one responsibility of any government. We need to ensure that the focus of our Police Department, remains the safety of our residents. We must report and document each crime committed in the City in order to properly investigate. I have been an advocate for a safer Coral Gables for over ten years. I worked to secure the removal of former Police Chief Dennis Weiner and the appointment of Chief Edward J. Hudak, Jr. as Police Chief. Ariel created a petition, which received vast community support, to name Hudak as the City’s Police Chief. I commit to continuing to advocate for a safer Coral Gables as your Commissioner. WATCH: CBS4 Interview with Cynthia Demos – Coral Gables Residents Furious Over String Of Break-Ins
TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION
Over the last few years, the City has worked to address some of our transportation issues by adding to our trolley service and implementing last mile service such as the FreeBee. These programs have worked to improve some of the traffic congestion in downtown. However, it has done little to affect the traffic and congestion we feel in the residential districts of our City. As Commissioner, I will work to continue expanding our traffic calming initiatives in residential neighborhoods and to seek the assistance of the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County in helping to finance these crucial measures.
City staff has been promoting a culture of parking space reduction, which continues to place us in a deeper hole. The higher our buildings get, the more parking issues we face. We must work to increase parking and not reduce it.
The removal of services should be the last resort for government. When it comes to Garbage, Recycling and Waste pickup, the City can do better. The answer is enforcement. As Commissioner, I will work to increase the number of enforcement officers and adhere to our strict Zoning Code.
Abraham Lincoln defined government best as “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Residents must be a part of every conversation and not an afterthought once deals are worked out. As Commissioner, I will work to increase transparency and ensure residents are part of the process.
My background is in constituent service. I know the importance a responsible and accountable government can play in the daily lives of residents. We must improve our constituent service and promote a better culture of customer service at City Hall. Residents must have their calls, emails and messages answered in a timely manner by all City employees. This can only be done by holding those responsible accountable, from the top down. If elected, my Commission office will be an active office where residents can meet with their Commissioner and address their concerns with an open door.
OUR NEIGHBORS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
We are all part of the community we live in. But it is not just made up of residents, it is also made up of businesses that provide the services we all need. Many of these are owned, operated and run by residents of our great City. I have always been a strong supporter of our local businesses. They contribute a large portion of our tax revenue and are integral to our City’s economy. From the largest to the smallest, supporting these businesses and ensuring they have the support of the City is crucial to their success.
I commend the Commission for their efforts on making Coral Gables more sustainable to ensure the City Beautiful remains just that for generations to come. I have always been a strong voice for the protection of our tree canopy, as well as for the maintenance of all our City’s greenery. We must continue to keep our City beautiful and maintain all our trees and plants vibrant.
ISSUES AFFECTING YOU
Please let me know of any other issues you are concerned with. You can email me at email@example.com or call me at 305-684-3874.