Group 4: Michael Barrineau

Michael Barrineau

Group 4


Real estate broker

Miami Beach planning board member, former president South of Fifth Neighborhood Association

This post is part of our voter guide for the Nov. 5 local elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to some other key races.

Commission seats in Miami Beach are at-large positions, so the groups don’t represent any particular neighborhood or section of the city.

This interview has been lightly edited. Barrineau’s opponents are Steven Meiner, Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Rafael Velasquez.

What would your top 3 priorities be as commissioner? 

I will protect our quality of life, ensure we support arts and culture in a safe environment and protect the rights of everyone who lives, works and visits Miami Beach. I’ll maintain a laser focus on three unresolved issues: 1) public safety 2) mobility & traffic 3) flooding & sea level rise. As your Commissioner, I will work hard to be your strong advocate and problem solver.

What does a resilient and sustainable city look like to you? 

Miami Beach has a global platform and we have a responsibility to be a world leader on sustainability and protecting our natural environment. We must continue to be proactive in our battle against climate change and sea level rise. The city started in 2013 with pumps and road raising. As we learn and improve, we need to integrate solar infrastructure and blue/green elements to absorb and naturally treat stormwater. We also need more engagement and collaboration with residents and stakeholders in the decision making process. I also support our City’s effort to move away from single use plastics, our 5,000 tree planting program and new parks and green space initiatives included in the 2018 [general obligation] bond. 

What will you do to increase transparency and accountability for public officials? 

We’ve made some progress in this area over the past few years. As president of Miami Beach United, I worked on and helped to pass the “Residents Right to Know” ordinance in 2017. In 2018, [80 percent of] Miami Beach residents voted to create an office of Inspector General. The new City Hall watchdog will be tasked with making city government more efficient, scrutinizing contracts and investigating complaints, corruption and fraud. 

What steps should Miami Beach take to combat homelessness? 

Residents often ask me about the challenges we face with homelessness in our community. A truly national tragedy, we need to shift our focus from managing homelessness to ending homelessness. Over 90 percent of homeless persons in Miami Beach became homeless in another part of the county and migrated to Miami Beach. I favor a dual approach to this complex issue that balances outreach initiatives with law enforcement. This includes our referrals to mental and physical health services, purchases of our own emergency shelter beds and homeless employment programs. On the law enforcement side, I support our city prosecutor and efforts to enforce city ordinances, remove repeat offenders and keep our city streets safe. 

What does responsible development look like in Miami Beach? 

1) Inform and engage residents regarding quality of life impact. Residents respected and considered full partners in the decision making process. 

2) Assess the traffic impact of proposed new developments in order to reduce driving trips and facilitate the smooth flow of traffic during construction and after completion of the 

project. Approval of new projects contingent on an adequate traffic mitigation plan. 

3) Protect the character and context of existing neighborhoods with low scale developments. 

4) Prioritize tree planting, green space, open space, landscaping and play areas. 

5) Require a significant public benefit with new large-scale developments. 

6) Pursue new housing affordability initiatives for all income levels below the very top. Miami Beach must be more than a playground for the rich and famous. 

7) Public lands should be open and available for the sustainable use and enjoyment of residents and visitors. We have a responsibility to protect and preserve our public lands for future generations. The Nikki Beach lease should not be renewed. The City owned property located at 1 Ocean Drive should be returned to public use and re-purposed as a spectacular, City owned, seaside park upon lease expiration. 

How do you think areas like Washington Avenue and Lincoln Road should address their vacancies and lost businesses? 

In the short term, we can’t change the macro trend of consumers switching to internet shopping and the overbuilt retail environment that has resulted. Here’s what we can do: My vision for both districts includes a magnificent pedestrian streetscape and outdoor botanical park filled with art exhibits, fashion shows and performances. A destination experience for residents and visitors that new local businesses, restaurants and sidewalk cafes will want to serve. Business improvement districts (BID) have been formed on Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue. Funding is in place and substantial infrastructure investments and improvements are on the way. 

Do you support the latest Baylink proposals to connect Miami and Miami Beach? 

I support a connection to Miami and the airport which are long overdue. I do not support the recent vendor-initiated proposal that could open the door to casino gambling in Miami Beach. We should consider extending the downtown Metromover to Miami Beach and continue to build on this popular transportation option. 

What steps should the city take to reduce pollution in Biscayne Bay and on the beaches? 

Sadly, sewage spills and pollution in Biscayne Bay are common occurrences these days. New pumps in Miami Beach are depositing unfiltered stormwater into Biscayne Bay. The health of the bay and our supply of clean water supply are at risk. As commissioner, I will implement state-of-the-art water treatment systems through blue- green infrastructure. I will also work with county and state officials to replace aging sewage pipes and cleanup Biscayne Bay. 

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