Why are you running?
I have been civically active in Miami Beach for the past 28 years. Today I see Miami Beach, and Miami-Dade County, growing without providing the proper infrastructure required for a major metropolitan area, with mass-transit and mobility as the biggest challenge. As chair of the Miami Beach Transportation & Parking Committee I have seen bus service decline to almost non-existent levels and highways increase in order to put more cars on the road. We must add all practical options including rail systems and proper bus service. I know it will take my entire tenure as a Commissioner to properly address these issues.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Miami Beach right now?
Traffic and congestion is being caused by over-building and lack of planning. It’s hard to become a world-class city without proper mass-transit. I will be working with the county to provide Miami Beach with acceptable bus service from the mainland.
We must also provide parking and shuttle service for the thousands of people who work on the Beach. They bring in their cars, clog our streets and infiltrate residential neighborhoods in search of parking.
Many of our streets are in disrepair. We must fix them.
What are some of the solutions you would propose?
First, the county must provide proper bus service. Some of the bus lines require a 40 minute wait. This is unacceptable.
I’d like us to build a garage on the east end of the Julia Tuttle Causeway for people who work on the Beach. Then we would shuttle them around to their places of employment.
The City passed a GO Bonds Capital Improvements initiative over a decade ago yet many neighborhoods remain untouched. We must get this program back on track.
Imagine we gave you a $100 budget. How would you spend those $100?
Please share a few words about how you would tackle the some of the following challenges:
Poverty and the low median wage: The City passed a Living Wage ordinance a few years ago. We must make sure that our vendors adhere to this as well. I’ve heard stories about employees of vendors who don’t have health insurance.
The high cost of rent/real estate: We need to build more Work-Force Housing on the Beach.
Congestion and transit options: Please see above answers.
Climate change and environmental damage: Sea level rise is real. First we must finish installing the pumps. We must make sure that they are environmentally safe. We must also encourage people to have more green space for absorption of water. Eventually we will need to address raising seawalls.
Transparency in government and access to open data: Miami Beach is on the forefront of transparency. Our web site has much information like payments to vendors, contracts, lobbyist logs, etc.