Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meritorious MAST and Silvio Diaz

Silvio Diaz of Harbor Island is running a quiet, focused campaign for Commissioner from Harbor Island. Under our peculiar voting system, there are three seats restricted to residents of one of the three major neighborhoods - Harbor Island, North Bay Island and Treasure Island. The whole city votes but the standing candidate must live there, except for Vice Mayor George Kane who gives his permanent address as 1080 NE 105th St, Miami Shores, on his arrest report.

Anyway Diaz lives on Harbor Island and entered the commission race because he is a small businessman (real estate), father of two, and a long time resident of North Bay Village. He entered the race because like so many of us, he's seen and suffered the consequences of the North Bay Village politics as usual. Diaz believes it's time for a change - the North Bay Village Trujillo Tax is killing us, the rubber stamping of any requested project regardless of merit is driving our property values down, and the city's reputation is a leading economic impediment.

A citizen legislature is designed to be community governance but North Bay Village has been taken over by politicos and corporate socialists.

Diaz, as a realtor, is particularly concerned with why it takes ten weeks longer to resell a single house in North Bay Village and why our prices are 10 - 15% lower than Surfside, Miami Shores and Morningside. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers but what he has been doing, unlike his opponent, is talking and actively seeking advice from the North Bay Village Real Estate Professionals and getting our housing market stabilized is his top priority.

Along with that, he is working to prevent further foreclosures in North Bay Village, where the rate of foreclosure is nearly double that of any community in Miami Dade County. He himself was caught in the foreclosure vise and knows deeply and personally the havoc this wreaks. He will work with the city, the property owners, the federal government and the financial institutions to stop the foreclosure hemorrhaging that is destroying property values in our city.

Silvio Diaz like so many others is an immigrant from Cuba where his own father was imprisoned for political reasons, and like so many, deeply loves his adopted country. He served in the US Marines and was decorated during his time in a Meritorious Mast, a traditional Marine Ceremony that acknowledges exceptional service. Following his honorable discharge, he has successfully built the kind of business in and of our community that have brought the immigrants of Miami to the successful positions they hold today. In his mid 50's, Diaz told me "it's time to give back to the community that adopted me." and that's why he's running.

His opponent, Eddie Lim, is also a long time small businessman in North Bay Village, in real estate, and in my acquaintance with him, is a decent and honorable man who has volunteered on several boards over the years. He's also a nice guy.

But he has no plans, no platform, to change the picture of North Bay Village. In normal times, that might have been enough but not in these dangerous economic times. Lim has aligned himself with Trujillo and this bodes badly for us. We can't afford more of the same, higher taxes, lower services, strip clubs, utility bills unpaid, and it's time for a change.

Note: There has been an emailing about Diaz, filled with the usual vitriol. Who it's from is in doubt, but it's time to stop this tiresome anonymous attacking.

Kevin Vericker
October 21, 2010

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