Monday, August 20, 2012

Update for late August

Work and life have been demanding this month.  I'm on the road right now, staying with my brother who broke a hip this month.  So I haven't been updating nearly as often as I should.   

But much has happened in North Bay Village.   

For one, David Richardson won for State Rep.  This is good news for North Bay Village.  Of the three major candidates for the position, he was the only one to demonstrate that it was about more than Miami Beach.  He came to our budget meetings, has looked at our issues such as the Causeway and the state, and paid attention.  

In an odd political moment, the mayor and I both enthusiastically supported the same candidate.  It will mean good things for our city.  

In our own elections, Connie Leon Kreps is unopposed for mayor so she will retain that office and Richard Chervony is unopposed for North Bay Island, so he will retain that office.  

The two seats in play are:

Treasure Island - Wendy Duvall is up against Stuart Blumberg.  
At Large - Mario Garcia is up against Jorge Gonzalez.   

This election will more than anything be about retaining Dennis Kelly, the current city manager.   I've written about that before.   There's a lot to say on the subject but I have not had the chance to talk with some of the candidates on that.  I'll write more when I get home.  

Kevin Vericker
August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vote Now

So between now and August 11, early voting is on.  Regular voting is on August 14.  Turnout for August elections is dismally low and it matters to you directly to vote in this election.  Let's review with the biggies:

State Representative District 113 - There are four candidates - David Richardson, who I've endorsed  as have the mayor, Rey Trujillo and others.  (I know:  hell is freezing over and there is snow in August)  Richardson gets the local issues and is emphatic that he intends to represent us in Tallahassee.  

Pop quiz, how many candidates for State Rep were at our budget meeting last Tuesday?  Answer;  just Richardson.  

Ask Kravitz or Weithorn about the causeway and how long the state has been repairing it or why that dog pound fence is on the south side between North Bay Island and Treasure Island?   Blank stares.   Ask them about seawalls and DERM?  Same.  Richardson is paying attention to the district, not the state.  Ask Weithorn and Kravitz how much in state revenue North Bay Village expects next year?  They won't know.  

Richardson does.  He does his homework and we need someone who knows we are on the map.  

Mayor Miami-Dade County - This is a tough one for me personally and here's why.  

Carlos Gimenez has consistently stood for equal rights in Miami-Dade county.  He has been a supporter of the Human Rights Ordinance which finally erased the disgraceful legacy of Anita Bryant and her reign of hate.  Gimenez also brought Miami-Dade into the 21 st century with the Domestic Partners Ordinance.  

Martinez has stood against both measures but to his credit, he took the time and effort to meet with Save Dade, Miami's primary gay rights organization, and has promised to leave existing law alone.  Still, his history disturbs me.  

Nevertheless, when I look at the other side of the equation, how to deal with the huge cuts coming at Miami-Dade, cuts that will affect North Bay Village big time, I see a more nuanced approach by Martinez.   Gimenez is too ready to battle with the employees to cut costs rather than the Martinez approach of working with the employees to save money.  This matters because bad economies don't last forever and keeping decent relationships in place with our unions is important.  

I am also more impressed with Martinez' approach to revenue.  The truth is that taxes in M-D are underpaid by a lot not a little.  And the property appraiser's office does not keep up.   Martinez is pushing this issue hard, as he should.   

On balance, I think Martinez has the more holistic approach and the leadership style to get us through the next four years.  I just wish he had the sense of social justice that a city (and it is a city) like Miami-Dade needs to prosper.  

Judges - Andrea Wolfson is a miserable, despicable, mendacious anti-American bigot who aligned herself with the most radical of right wing groups in Miami-Dade.   She is not fit to be on the bench or in public life.  Her views and attitudes towards gay people would be much more at home in a theocratic Iran.  Show her the door.  

Jacci Seskin, on the other hand, impressed the heck out of me.  Her page is here.  I spoke with her at the Downtown Bay Forum last week and she talked about how she had rejected the bogus endorsement of the radical right, and talked a great deal about how Florida law often puts the state itself at a disadvantage.   A thouughtful, honest woman and you should vote for her.  I am.  

There's a lot more, but the most important is this.  Vote.  It matters directly to you and your city.  And it's easy.  Early voting runs through August 11.  You can see more information at this Elections Website 

Kevin Vericker
August 5, 2012.