Voting for the person who will protect the Grove
The front runners seem to be: Teresa Sarnoff, Grace Solares and Ken Russell, possibly Javier Gonzalez. The others are not making themselves known, they are not standing out. I think Javier could easily be the front runner. More people need to get to know him.
I like Teresa a lot, not as commissioner, but as a person, and I like her life story. I just don't want a third Sarnoff term. I never wanted a first Sarnoff term.
I do believe that Javier wants to help the community and serve the community. He has been working behind the scenes on almost every major issue that has faced us in the city and village, and has not made a show about it, he has quietly done his thing to make life better. He's a regular guy, down to earth, humble, friendly and honest. He vows to protect Coconut Grove and he cares about the neighborhood. I believe Grace feels the same.
I don't believe anyone will stop big development. Developers are a greedy breed, let's face it, building multi-million dollar condos and zero-lot-line homes is not doing God's work. They don't care about quality of life and they steamroll over anyone in their way. They have given thousands of dollars to Teresa Sarnoff's campaign and nothing to the other candidates. That tells me a lot. I don't see any future commissioner reining them in. Grace talks about stopping the up-zoning and spot zoning and stopping the waivers given to developers so that they can have their way. If only the rest of the city commission felt like that. But of course, it all starts with one person and we can build from that.
All the candidates have great reasons for wanting to be district commissioner but will they strong enough for the job, what I mean is, once elected, will they hold their own? Will they be able to make their agenda happen by getting the other commissioners to side with them? I do believe the rest of the city commission cares about Coconut Grove as well as their own districts. I think that we need a person who will protect the neighborhood, care about its history, and I feel that the rest of the city commission will go along with them. We cannot keep selling out the village. The majority of Coconut Grove residents want the mass development to stop. They live here and not downtown or on Brickell because they like small village life.
In Coconut Grove, when people ask questions at these forums, they don't ask about taxes and climate change and traffic (although that is related), they ask about over-development. How do we stop it? I think the first step is to vote for someone that is not in the developers' pockets.
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