Bell-ringer or recount? That remains to be seen

By Michael Miller….

Michael Miller

Many southwest Dade folks were surprised by the apparent victory, narrow as it was (395 votes), by which Homestead’s Lynda Bell overcame her favored opponent, Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn, for Katy Sorenson’s District Eight seat on the Miami- Dade Commission.

At this writing, the count of 21,403 for Bell to 21,005 for Flinn did not include over 6,000 absentee ballots which were still being hand-counted for all Miami-Dade precincts by the Election Department last week.

At that point, the math necessitating a recount (one-half percent or less difference in total balloting had not been reached. Thus it doesn’t take a slide rule to figure out that if the final margin of victory for Ms. Bell goes under the 212 mark, a recount should be in order.

Which left candidate backers and constituents alike waiting for the final verdict as we went to press with each absentee ballot creating a count-down for Flinn backers.

If Ms. Bell’s lead holds up, the best guess among second-guessers attributes her victory to her Republican party affiliation, meaning sufficient GOP’rs simply voted the “party line” to give her sufficient advantage to overcome Gene Flinn’s recognized popularity in most of southwestern Dade, if not Homestead itself. That was the Herald’s conclusion as well as that of local TV commentator Michael Putney. Of course, the pundits rarely rely on anything more than an educated guess, as do most politicians as well.

Cutler Bay folks are being spared a runoff election since mayoral candidate Ed MacDougall got more than enough votes to win flat-out, as did Mary Ann Mixon in the race for the town council’s Seat 1. The council will have to pick a new vice mayor, though, either from amongst themselves or from potential outside candidates. Then that person will have to run for the seat at the next country-wide election, which might be sooner than you think given Norman Braman’s recall move against County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. Stay tuned, folks!

Palmetto Bay on the other hand will have a run-off election, probably on November 16, run by the county election officials, for both the mayor’s race and the District 1 seat. It will be Stanczyk vs. England for mayor, and Fiore vs. Gerald for Seat 1. With four people running for mayor and three for seat one in the Nov. 2nd election, a run-off isn’t surprising. Just when those good folks who’ve been wearing out their shoe-leather campaigning thought they rest a bit, some of them find out they aren’t done yet. The numbers of folks who get out to vote for run-off elections usually drops compared to those who turn out the first time around, due to reduced enthusiasm and to the fact that many supporters of failed candidates lose interest. But it’s still just as important for good representative government that the majority of people take part in the election process, so be sure you get up, get out and go vote. ‘Nuf said.

Energy-conscious Commissioner Joe A. Martinez has proposed a resolution directing the County Mayor to use energy-efficient roofs in all solicitations for the construction of new public and affordable housing with a contract value over $1 million in the county. Requirements are to be based on the U.S. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.

Better hurry if you want to enter “The Perfect Side Dish” holiday recipe contest hosted by Simon Malls in Florida as a preview to “What Can You Do?,” a statewide food drive Nov. 20-Dec. 14 in collaboration with the Florida Association of Food Banks. At-home and professional chefs are invited to submit their favorite holiday side dish recipes using canned ingredients by Wed., Nov. 10 for the chance to win a $100 American Express® Simon Giftcard®, plus a $100 gift certificate from Pollo Tropical. Recipes for “The Perfect Side Dish” can be submitted via email at Recipe submission forms can be found at Guest Service desks of participating Simon Malls (like Dadeland) or can be downloaded online at All entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 10, 2010. For detailed contest rules and additional information, call 1-800-998- 6753 or visit htm.

The County’s MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) which gets its share of flack in news stories is holding its annual PSA (Public Service Announcement) in to inform citizens in 2010 about the county’s Bike & Ride Program, assisting cyclists on extended trips just about anywhere in Miami-Dade on Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover routes. For details to enter a 30-second PSA to educate the community, call 305-375-4507 or visit

Smile-of-the-day. We regularly troll for news leads and herewith, the news of the week from an always-reliable West Kendall source: “…not sure what else is new. We don’t have the non-zoning meetings, and miss the information we would get from them. Just visited the park with my two little ones, saw a little snake, and one little girl was doing a park visit for her second grade class and she took the snake home.”

Thought of the Day:

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.

— Sir William Osler

Richard Yager and Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column.

Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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