Challenger Ralph Cabrera is running for the office of mayor of the City of Coral Gables in the election on Apr. 14.
Cabrera served on the Coral Gables City Commission from 2001 to 2013 and prior to that was active on several high-profile city boards and committees, serving as chair of the Recreation/Youth Advisory Board between 1991 and 1993, as vice chair of the Board of Adjustment between 1995 and 1999 and as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board from 1999 to 2001. Cabrera has lived in Coral Gables since he was age 7 when his parents fled the Castro regime in Cuba, where he was born. He graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School in 1977 and holds a BA in Business Administration from Florida International University.
Cabrera is president of Cabrera Benefits Group Inc., a Coral Gables commercial insurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting firm. Cabrera has a number of civic affiliations.
When asked what he would do during his first 100 days after being elected mayor, Cabrera responded:
“As mayor, my immediate focus will be the two issues Coral Gables residents say are most important: crime and development. My goal will be to establish a monthly personal report from the police chief publicly before the commission on the status of all public safety initiatives. In addition, working with my colleagues, I will instruct the administration to prioritize police officer recruitment to fill the almost 20 vacancies in our department and to coordinate a meeting with FPL to explore any and all alternatives for improving street lighting in some of the darkest neighborhoods throughout our city.
“I will reach out to the mayors of the cities of Miami, West Miami, Pinecrest and South Miami to ensure our police departments collaborate in unison throughout our borders. I will also explore all potential funding mechanisms to enhance the Crime Watch program.
“I will request to be briefed by the administration on the 18 pending development projects in the pipeline and the possible impact on traffic, public safety and infrastructure. I will review requests to eliminate building setbacks and variances requested for parking requirements, increased height and commercial intensity. Particularly, on projects bordering residential neighborhoods to ensure affected residents have been reached out to.
“And I will work with the commission to set policy for planned development standards to make certain our services are not burdened. Our city should, indeed, be enhanced by anything new. The city can make demands; we can hold developers to higher standards, and we will when I am elected mayor.”
For information visit his campaign website at www.ralphcabrera2015.com.