Mayor Ed MacDougall of Cutler Bay was not always interested in politics. His desire to be civically engaged, however, led him on the path to be the town’s mayor. MacDougall now is running for the Congressional seat in District 26.
MacDougall always has exhibited a passion to serve. Before his involvement in the town government of Cutler Bay, MacDougall was in the armed forces.
“During the Vietnam War, I went into the Army. It was my first calling,” MacDougall said. “My family has a long military history, all the way back to the Civil War. So I certainly was going to serve, and I did.”
After returning from the war without a college degree, MacDougall joined the Miami- Dade Police Department. He continued his policing career over four years, being promoted to sergeant before he left. MacDougall was happy to be serving at home.
“From a kid, to police work, to mayor, I’ve always been a South Dade guy,” MacDougall said.
Following his studies of criminal justice and constitutional law at Florida International University, MacDougall worked as a uniform officer, patrol officer, motorcycle officer, undercover narcotics officer and police detective.
Having carried a gun everyday since he was 18 years old, MacDougall decided to explore his other interests.
“Although I still carry my badge, I always knew that I had business in my blood,” MacDougall said.
In 1981 MacDougall opened his real estate and title insurance company called Choice One. He remains the chair and owner of the company, working alongside some of his family members.
“My children grew up to run the family business. They allow me to handle the political side of the company, but every once and a while they come in and ask me a question,” MacDougall said.“It’s important for us to be close together. Family is the cornerstone of life, as far as I’m concerned.”
When elected mayor from vice mayor in November 2010, MacDougall understood that his involvement in Cutler Bay would take a different turn.
“It was a brand new city and it was kind of shocking,” MacDougall said. “I quickly realized that there’s a difference between being on the civic side, wanting things to be done, and being on the political aside, having the ability to make changes.”
Being in a political position, however, does come with its challenges. Making sure that the citizens of Cutler Bay respect the law of the town is of utmost important to the mayor
“It’s always a challenge for me to make sure that our government is respected as an honest government. It is essential that we respond to the people and keep any kind of corruption away,” MacDougall said.
As mayor, MacDougall seeks to foster his two passions regarding educational improvement and environmental concerns. After a construction plan costing $3 million from the treasury, the town welcomes its newest premium high school, Cutler Bay Academy.
“I believe that education is the absolute cornerstone of any successful democratic society,” MacDougall said. “Several years ago, I said that I wanted to leave one legacy behind in Cutler Bay aside from the normal duties. I hoped to bring a quality high school here and we’ve been able to accomplish that.”
Regarding his enthusiasm for the environment, MacDougall shares that the town is scheduled to begin the third phase of a restoration project for the wetlands in the near future.
“I think we are an actual incubator for the solutions we will need to resolve due to the fact that we are a huge coastline of wetlands,” the mayor said.
The mayor’s current project involves working on his campaign for the Congressional seat in District 26. The mayor hopes to be elected so that he can continue to serve the South Florida community.
“There’s a reason why I’m running for this seat. I grew up here; my whole life is in South Dade. There’s been so much corruption down here. I’m going to bring some integrity back to that seat,” MacDougall said.
Being a “South Dade man,” with much experience in several areas of law enforcement makes MacDougall the ideal candidate.
“I think you can take the principals of business with the principals of honest and good government, and you put those together. That is the key to an ideal democratic society,”
MacDougall said. Mayor MacDougall hopes to be elected in order to continue making positive changes in his community. He not only is a public servant and successful businessman, but also a humble family man, asking every person to address him as his grandchildren do, “Mac.”