Stephen Zarzecki is running for Seat One on the Cutler Bay Town Council in the Nov. 2 election.
A longtime county resident, Zarzecki explained why he is seeking elective office in Cutler Bay.
“A retired engineer, I believe that I can bring a diligent and analytical approach to the council,” Zarzecki said. “And as a retiree, I can be more than a part-time councilmember and will take the time necessary to ensure that the council achieves what the people of Cutler Bay expect from their local government.”
Zarzecki, 63, was born in California while his Army surgeon father awaited overseas duty in the Pacific theater, after which his family returned to Dade County. He is divorced and father of a grown daughter and previously lived in Coral Gables. He moved to Cutler Bay in 2007.
Zarzecki graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and earned a Master of Science from the University of Miami. At the UF he was a four-year letter winner in swimming and a member of four consecutive Southeastern Conference championship teams.
An avid conservationist, outdoorsman, fisherman, and boater, Zarzecki had a 35- year career as an electronic design engineer at several companies, including both established global and entrepreneurial startups. He retired from Raymarine Inc. in 2006.
He said he believes that his experience would greatly assist him in representing the people of Cutler Bay.
“In addition to my engineering background, as an active, third generation, lifelong resident of Dade County, I can and will use my experience to ensure that we learn from the mistakes and the successes of our neighboring communities, and avoid similar mistakes in our future growth,” Zarzecki said.
When asked what his goals are and what he hopes to accomplish if he is elected, Zarzecki spoke of several things that he considers important.
“First and foremost, the best interests of the citizens of Cutler Bay are my No. 1 priority,” Zarzecki said. “I will work to bring transparency to the town’s financial records, to improve communications, and to encourage public participation in local government.
“I will work to amend the Growth Management Plan to ensure that the neighborhood business area on Old Cutler Road has a bright and viable future, and to preserve and protect our quality of life, the value of our homes, and the unique and desirable character of the heart of our community along this historic road.”
Zarzecki said he believes that the people of Cutler Bay need to feel that their government truly reflects their needs and desires, and to believe that their government truly is a government “by the people and for the people.”
“I believe that the people of Cutler Bay need to feel that their best interests are the top priority of their local government, and to feel that they are getting their money’s worth from their taxes,” Zarzecki said. “Words and promises alone will not accomplish these objectives. Only actions of the elected representatives of the people can accomplish confidence and satisfaction in our Town government.”
Zarzecki has no prior political experience, but he is a strong advocate of environmental issues and believes that properly controlled growth must not compromise the quality and character of the community. He said he believes that the council must be assertive in fulfilling its duty to set policy that represents the needs, desires, and vision of the people of Cutler Bay.
“I ask for the support of the people of Cutler Bay in accomplishing these objectives,” he said. “And I ask the people of Cutler Bay to support candidates for other elected offices who also aspire to protect and preserve Old Cutler Road.”