With 2014 just beginning, bringing new possibilities and opportunities as well as ongoing issues of concern, the members of the Cutler Bay Town Council were contacted and each asked what his or her primary goal was in the year ahead. All five responded and expressed what they most want to focus on in 2014.
Mayor Ed MacDougall said he is concerned about the school system and its impact on the town.
“We began our journey to incorporation well over 10 years ago,” MacDougall said. “It has been my mission to improve our local schools for most of these 10 years. My last year as mayor will be spent continuing this mission. I truly believe education is the keystone to building a successful society.
“With the help of my colleagues, the citizens and the school administration my last year as mayor will be spent focusing on education. Parks, police, roads and the safety of our citizens are a duty to which we must always focus. But, the passion for improved schools will live on, through our future generations.”
Vice Mayor Ernest Sochin said that his “wish list” involves helping commerce in the community.
“I would like to see a new director of Community Development hired that would make every effort to assist new businesses attempting to locate in Cutler Bay and make their move as easy and welcoming as possible,” Sochin said. “We on the council should make it our business to do the same. This should also apply to things like our former Farmer’s Market.
“As an aside, we recently saw a parade of close to 100 golf carts driving through our streets. I hope and pray that we can get legislation allowing them to use SW 87th Avenue to get to the beautiful Black Point marina and restaurant.”
Councilmember Peggy Bell said that she also has the school system as her primary goal in the year ahead.
“I see our top priority for 2014 as improving education in the town by building on the success of our initial investment in the new Cutler Bay High School,” Bell said. “We will continue our relationship with the school board and staff to identify areas to improve upon, to attract new students and families to our town.”
Councilmember Mary Ann Mixon said she has as her top priority the task of getting residents more involved in the workings of the town.
“The main goal I’d like to see for the town is more public participation,” Mixon said. “I’d like to encourage our residents to attend our Flood Plain Mitigation Plan committee meetings. Once finalized, this plan will ultimately save our residents money on their flood insurance premiums.
“Additionally, I’d look forward to updating the town’s strategic plan, which was last updated in 2006. Updating the strategic plan will include a series of public meetings in which residents will provide their direct input regarding their visions and goals for the town’s future.”
Councilmember Sue Ellen Loyzelle said that she is pleased with what they have accomplished so far and wants to focus on projects that will benefit the community
“I am looking forward to 2014 and all of the hope that it will bring to our town,” Loyzelle said. “I am happy with our progress on all of our beautification projects and can’t wait to begin with the updates to our Strategic Master Plan and Transportation Master Plan. It is my hope to incorporate the results of our Senior Needs Assessment into these plans so we are prepared to help our senior residents to age in place in Cutler Bay.”
All expressed their best wishes for the new year.