Cutler Bay voters will have to decide on Nov. 2 which candidate will fill the District 1 seat vacated by current Councilmember Tim Meerbott. Meerbott decided not to seek re-election to his seat and instead is a candidate in the mayor’s race.
Cutler Ridge residents Steve Zarzecki and Mary Ann Mixon are vying for the seat, which requires residency in District 1. However, voters throughout the town will choose the winner.
Zarzecki, a retired electronic design engineer, has been involved in Cutler Bay activities since his retirement in 2007. Mixon, a real estate agent, worked for the town last year under a grant to provide education to the public about recycling.
We are impressed with the enthusiasm shown by Zarzecki for his chosen town. He has been a vocal critic of the town’s building code, which would permit four-story buildings along a stretch of historic Old Cutler Road.
In 2008 Zarzecki presented a citizen’s petition to the Cutler Bay Council. He wanted the voters to determine if the town should purchase 36 acres of farmland for a park. The council rejected the request due to anticipated costs of $20 million for the property.
Zarzecki attends most of Cutler Bay’s council meetings and workshops. He is to be commended for participating in all of the public hearings on the town’s Comprehensive Development Master Plan. He offers an analytical approach to issues that has been lacking from the council. We believe he intends to participate in the town as a fulltime councilmember. As a former project manager, Zarzecki knows the value of organization and time lines.
A member of the Concerned Citizens of Cutler Ridge, Zarzecki was tapped for the town’s Citizen’s Advisory Board for Communications. We appreciate his involvement and “sweat equity” in a number of volunteer activities: a playground build for Gulfstream Elementary School; removal of exotic invasive species of plants along SW 87th Avenue to protect native flora and fauna, and barbecue chef at the United Methodist Church’s annual cookout.
We believe Zarzecki will not require much in the way of a learning curve to become current with the town’s ongoing projects and concerns.
Mixon only began attending council meetings following the announcement of her candidacy. She wants to be an advocate for environmental education. We encourage her participation at council meetings to become better informed.
The clear choice in this race appears to be Zarzecki. The Cutler Bay News endorses Steve Zarzecki for Council Seat 1.