It’s right around the corner

The election in the City of Pleasant Living is just some 14 months away and so far there are no real contenders to take on the triumuvirate comprised of the King mayor himself, Phil “the Green Professor” Stoddard, Josh, “the Runner” Leibman and Bobby “the Tree Guy” Welsh.

Yup, seems like yesterday, that these three fine gentlemen saw it in the hearts to serve the citizens of South Miami. Now they get to run for office once again, to try and claim their spot in the annals of history.

The next election is set for February 2016 and based upon what’s been bantered about the community; these three folks might just dance right back into office without much opposition. They may like that, but when candidates campaign it’s good for all of us, to see and hear from people from all sides of the proverbial coin.

Now, on to the future growth of South Miami: Lots of conversation about the Shops of Sunset Place being for sale and it seems as though there are at least three very well qualified buyers ready to take over the much maligned and struggling mall.

I hear that the Casa Larios deal should be done by the end of January and that there are at least two other restaurants in some form of transition, with new owners coming in, or the doors being closed forever.

The conversation is getting louder about the city rezoning the city hall property and then selling it to a developer, who would put up a new building and have a variety of tenants including City Hall. Hmm… not a bad idea. Speaking of rezoning, the old city inspection station may have a new life, just as soon as the commission gets back from their imaginary vacation and rezone this piece of property, which is immediately east of the post office. Golly gee city officials, what a great idea. It will surely help set the stage for some well needed revitalization of the industrial part of the city.

The dental office at 7311 SW 62 Ave, which has been for sale for a long long time, reportedly has a new owner and to know ones surprise, it happens to be in the Baptist Health System family, which includes South Miami Hospital. The hospital group had previously acquired the adjoining piece as to the east, which faces part of city hall as well as the property to the south. Nice acquisition and when the construction is done, it will help provide the space to bring more quality health care providers to town.

And let’s see… The conversation is getting louder about the southern most vacant piece of the Metro Rail Station. It’s a pretty big piece with a footprint that would allow 6-8 stories of offices, retail and living units right there on the corner of Sunset Drive and US1. BTW, there are some whispers about a hotel even being built as part of the project.

A somber and moving ceremony and vigil was recently held at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in commemoration of “National Homeless Persons Memorial Day”, remembering those people that died on the streets the previous year. This year, 70 homeless people died on the streets and that is down from 102 who passed last year. These deaths occurred despite an elaborate homeless program administered by the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust and service providers like Camillus House and the Chapman Partnership. Camillus House has a healthcare arm as well and participants at the solemn vigil rang a bell representing each person’s death. Many of these people being veterans and every December this ceremony takes place in our community and similar services are held in 150 other cities around the nation.

The public is being invited to a Transportation Summit being held on Jan. 22 at Miami-Dade College by the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) created to watch over how a half cent sales tax for transportation enhancements is being spent when voters approved the countywide sales tax back in 2002 an brought in $228 million last year and that was a 5.5 percent increase in revenue but the tax has not been the silver bullet to traffic congestion many first thought it would be and much of the money is now being used to cover debt obligations and the County Commission in 2007 unified the funding stream with the county’s transportation obligations and the CITT is not as independent as was originally planned and all there items must first be approved by the County Commission and the Trust’s executive director is one of highest paid employees at county hall round $200,000 and public critics comp-lain the CITT has been co-opted by the county administration and transportation improvements have fallen short from what was promised when the issue was first brought to voters and this Summit is a combination venting session by the public and an effort to prioritize what is most important to the public. The meeting will be held at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2 Ave on January 22 from 8:30 am -6pm. For more information call Ann Carmouze at 305-375-1357.

Ethics Commission press release: Citizens considering running for elected office can resolve to do it properly by attending the first Campaign Skills Seminar of 2015, sponsored by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. Votes are scheduled in more than a dozen cities throughout the county in the coming year. The two-hour seminar takes place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 9, 2015, in the Coral Gables City Commission Chambers. Speakers — including representatives from the Ethics Commission and the Elections Department — will provide essential information on fundraising and record keeping to candidates, campaign treasurers, volunteers and anyone else who wants to understand the legal and ethical obligations of seeking public office. The event is free and open to the public.

Attorneys can earn Continuing Legal Education credits from the Florida Bar.

The seminar is being held on January 09, 3:00 p.m. at the Coral Gables City Commission Chambers, 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, Fl. 33134

For more information or to reserve a seat, call Robert Thompson at 305-350- 0630 or email

The Ethics Commission was created in 1996 as an independent agency with advisory and quasi-judicial powers. It is composed of five members, serving staggered terms of four years each. Through a program of education and outreach, the Commission seeks to empower the community and bolster public trust. The last three items were provided by the watchdogreport. net.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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