Around Town for the New Year

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We recently hosted the South Miami Breakfast Club, at Casa Cuba Restaurant. The gathering serves up heaping helpings of news and views shared by local thinkers and community leaders. This free-flowing get together provides a great time to catch up, break bread, and share ideas. December’s breakfast featured local business owners, politicians, potential politicians-to-be, and several prominent faces apart of the South Miami community. What better way to enjoy a Tuesday morning than to spend it with individuals who care about the community and self betterment. It’s always a pleasure. Special thanks to Casa Cuba, located at 5859 SW 73 Street in.

Well folks, it’s off to the races, yes siree! The City of South Miami is set for the every two-year ritual of electing the next set of politicians that are supposed to lead our quaint little city.

There are a surprising number of seats on the chopping block this time around, beginning with Mayor Stoddard’s seat, followed by current Commissioner Walter Harris’ seat, and then after deciding that enough is enough, Gab Edmond’s seat, which is referred to as an “open seat”.

I couldn’t be happier that so many people want to serve this go around. For Edmond’s open seat in Commissioner Group I, there are a total of five people duking it out for a chance to serve: Sandra Dimare-Vivar, Luis Gil, Donald Jackson, Velma Palmer, and Gary Robinson.

For the available seat in Commissioner Group IV, there are three people running: the incumbent Walter Harris, Mark Lago, and William Lapene.

Then comes the big enchilada, the king of the mountain, the top seat, which is good for a two-year stint as mayor. There is just one person challenging mayor Phil Stoddard, and that is former mayor Horace Feliu.

This should be very interesting to watch and to see how these guys treat each other, as Horace wants to knock the mayor off his perch and send him back to teaching full-time or maybe to the big out-of-town teaching opportunity, even though the mayor stated publicly that he’s not going to take it. But alas, things might be different if he doesn’t take the mayor crown this time.

Here’s my advice to all the candidates… Stay focused.

As far as restaurants, I hear that there a few of them in South Miami that just might be looking for some new owners. That being said, if you know some budding restaurants that have a good amount of extra money, just tell ‘em to ask around and I’m sure that the sellers will magically appear.

IMG_4039This piece was written by former mayor Feliu

The upsizing of power lines along 62nd avenue is slowly working it’s way across and around 64th street. Many residents are concerned that the increase in power due to greater demands will create a greater health threat.

Aside from what many are seeing as a health issue, the ominous upsizing will undoubtedly affect home and commercial property values in the area.

Approximately 9 years ago, I was quoted as saying that the city needed to plan for burying the lines along US-1, as well as, key locations throughout the city, remembers that his statements were met with opposition.

It would have been politically expedient to go on the FPL attack and lawsuit mode, but I placed the long term benefits of our citizens first. As we know, neighboring cities like Coral Gables and Miami have negotiated burial of power lines along US-1. Sadly, we South Miami taxpayers have been left holding the bag paying for failed litigation strictly for political grandstanding purposes.


Aside from all the politics and local happenings in our city, I’d like to say thank you to all of our readers and supporters. I hope everyone had a beyond enjoyable holiday season. I know I certainly did. It’s easy to take things like running water, electricity, stored food, and let us not forget the almighty power of WiFi and cellphone service for granted. After the minor inconvenience we suffered this past hurricane season, it put things into perspective of how good most of us have it in this country.

Granted, politically there are some things to be said as a nation, but that’s for an entirely different column, and perhaps an extensive thesis paper. The good I’m referring to are the basic necessities of life that we get to experience on a daily basis luxuriously, that not everyone in the world gets to experience. Keeping that in the forefront of my mind helps me stay happy and more importantly, stay focused. Happy new year everyone!

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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

2 Comments on "Around Town for the New Year"

  1. Thank you for your good wishes and good humor. It is so nice to read something you wrote that is not snide or back biting.

  2. When and where is the next breakfast

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