Jeannett Slesnick is running for the office of mayor of the City of Coral Gables in the Apr. 9 election.
Slesnick, elected on Apr. 14, 2015 as a city commissioner, is a longtime resident of Coral Gables and always has been involved actively in the community. Slesnick, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Florida in 1972, has pursued a career in real estate and after 25 successful years with Kerdyk and EWM real estate companies became a broker and formed her own company in 2006, Slesnick and Jochem LLP.
If elected, what would you do in the first 100 days?
“Be fully briefed by the city administration to be brought up to date on all pending matters. Start building bridges to the other members of the commission to create a collegial working environment. Hold “listening sessions” (focus groups) to encourage citizens to freely speak their minds about key issues like the pace of commercial development. Based on the briefings and the listening sessions, publish a work plan for the Mayor’s Office outlining the policies that I would like to shepherd along with the commission’s support during the two-year term. One specific matter that may still need immediate attention and is long overdue for resolution: Resolving any remaining issues impacting the building of the new downtown facilities.”
What motivated you to run for office?
“I believe that the current mayor is out of touch with his constituents. He thinks that granting exceptions to the current Master Plan and Zoning Code to allow more height and mass is of no significance and that over-development does not negatively impact our quality of life. He believes that adding a significant number of living units to buildings above the number allowed by code has no impact on the level of traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods. I disagree with both these faulty assumptions.
I do not think that the current mayor displayed the leadership that was needed to bring the City Manager/Police Chief dispute to a timely resolution, which would have saved the city and residents the aggravation, consternation and the ill-will that led to a messy and expensive conclusion.”
Why do you think you would be the best candidate for the position?
“Throughout my time of public service, I have been honest, straight forward and vocal about my opposition to commercial development which exceeds the boundaries of the Master Plan and the Zoning Code. I support good development and good developers (most of whom are fellow residents) that care about the unique quality of the Gables. They realize that by adhering to our city guidelines their properties will be more valuable and will keep the City Beautiful from becoming a “concrete canyon.”
“I care about my fellow citizens and will be open and welcoming to hearing their concerns. During my two years as city commissioner I consistently demonstrated my willingness to work with the administration to find solutions to the day-to-day problems faced by residents. Phone calls and emails were always answered in a timely and helpful manner, and my door was always open. I believe city residents will find my attitude as mayor to be a welcome change in government.”