South Miami Commissioners invite businesses to share new ideas at Jan. 12 workshop

Amy Donner, President-Red Sunset Merchants Association

City Hall wants to start the new year with some fresh new ideas. Downtown business owners, managers, and property owners are invited to join the South Miami City Commission at a Downtown Workshop, Jan. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m., to talk through wants, needs, ideas, and concerns at City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive.

Hats off to Commissioner Gabriel Edmond for spearheading this opportunity. Typically, city leaders reach out to constituents and stakeholders at meetings hosted by business groups such as the Red Sunset Merchant Association (RSMA), South Miami Property Owners Association, and Chamber South. But after he attended one such event recently hosted by SoMi Magazine, Commissioner Edmond was inspired to create this city meeting where business owners and commercial property owners could speak to the entire commission all at once.

As soon as it was decided the best forum would be the Commission Chambers, City Manager Steven Alexander put the wheels in motion and slated this first Downtown Workshop.

Mayor Philip Stoddard followed up with a letter to Red-Sunset merchants and property owners stating, “The entire city commission sincerely wishes to hear from you on how together we can meet the challenges of growing our business community. Many projects are being discussed within the community at this time: revitalization of The Shops at Sunset, signage for businesses in the area, a transit circulator in the shopping and dining district, street-scaping, and other aesthetic improvements.”

South Miami resident Ivan Mladenovic, past president and board member of the RSMA, says he is looking forward to attending the meeting. He opened the first Tech Bar at 7356 Red Road in South Miami in 2009. “Much has changed since then, and we need to keep up. Hopefully, the workshop will be a catalyst to create a shared vision for this important part of South Miami.”

Mayor Stoddard shared in this sentiment, noting that as South Miami observes its 90th Anniversary in 2017, this meeting may serve to lay the groundwork for a strategic 10-year plan for the downtown-shopping area leading into the city’s centenary year in 2027.

This Downtown Workshop will be a unique City Commission meeting, in that public remarks will be limited to downtown business owners/managers and commercial property owners only. All other interested parties are encouraged to attend as observers.

The Downtown Workshop is Thursday, Jan. 12, 7 – 9 p.m., at City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive. For information, call City Hall at 305-663-6338 or visit Contact the RSMA via e-mail at

EDITOR’S NOTE: Be advised that regular South Miami City Commission meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month  These regularly scheduled meetings meetings begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive, South Miami, FL.

Amy Donner is President of the Red Sunset Merchants Association. The RSMA mission is to promote the general welfare of the area, to aid in the beautification of the Red Road/Sunset Drive area; and to anticipate and provide for future requirements of the area in connection with traffic, transportation, building, beautification and marketing. 


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