My Summary: Candidates for Commissioner at the Candidate Forum (2)

CANDIDATES FOR COMMISSIONER (My Quick Overview of their Comments; I Apologize for Any Deficiencies in These Comments; Please See Coral Gables TV)


  • Unclear about Miracle Mile project, says city needs more night life, let taxpayers pay for the project;  on pensions, favors 401(k) for employees; he would promote Coral Gables with new business; CG should balance schools and and the number of residents.  Favors Building and  Zoning reforms;  don’t increase property taxes, and don’t use property taxes as a business incentive.


  • Has serious reservations about Miracle Mile project, against cutting parking, favors renovation of sidewalks, says needs more trees; favors bringing in a department store to Miracle mile; favors 401k and cut number of employees; concerned about CGs preferences in contracting local firms since CG firms might be cut out by other cities; favors education for CG, and says really CGs can’t do much education; Building and Zoning needs ombudsman; favor lower taxes for business.


  • No to Miracle Mile project, city can’t afford it and will take too long; unfunded pension contribution biggest problem;  401(k) plans should be for new employees;  would work to bring in business by annexing new areas into the city.  Against Somerset School rezoning; says Building and Zoning Department is not that bad; favors more money on maintaining the city, maintenance of city owned  assets;


  • Favors bringing Miracle Mile updating, more dining outside, favors dealing first with the pension issue and not spend money on Miracle Mile right now, put it off; pensions need to look at different alternatives, doesn’t have a specific proposal, defined contribution is probably better; preferences for contracting local business is ok; supports the schools; would be more aggressive in consolidation Bluilding and Zoning; favors reducing budget and cutting taxes.


  • Favors the full Miracle Mile project and says it won’t cost the citizens; he says that the downtown pays 50% of the revenues;  pensions are a serious problem, put new employees on 401(k) plans?; he would promote more businesses that are needed here; Somerset School expansion, might support this it seems; Building and Zoning Department  needs consolidation, need to revamp IT Department and possible outsourcing; don’t need financial incentives for businesses; keep employees to sustain city services.


  • Against Miracle Mile because we have neglected historical reservations, fix the sidewalk; we will be liable for the $14m;  pension is a big problem and need a big change using 401(k), employee contributions increased; local venders could get an advantages with Coral Gables; Somerset School has to be a harmony with the community; Building and Zoning should have 30 day building permit process; the city attracts companies to the city, don’t need special incentives.


  • Favors Miracle Mile project, favors the use CGs money, interest rates are low and project should not increase taxes to taxpayers in CG; Has a solid plan for pensions and city has made big progress with impasse with labor unions; city has created a pension rate stabilization fund, $3.3 million each year; favors more city contracts for local businesses and this is in ordinance form;  CG tries to work with board of education on education issues; Building and Zoning Department going in the right direction; Favors economic incentives for businesses and they depend on quality of services of the city.


  • Questions Miracle Mile project and trolley money could help pay for Miracle Mile; pension problem is because of low earning in the stock market; property taxes are too high on low rise building; use abandoned properties and use rezoning for private schools; pass Building and Zoning to the county.  Favors incentives for business, lower property taxes for low rise bulding;

About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

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