Third Best Choices for City Commissioner No. 4

Economist talk about the “first best” (the really best, the optimal), the second best (less than optimal, of which there may be many), but here in Coral Gables we seem to be facing “third best” candidates for commissioner No. 4 (ex-Whithers).


We have Mr. Quesada who has shown is lack of knowledge and, especially, interest and experience in the government of Coral Gables.  Too often he has mentioned his “study” of other local government experiences while he has taken a some vague-I will see positions about the big financial and organizational issues of the city.

We have Mr. Sanabria.  He also has demonstrated very little actual background in the day-to-day issues of the city, but he seems tough enough to deal with city problems.  He has the support of the police union (a negative for me).

We have Mr. Alvarez.  He is a totally unknown quantity and, perhaps, this is why he got the support of the Miami Herald.

We have Mr. Rosenblatt.  He represents essentially the Miracle Mile business district and rehabilitation interest, has campaigned on things like saving the Biltmore, keeping taxes low (are they really “low”), etc.  I think he will be a big spender.

We have Mr. Martin.  Seems to be community-minded.  Has an unfunded, weak campaign.  He is becoming the perennial candidate.

We have Mr. Holmes.  Mr. Miracle Mile himself.  I don’t see that he has a consistent, coherent campaign program or goals for the city.  I don’t understand his positions.

These are truly third best choices, without any evidence that  we will get a strong voice of support for the taxpayer and voter after the election.

None of the candidates has pushed much for openness, transparency and participation (basic democratic values) in government.

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

3 Responses to Third Best Choices for City Commissioner No. 4

  1. whatsup says:

    Here is a link to an email received yesterday from Sanabria, also posted on his campaign website. It is a Pledge from Mr. Sanabria to voters. It pushes and pledges for openness, trannsparency and public participation plus it pledges what the candidate will do for the City., its a remarkable pledge, here is the link.

  2. TheIT says:

    To eliminate any doubts about fuzziness on the part of Sanabria, here is a copy of his superb agenda

    To My Fellow Neighbors, Voters and Taxpayers:
    Below are my “Ten Positions” as my initial “Pledge to the City”

    Position #1 – Taxes and Fees
    As I unequivocally stated at the beginning of my campaign; I will not vote for any Tax or Fee increases.

    I will also put forth a motion to rescind the Fire Fee.

    Position #2 – Transparency and Public Input
    I will oppose any attempts to maintain a veil of secrecy over documents of key importance and ask for the immediate release of the Biltmore audit so the public can be aware of its results and a plan of action be adopted within the next 60 days .

    I will also support public input and involvement at all scheduled Commission meetings.

    Position #3 – Pension Reforms
    I will request that the City release a “white paper” and widely distribute it to the public in fully discussing and outlining the financial liabilities of our current “defined- benefit plan” and what immediate steps can be taken to ensure that pension reforms are adopted within the next 12 months.

    Position # 4 – 30-Day Building Permit Process
    In the first meeting of my term, I will ask the City Manager to give us a “fast-track” 30-day building permit scenario so all residential and commercial owners are relieved of the lengthy and complex process of getting a building permit in our City. This can be done without affecting all the safeguards we have and we can expedite our issuances and eliminate burdensome backlogs and irritating processes.

    Position #5 – Historic Preservation and Promotion of the Arts
    Within 90 days after taking office; I will request that the City draft an action plan to dedicate all possible efforts in maintaining, up-keeping and restoring all historic buildings, monuments, gateways and fountains that are currently in need of attention. I further pledge to personally join in any outside fundraising efforts to raise monies towards this important goal.

    Position #6 – Sustainability, the Greening of Coral Gables, Efficiencies
    Within the first six months, or earlier, I will ask that a current, qualified staff member be designated to overview sustainability policies with the goal of having the City do its “best efforts” to be an ecologically responsible municipal entity that can look at ways that we can save monies while at the same time improve our environmental quality of life.

    Position #7 – The “30 for 25” Parking meter rates
    At my first meeting I will ask that the City adopt a rate change for parking meters, especially those fronting Miracle Mile, to allow for “30 minutes for a quarter” and thus relieve the stress of shoppers and diners who constantly worry about the onerous $18 ticket that should not be a dissuading factor when we consider going shopping or the theater or the fine restaurants in our beautiful downtown. That plan also includes a plan and implementation to fix our sidewalks as fast as possible.

    Position #8 – Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Expansion
    With the terrible nuclear incidents that just happened in Japan; I will immediately ask my colleagues in the Commission to adopt a resolution objecting to the proposed nuclear-reactor expansion of Turkey Point under new and relaxed safety guidelines that could greatly endanger hundreds of thousands of people in South Florida.

    Position #9 – “Meet your Government”

    I will schedule periodic meetings throughout the entire City where citizens can meet with me and public officials and let their concerns and issues be heard. I will come to you and hear you.

    Position #10 – “Getting Things Done”
    I am driven as a “results-oriented” person who has been blessed to serve with your support and common philosophies and goals. I intend to pursue all of the above plus any other worthwhile and positive efforts to continue to make this City the best and finest and you have my word on that.

    I am a team player and consensus builder that will seek unity of purpose from all my colleagues in the City Commission for the common good of us all.

    I humbly ask for your support on Tuesday, April 12th.

    Vote #40 for Gonzalo Sanabria.

    Please share this message with your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues in Coral Gables.

    Thank You.


    Gonzalo Sanabria

    Candidate, City of Coral Gables Commissioner, Group 4
    Please log onto my website at

    If you do not wish to receive any further campaign emails please reply to & your email address will be promptly removed.

  3. SMcG says:

    These iitems mostly appears already on this blog.

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