Coral Gables Election: Take Away on Candidates Group Three

Group Three Race:

Javier Baños, attorney and CPA

Alex Bucelo, attorney who has served on city boards

Kirk Menendez, community activist and public affairs expert

Phillip “PJ” Mitchell, attorney and business

The candidates for Group 3 draw contrasts in 

ages (one especially young); 

experience (all with some experience in boards and activities in the city, some more than others), 

business orientation (no university professors or retirees here),

for zoning mostly favoring keeping a traditional Miracle Mile (no real specifics about overdevelopment except it is bad), 

except for parks, no or little concern for the full environmental impact of overdevelopment and climate change; 

some concern for unfunded pension liabilities (although would be fixed at the cost of good city employees and staffing); 

some confusion or overpromising about the real power and influence of a commission on development and financing (legislators are not managers);

very little recognition of the environment and climate change in the future of Coral Gables (one of the most costly challenging issues for the residents of Coral Gables and South Florida);

confused notions about the responsibility and influence of a single commissioner on the operating, administration, budget, scale and density of development of the city;

afraid to respond clear either for or against “kneeling” issue of the police chiefs during the BLM protests (an issue about systemic racism and police mistreatment and abuse of blacks)

An overview of the candidates in terms of depth of experience and willing make change are

Messrs. Banos and/or Mitchell are clearly the best options

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

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