Voting is Zealously Discouraged by the City of Coral Gables

Scheduling off-year elections in affect suppresses voter participation and the wider expression of views on important policy and development issues in Coral Gables.

The election issues today are, especially, the extent of overdevelopment, its density, increasing traffic, zoning code changes, annual budgeting and management, the implementation of public security, paying for unfunded pensions…

The overwhelming power of large campaign contributors on a narrow voter base and over residents affected by city policies, limits the valid, fair participation of candidates who advocate change.

Also, because of the election date there are really very few debate and information events for the candidates and the general public (with coronavirus limitations). Paying for TV ads, mail flyers and minimal resident visits are costly.

City commissioners have had multiple opportunities to move the city election date to November to coincide with state and federal elections. Therefore, commissioners themselves are responsible for suppressing the vote to their own favor and reelection and the strong monied interests.

The presence of a feisty opposition critical of commission decisions has been revealed in 2020 and 2021 by the mayor’s then frequent and highly criticized practice of cutting off and insulting residents who spoke against the commission.

This same mayor led a charter review committee a few years back that refused to move the election date.

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

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