Real visionaries are hard to find, especially when looking at those running for office. Last night, we got a chance to ask questions of some of those running for Miami Beach council and mayor at a public meeting sponsored by the Hibiscus, Palm, and Star Island Homeowners Association in their 1920's era clubhouse. Of the campaign literature we've seen, none showed any ballsy vision. Instead, there was a plethora of platitudes and safe stands against over development and clean streets. That's why we made an effort to press them further, at least on one main question: Where do they stand on Baylink? Although none of them have taken a stand for our monorail solution, we are happy to recommend the following for being open-minded and willing enough to acknowledge the need for some form of Baylink which, in our eyes, is better than nothing when you consider how the sitting Mayor David Dermer did all he could to derail Baylink-- something these candidates reminded us the people of Miami Beach voted for twice-- once in a county-wide referendum and a second time when Dermer tried to kill the initiative by forcing a second vote onto the public. All of them, thank God, are against tearing up the streets to run trolley cars powered by catenary lines.
For Group IV: We recommend Jonah Wolfson. Mr. Wolfson, the youngest one in the race at 32, was the first candidate to respond to our initial question months ago. His attitude gave us hope.
For Group V: We recommend Michael Gongora (incumbent). At 36, he's the second youngest running for office. We were impressed with his poise. He reminds us of a younger Neal Sedaka by the sound of his voice and his appearance, which says way too much about how old we are.
For Group VI: We recommend Deede Weithorn. The woman has an engineering degree from M.I.T. and is a Certified Public Accountant for crying out loud.
If they get elected, with a little cajoling from MVB and others, who knows, maybe a monorail linking Miami with Miami Beach might actually happen in our lifetimes. Stranger things have happened. Especially in this town.
We wish we could recommend someone for mayor but of the two who showed up last night, Mattie Herrera Bower and Simon Cruz, we were disappointed by their lack of vision. As sitting commissioners, they never made us sit up and take notice and they still didn't last night. Both want to hold down growth and make Miami Beach a cleaner city. Yippie-kai-yay.