“We need to make sure those projects are initiated and executed,” Romero said.
Wayne Slaton, 61, wants to take back the mayor’s seat to refocus Miami Lakes.
“I’m really running for the office to get the office back on track,” Slaton said.
Slaton was the town’s first mayor and held his seat from 2001 until 2008. He said he feels that Miami Lakes has lost track of its goals.
“The town had really drifted away from the original vision that we had,” Slaton said.
His biggest concern is regaining trust from residents who have lost faith in the way the town has been run.
“With all the upheaval that we’ve had in the government, people have kind of lost trust in the government as a whole,” Slaton said.
Lorenzo Cobiella, 34, wants to make the town more accessible for the elderly and those with disabilities.
“I strongly believe in the need for the elderly and those with special needs to have a voice on the council,” Cobiella said.
He has been active with several organizations that work with both the disabled and the elderly, including the Miami Lakes elderly affairs committee, Alliance for Aging and Hope for Autism.
Though he has only lived in Miami Lakes for six years, Cobiella grew up nearby in Hialeah and went to school and worked in Miami Lakes. He also moved his law practice to the town.
“There was always a respect for rules and regulations, and there was a pride that neighbors had,” Cobiella said.
As a council member, he hopes to have an open-door policy so that he can communicate with residents.
“We need to make sure the town can evolve,” he said.
Frank Mingo, 53, said he wants to ensure that any future plans for annexation require a resident vote.
Mingo, who would answer questions through email, said he wants to amend the town charter to mandate voter approval for any changes to municipal boundaries.
“The present situation where the town council has the lone annexation approval authority is not good public policy, and I will work hard to make this change,” he said.
Mingo also wants to keep tax rates low and “restore ethics” in the government, including pushing for more transparency. He is intent on preserving the comfortable lifestyle of Miami Lakes.
“I know why we incorporated in the first place, and I have a plan to keep our good quality of life,” Mingo said.
Star Rodriguez, 48, wants to bring a woman to the all-male council and keep the interests of the council focused within Miami Lakes.
“I felt the council was starting to have too many people with outside interests, and I wanted to bring more of a resident’s voice to the council,” Rodriguez said. “I also felt that it was time to bring a woman back and keep the egos at bay a little bit.”
Rodriguez believes there is too much government oversight on resident chair committees that were originally resident-only. The committees changed to require that a council member be lead chair.
“It brought too much of the council in as eyes and ears, but it was supposed to be idea-sharing,” said Rodriguez, who felt that the government oversight made some residents nervous.
Rodriguez, a real-estate agent, also wants to focus on keeping up the high “A” standards of the Miami Lakes schools.
“I feel that keeping the schools strong is directly related to keeping the equity in our homes and taxes low,” Rodriguez said. “Keeping those schools at a high level of performance makes our community desirable.”