He would also like to establish a “mini City Hall” in North Beach.
“The residents need to have some place to go to take care of their needs,” he said.
Matti Herrera Bower
Born in Cuba, Bower was the first woman and the first Hispanic elected mayor in Miami Beach. She has served six years in the post, and previously served eight years as a city commissioner, until she was term limited.
A widow, Bower has four children and six grandchildren.
Bower’s latest run for commission has been criticized as an abuse of the city’s term-limit laws. She has already served the maximum terms allowed in each office. However, the language of the law allows elected officials to alternate between the offices of mayor and commission even after bumping up against term limits in each office.
“I am not prevented by the law. ... I am within the right of anybody,” Bower said. “I was asked by very many people to run. ... They like the way I represent them.”
If reelected, Bower says she will focus on quality-of-life issues, the moving the city’s convention center project forward and historic preservation.
• Quality of life: Bower says she has worked to expand parks and recreational opportunities, and increased the housing stock available for seniors. She also points to the implementation of advanced International Baccalaureate programs in all Miami Beach schools to show that she has improved quality of life in the city.
The Beach has also built seven new parking garages, with another in the works, to help alleviate chronic parking shortages. While in office, the city also launched a hugely popular bike-sharing program.
Bower says she will continue to work on these issues is reelected.
• Convention center: Bower has been supportive of the current plan and voted in favor of the development team chosen for the project. She says the city should continue on the current path, negotiating the development team chosen by commissioners.
“We’re at a moment now where we need to continue,” she said.
• Historic preservation: Bower is well-known as a staunch proponent of historic preservation in Miami Beach.
Preservationists have been alarmed by a recent uptick of demolitions of historically significant, single-family homes. Bower proposed a temporary moratorium on the demolition of such homes as the city works to change its preservation laws. Bower would like for the city to do an inventory of all the housing in the city that may be considered historic.
“Even if (a home) is demolished, we should at least keep a record of what was on that lot,” Bower said.
Born in Chicago, Malakoff grew up on Miami Beach. She briefly lived in Tokyo while her then-husband was stationed there in the Air Force, but moved back and has lived in the city for 42 years.
She has remarried and has three grown children. Malakoff is the grandmother of one. She has been active in numerous community organizations for years and has been the recipient of many awards, including the Jan Pfeiffer Community Service Award by the chamber of commerce.
She is running for political office for the first time. If elected, Malakoff says she would focus on protecting city-owned land, pension reform and flood prevention.
• Protecting city-owned land: Malakoff says Miami Beach needs to focus on enforcing litter laws on the beach and continue sand restoration projects.