Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora has always understood the economic importance of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach. Each year the mayor of Basel, Switzerland, and other public officials attend the art fair. It is expected that these visits be reciprocated and, each year in Basel, an event is held commemorating and celebrating this important relationship. Every mayor of Miami Beach and numerous past and present commissioners have traveled to Basel, Switzerland, since Art Basel Miami Beach commenced in 2002.
Tens of thousands of people from throughout the world visit our community, patronizing our hotels and restaurants. Art Basel is the equivalent economically to bringing a Super Bowl to Miami Beach without any public subsidy or tax dollars.
Commissioner Gongora is being attacked for his visits to Basel, Switzerland, where he represented the residents of Miami Beach. He should be applauded rather than criticized for his efforts on behalf of the community.
It is for this reason, and many others, that I join the Miami Herald in its support of Michael Gongora for mayor of Miami Beach.
Norman Braman, Miami Beach