The readers’ forum

New commission should govern for all of Miami Beach


In his Nov. 29 letter, Neisen Kasdin asserts that, “The recent Miami Beach election [with no Hispanics elected] was about reform and cleaning up the corruption and mismanagement of recent years.”

As a Hispanic resident of Miami Beach since 1979 I dispute this biased historical claim. Have we all forgotten that we had a former mayor land in jail?

Mayor Alex Daoud served his prison term and then wrote a tell-all book about the political shenanigans that have plagued Miami Beach politics for decades.

Whether we are headed into an era of effective reform with more honest public servants with this commission serving all of Miami Beach residents equally is yet to be seen. However, as a preliminary sign after the election, a new 15-by-6-foot Menorah has just sprung up on public land in front of the 53rd Street parking lot. Also, for over 15 years, 30-feet-tall, wooden Ritual Poles (2 x 4’s strung together by string) have delineated the Miami Beach coastline in some type of religious observation — even though these poles pose an imminent threat if snapped by storm winds and turned into pointed projectiles.

The culturally diverse electorate that Kasdin mentions voted in the new commission hoping for non-sectarian and equal representation and would prefer to admire the lush tropical greenery and natural coastline of this beautiful city rather than the religious symbols of any particular group.

Let us reform Miami Beach government by keeping religion out of government, and let us hope the new commission will be wise and fair enough to bring in effective changes and not a new version of the endemic corruption, mismanagement and abuse to which Miami Beach residents have been subjected for decades.

Graciela Catasus, Miami Beach

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