As chair of the Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation, and on behalf of the undersigned delegation members, I would like to express my disappointment to read the recent Miami Herald article which quoted Eduardo Padron's vitriol as it relates to proposed Miami-Dade College legislation and the legislative process. Our members are longtime supporters of Miami-Dade College and have on numerous occasions worked diligently to defend its interests in Tallahassee, as well as locally. For Dr. Padron to lambast legislators who are engaging in an intellectually honest debate is unbecoming of a college president.
The kind of uncivilized discourse that emanated from such a respected community leader is something we all are compelled to condemn. As legislators, we often disagree-whether it's for ideological reasons or simply due to regional interests for our great state, but in the end, we all try to maintain a level of civility that the public demands from their elected officials. We all have constituencies to represent and it is our constant mandate to remain focused on issues and not revert to vicious personal attacks. Dr. Padron has his own constituency and he has unfortunately failed them in this regard.
To question and accuse someone's commitment to higher education for our state based to their own college experience is something we cannot and will not tolerate. We get it. We know Miami-Dade College needs help, and we know they need funding. But Dr. Padron's comments are not helpful in gaining the support from the Miami-Dade Delegation members he disagrees with. While Dr. Padron and Miami-Dade College may be in need of additional resources, that in no way excuses his personal and baseless attacks.
We expect for Dr. Padron to immediately provide a public apology to those elected officials he vilified.
Eddy Gonzalez, chairman, Miami-Dade County Legislative Delegation
The following Dade Delegation members also signed the letter: Jose F. Diaz, Manny Diaz, Jr., Carlos Trujillo, Jose Oliva, Erik Fresen, Michael Bileca, Frank Artiles, Jeanette Nunez, Holly Raschein, Joe Gibbons