Neither billionaire Donald Trump nor Miss Universe President Paula M. Shugart will be getting a key to the city of Doral — at least for now.
On Monday, Mayor Luigi Boria had requested that the City Council consider giving a key to Trump, along with Shugart. However, two hours later, and after emails from residents and the media, the mayor changed his mind, amending his request, excluding Trump from the award. He also wanted the council to consider making Jan. 25 Miss Universe Day.
Neither the giving of the city key to Shugart nor the proclamation of Miss Universe Day were discussed on Tuesday at the council’s morning meeting because Boria pulled them from the agenda.
Monday night, Boria explained why he changed his mind about giving Trump a key.
“Trump doesn’t deserve my key,” he said. “I think it’s appropriate for Miss Universe and the Miss Universe organization to have the key. It doesn’t make sense for Trump to have one.”
However, on Tuesday he said his retraction was actually due to the timing of the request, because tensions have been rising between council members and residents because of Trump and the Miss Universe pageant.
Late Tuesday night, Boria released the following statement:
“I am saddened today because seemingly positive words and intentions regarding Trump National Doral were completely taken out of context. Mr. Donald Trump´s investments have been extraordinary, creating jobs and moving our economy forward. He deserves not one but many keys to the City.
“My requests for keys to the City were not included as lay-down items in today´s City Council agenda because of limitations imposed by recent amendments to the City Charter, but I look forward to bringing these requests to the City Council in the near future.”
Last year, the City Council had discussed that the award of giving keys to the city should be reserved for “dignitaries and people of very high commitment and importance.” That decision was made after the city went on a key-giving spree. That’s when residents dubbed Boria “the city’s locksmith.”
“Keys to the City should be reserved to be given to dignitaries and people of high importance, not to businessmen that benefit from our City,” longtime Doral resident Claudia Spangaro Mariaca said. “Giving the Trump organization or the Miss Universe organization a Key at this time when there is so much controversy in our City would be a mistake, and a disloyal move from our Council.”
In September the council decided to invest $2.5million to be the pageant’s host city. Many residents were very upset when the deal was cut with Trump, who, they complained, had taken away their scenic views by planting barriers of areca palms on his golf course.
“When are we going to stop focusing on the glitz and glamour and refocus on what matters: fixing traffic, improving our schools, roads, and parks for our residents?” Councilwoman Christi Fraga said Monday. “Enough is enough.”
Fraga has yet to participate in any Miss Universe auxiliary events in Doral. She is the only council member who voted no on the million-dollar commitment.
Before the mayor changed his mind, Councilman Pete Cabrera said he thinks “there should be no issue” with giving Trump and Shugart a key, calling the festivity “an impressive event to have here. It’s a big deal.”
“I’ll be supportive of it. Trump is someone who has invested $300million in our community,” Cabrera said, referring to Trump’s golf course and spa, the Trump National Doral. “I also had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Shugart and she is an amazing person who had brought an amazing event to our city.”