Polls open on Tuesday for Miami Shores Village Council elections. Six candidates are competing for three at-large council seats. The three candidates with the most votes will win.
Incumbents Ivonne Ledesma and Hunt Davis face political newcomers Sean Brady, Alice Burch, Mac Glinn and Steve Zelkowitz in the race.
The candidate with the higher number of votes will win a four-year term and serve two years as mayor. The first runner-up will be appointed vice mayor and the third-place winner will serve two years on council. Only a tie could force a run-off.
For the past few weeks, the candidates have been voicing their plans and goals for the village to mixed crowds of residents, business owners and students.
They’ve responded to questions and concerns about the Shores’ Northeast Second Avenue revitalization and how to maneuver the village into a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly community; discussed their thoughts on parking regulations and the ban of hard liquor in downtown; and fought about fence height restrictions and what solutions would work for lighting the village’s northwest corridor.
In 2013, approximately 25 percent of Miami Shores’ 10,654 voters turned out, according to Miami-Dade County election records. This year the candidates are hoping to boost voter participation.
Voting booths will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m at the Miami Shores Community Center, at 9617 Park Dr.
Here are this year’s general council election candidates:
▪ Age: 40
▪ Occupation: Vice president, Bayon Technologies Group
▪ Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science from Florida State University, MBA from University of Florida
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: Five years
▪ Public service: Member of Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
▪ Quote: “I am a small business owner, IT consultant, University of Florida MBA, and father raising a family here in Miami Shores. I want to use my unique experience to build an even better community by increasing civic participation, refocusing Village Hall on customer service, bringing our resident professionals and entrepreneurs downtown, and exploring innovative solutions to public safety and livability issues here in our Village Beautiful.”
▪ Age: 62
▪ Occupation: Office manager, Burch & Burch DVM, LLC
▪ Education: Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Barry University
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: 42 years
▪ Public service: Doctors Charter School board member, two-term chair of the Miami Shores Community Alliance, immediate past board member of the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, former Brockway Memorial Library trustee, former Miami Country Day School Trustee, and Community Learning Partnership founding member, sitting member of the Miami Noise Abatement advisory board (Miami-Dade County Commission board)
▪ Quote: “If elected, I plan to engage all members of the community to find the best solutions for Miami Shores. I will advocate for a more vibrant downtown, a 21st century community center, and superior public services.”
▪ Occupation: President and CEO of Rampmaster.
▪ Education: Bachelor’s of science in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University, MBA in marketing from Vanderbilt University
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: 42 years
▪ Public service: Seven year Village Council member, former member of Recreation Advisory Board, current member and chair of Police Pension Board, former member of general employee pension board, Doctors Charter School board
▪ Quote: “I have a proven record of progress-minded leadership while maintaining good fiscal discipline. I am dedicated to the village’s promise to providing top tier services and facilities for all residents.”
▪ Age: 39
▪ Occupation: Senior vice president and national aviation director, Skanska USA Building
▪ Education: Bachelor’s Degree in English literature from Kenyon College, J.D. in Law from Florida International University
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: 10 years
▪ Public service: Member of the FIU College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Council, former president of FIU College of Law Alumni Association, co-chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Going Green Task Force, chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Natural Resources Committee, member of the History Miami’s Flagler Street Society Executive Committee, co-chair Commercial Builders Council of The Builders Association of South Florida, member United States Green Building Council, Leadership Miami
▪ ▪ Quote: “My experience at the federal, state, and local government levels – as well as in construction as a lawyer and executive – has uniquely prepared me to tackle the critical issues facing the Shores, including continuing to improve public safety, revitalizing our downtown, and guiding our critical, upcoming infrastructure programs. As a proud husband, father, and 10-year resident, I love Miami Shores and appreciate the hard work and commitment that helped create it, but I believe we can do even better, and I am committed to collaborating with our diverse community to help us get there.”
▪ Age: 37
▪ Occupation: Miami Shores council member (former retail business owner)
▪ Education: Bachelor’s Degree in international relations from Florida State University, master’s degree in international administrations from the University of Miami
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: 11 years
▪ Public service: Miami Shores Village councilwoman, member of Miami Shores Village People , member of Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, member of League of Women Voters, member of Miami Shores Police Retirement Pension Board, member of Miami Shores Chapter of the Women’s Cancer Association, Miami Shores Women Club
▪ Quote: “As your Miami Shores council member, I ask for your vote on April 14 for re-election. Over the past two years, I have proven myself as a strong leader and reliable representative for the residents of Miami Shores. In my next term, I plan to create a more open and transparent budgeting process, insure continued public safety, and support the revitalization of our downtown.”
▪ Age: 53
▪ Occupation: Real estate, land use and governmental attorney for GrayRobinson, P.A.
▪ Education: Bachelor’s of science in environmental design from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, master of city and regional planning from Rutgers University, JD (Juris Doctorate), Rutgers University School of Law
▪ Time lived in Miami Shores: 16 years
▪ Public service: Miami Shores Historic Preservation board member, Planning and Zoning Board board member
▪ Quote: “Miami Shores village is a beautiful place to live, work and play, where all of us are deserving of principled and temperate leadership. In order to move the good work of those who served before, and to face the local challenges that will come, now is the time for qualified, experienced and inclusive leadership. I am prepared and ready to serve!”