More than 100 residents packed the Miami Springs community center Friday night as candidates presented their platforms and answered a battery of questions about why they seek office.
A total of 10 candidates seek five incumbent seats in the city election on Tuesday, April 7, which includes a mayor and four council seats.
“This is a way to help increase voter turnout,” said Irene Priess, who praised The Miami Springs Woman’s Club, along with the local Chamber of Commerce, for spearheading the forum.
In the mayor’s race, incumbent Zavier Garcia, a media company owner, is being challenged by Fernando “Fred” Suco, who runs a busy tavern.
Residents will also be choosing four new council members:
▪ Group I: Incumbent Michael Windrem, a real estate agent, is running against former councilman Bob Best, a landscaper.
▪ Group II: Incumbent Billy Bain, a metal worker, is running against Martin Marquez, an architect. Marques did not appear at the candidates’ forum.
▪ Group III: Incumbent George Lob, a computer programmer, is running against Roslyn Buckner, a retired police officer.
▪ Group IV: Incumbent Jaime Petralanda, a schoolteacher, is running against Constantino Hernandez, also a schoolteacher.
Roughly 25 percent of the three-square-mile city’s 14,000 residents turned out to cast ballots during the last election in 2013, records show. The city has announced early voting will take place Friday and Saturday at City Hall.
IF YOU GO
▪ What: Early Voting for the 2015 Municipal Elections
▪ Where: Miami Springs City Hall, 201 Westward Drive
▪ When: Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.