On Jan. 25, the new Miss Universe, Colombia’s Paulina Vega, was crowned. During the last three weeks, Doral served as the host to the contestants and the pageant.
I have publicly stated that had I been on the City Council when the city made the $2.5-million commitment to host the pageant and based on the information that had been provided at that time, I would not have supported it.
Once elected and back on the council, I clearly said that I considered it my responsibility to support the city and my colleagues. I’m convinced that they made their decision based on what they thought was in the best interest of the city.
Now after having lived this experience for the past three weeks, I’m convinced they made the right decision. I applaud my colleagues for their vision.
As a founder of this city and a member of the City Council for more than 10 years, I do not believe that there has been a moment when I have felt prouder of our city than throughout this entire experience. During the Welcome Event, as each contestant went on stage and said “Hello, Doral” in their native language, with Doral City Hall as the backdrop, I remember thinking, “Tonight the world is in our city, and one day my grandchildren will ask me about this day. This is an experience that can’t be quantified with a dollar figure, it is priceless.”
After seeing our beautiful city showcased to the world, my only regret was that, because of unfortunate controversy caused by some regarding the city’s financial commitment, more local businesses did not participate in co-sponsoring and being featured along with Doral that evening.
Today, I am sure that our wonderful city will never be the same after this experience. One of my original concerns was that much of the attention would be on other areas of South Florida. But that was not the case.
I want to congratulate the entire Miss Universe team, starting with Paula Shugard, president of the Miss Universe Organization, and Vice President Shawn McClain, not only for their hard work, but for the integrity they displayed in ensuring that the spotlight remained on Doral.
Last, but not least, I want to thank Donald Trump, not only for the personal and financial commitment he has made with Doral and the resort, but having trust in Doral to host such a significant event.
council member, Doral