Community Conversations

What's the state of your community?


We asked the following question on this week: What issues would you like your elected officials to concentrate on this year? Thanks for all of your responses. Below are some of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network at, and check back next week for another conversation.

“Recycling. Recently I have traveled to New York, the Manhattan area and the Niagara Falls area and noticed that in their supermarkets they have recycling centers — you take your recyclable items, put them in a bin and the machine then gives you money. How come we cannot get that in Miami? I think this method makes more people recycle, because the one we have costs the taxpayers money and is not rewarding the recyclers. Think about it, if you do not know about the environment or saving the trees and the oceans (I do but 99 percent of the citizens don’t) right now the only person who benefits from my washing/cleaning my bottles is Huizenga. In New York they also charge you 5 cents per plastic bag in the grocery store, which makes you more willing to take your own bag with you.”

Teresita Verdaguer, Miami


“The most aggravating daily annoyance to me is the lack of drivers adhering to traffic laws and what used to be referred to as ‘common courtesy.’ On my street the stop sign is totally ignored by the vast majority of drivers. Also, a nearby red light at the Palmetto exit to Sunset has right turn drivers that blow through it without a stop. Doesn’t right turn on red require a stop first? Without consistent enforcement, these drivers put others on the road at great risk for a crash. Sporadic enforcement is taken as a joke.”

Greg Bito, South Miami


“Public safety, job creation and home ownership. The state of my community has declined a little in unemployment but is still at a deficit in home ownership.”

Lionel Lightbourne, Miami


“Those fools in Tallahassee need to get the homeowner’s insurance down to reasonable prices. I have to pay $8,000 per year just for windstorm that doesn’t provide replacement coverage on contents and has a $20,000 deductible on my 3 bedroom home built in 1955. Also, my street hasn’t been repaved since 1978 at the least, and it shows.”

Robert Black, South Miami


“Transit and address over building with increased traffic. Infrastructure and climate change with seas rising and flooding. Reconsider tolls on roads previously paid by historic taxes. Bay Harbor Islands is well run. Miami-Dade County is not. The overburden on toll roads, lack of on-street parking, forced valet and poor road conditions need address.”

Jim Angleton, Bay Harbor Islands


“The demographics of the sworn law enforcement personnel doesn’t reflect this majority Black municipality like virtually every other majority Hispanic municipality in Miami-Dade County … So would it be fair to say that if African Americans can’t get hired in their own city and can’t get hired in a neighboring city, that they will be leading in unemployment; which is exactly what going on. Miami Gardens is the No.1 municipality in Miami-Dade County in unemployment. Clearly this isn’t fair and it isn’t right and I feel as if I’m voting for nothing.”

Ronald Page, Miami Gardens


“I would like my elected officials to concentrate on the simple things that make a city better. I would like sidewalks that go all the way around my block. I would like street lights that work when they are supposed to. I would like the pot holes in the streets and alleys filled. I would like the trash to be picked up in a timely and professional manner. I am tired of having to find my can three houses down and knocked over and then have to drag it back home every single week.”

Charles Kerr, Hollywood


“Public transportation. Stop pouring money into wider highways and toll roads and put the money into more bus lines. Implement express buses on the highways now and start serious planning for light railways on the interstate routes.”

Edward Kaplan, Davie