The residents of Coral Gables will cast their ballots on April 14. As a lifelong resident of Coral Gables, my family currently lives in a historic “Old Spanish” home. In recent years some of the elected leadership have been unwilling to admit that the “City Beautiful” has a serious crime problem. My car was stolen from our home and when the police arrived they explained that it was the third vehicle reported stolen in our neighborhood that night. As I share my story with other residents I realize many Gables residents have been a victim of crime in recent years.
Our home is located in the “Platinum Triangle,” an historic and desirable area, however we have been living next to a fraternity house for more than five years. Each semester, a new group of University of Miami students move into the dilapidated house next door and the partying begins. Liquor bottles have been smashed into our backyard, students sitting on an old couch on University Drive with “honk if you want us to drink” signs and a dangerous accident in our front yard with a hit and run driver that totaled both our cars. I am sick of the many long nights of 2 a.m. parties outside our bedroom window. The police say they can do nothing except stop the party if it is after midnight, Code Enforcement says we need to call the police but continue to allow four to six college students to rent the single family home. A letter to Mayor Jim Cason went unanswered and ignored. We are not alone in this misery. Is there is nothing that can be done to stop the practice of renting homes to groups of college students?
I think there is something that can be done. Elect a mayor and commissioners that listen to the residents’ concerns about protecting our quality of life. April 14 is Election Day and I will vote for those candidates that support all efforts to maximize resources to fight crime and improve public safety.
Kelley C. Rice-Schild, Coral Gables
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