On Tuesday, Sept. 2, an unworthy act was committed against the residents of the town of Cutler Bay. Peggy Bell a candidate for mayor and an incumbent Town Council member for the past eight years, was a no-show at the debate hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay. Bell, did not notify the Concerned Citizens that she would not be able to attend and debate me, Art Nanni, the other candidate for mayor. This act of not showing is shameful by itself, and not to give a courtesy notice to Concerned Citizens is disrespectful to the people who attended in order to learn more about the candidates.
Here’s what’s really wrong with her no show: On Aug. 20, she penned an open letter to the Community Newspaper, complaining about the format where each candidate can ask a question of the other candidate. She felt that this format would be “adversarial and negative.” Why did she not contact the Concerned Citizens and express her concerns? A good leader will reach out to others to work through disagreements. Bell has attended many Concerned Citizens meetings in the past and never claimed them to be biased. It must be she was politicking and using that organization to her benefit, but when it came time to debate it may be more about her performance as a council member than anything else. Elected officials owe it their constituents to attend community meetings and to listen to the residents’ concerns.
Bell cannot run from adversity. Our next mayor must be willing to hear complaints, and be willing to address those complaints.
The format Bell objected to was used by the Concerned Citizens in the past two debates. Neither the candidates for Florida state representative or county commissioner objected to this format, nor did they fail to show up. If those running for offices higher than that of Mayor can answer questions from their opponents, why can't Bell? Does she expect the Concerned Citizens to bend to her wishes and change a format that others have not objected to?
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Art Nanni, Cutler Bay
Two council members were no-shows
On Tuesday Sept. 2, the Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay held a debate between those who are running for Town Council Seat 1 and for mayor.
What was most shocking was the fact that council members Peggy Bell and Maryann Mixon did not even bother to show up. Not only did they not show up, they never notified Concerned Citizens that they were not attending or apologize to the residents. Within a packed meeting room residents waited to hear from all of the candidates, it is obvious that these council members feel that they do not have to respond to the residents.
I for one, and many that attended, won't forget the night they snubbed us.
Tami Reyes, Cutler Bay
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