A runoff election will be required in Cutler Bay after none of the six candidates vying for the two open council seats received more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday. The runoff will be held Nov. 20.
Tim Meerbott was the leader in Tuesday’s race for mayor with 46 percent of the vote. The former Cutler Bay councilman and senior manager at Allstate Corp. will be up against Javier Giraud, a real estate attorney and substitute teacher at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Giraud finished with 40 percent of the vote.
Both will vie to replace Peggy Bell, Cutler Bay longtime mayor and councilwoman, who hit her term limit.
William Scott, a political newcomer and U.S. Army veteran was eliminated.
Incumbent Roger Coriat will face Maggie Soriano, a real estate agent and former construction, property management and restaurant owner, for Seat 3. Coriat, 43, is a history teacher at John A. Ferguson High School and has served on the council since 2014.
Eliminated was Yunior Santana, general manager of Little Havana’s Manuel Artime Theater in Miami.
Robert “B.J.” Duncan, was automatically elected to Seat 1, when he was the only candidate to file. He is a building operations coordinator and production specialist at FIU’s Department of Theatre. The incumbent, Mary Ann Mixon, who has served two terms on the council, did not run for re-election.
Throughout the campaign, candidates spoke frequently about traffic and transportation in the town, which straddles Old Cutler Road, one of the most congested roads in South Dade, and bumps up against another, U.S. 1. Some of them tied traffic to new development that they fear will contribute to even worse congestion.
Cutler Bay residents did however pass four charter amendments.
Referendum 1: This referendum would clarify that any elected official who has reached term limits shall be eligible to run again after two years.
Referendum 2: The amendment would allow a district council member who moves to a different district to remain on the council until the next regularly scheduled town election in November of the next even-numbered year.
Referendum 3: The charter provided that the council shall appoint a resident to fill a council vacancy that occurs six months or more before the term expires. This amendment will require that such vacancies be filled by special election within 90 days after the vacancy occurs.
Referendum 4: This is a general cleanup provision that will allow the town to correct grammatical and typographical errors and omit charter provisions that are moot and no longer applicable.