Cutler Bay voters will fill the offices of mayor and council member from Seat 1 in this fall’s town election.
Early voting starts Oct. 20, and Election Day is Nov. 4. The deadline to request and absentee ballot is Oct. 29.
Current Seat 3 council member Peggy Bell is running for mayor against former Miami-Dade County police officer Art Nanni. The two will battle for votes to fill the office Ed MacDougall has filled since 2010.
Meanwhile, incumbent council member Mary Ann Mixon faces Ed Wolmers, owner of JTDA Group towing and repossession service, in a Seat 1 battle.
Bell, 59, has served on the council since 2005. She raised $13,466 in campaign contributions. Bell’s major platform issues include: education, police, and quality of life.
“As mayor, I will see that the needs of Cutler Bay are continually in the forefront,” Bell said. “To move forward we must have experience and leadership. I am that experienced leader. And there is no substitute for experience. I’d be honored to get their vote. I have the experience to continue the progress we’ve made and lead our town in a direction that the citizens believe we should go.”
Bell hired the Green Point Group and lobbyist Jose Luis Castillo “for campaign work.” Castillo’s past and current political clients include: council member Sue Loyzelle, council Seat 1 candidate Ed Wolmers and others.
On the lobbying side, the Green Point Group registered with the town and is set to propose a mixed-use project at Old Cutler Road and Southwest 184th Street, according to the town’s website.
Bell received contributions from North Bay Village commissioner Richard Chervony, Palm Beach Shores Vice Mayor Myra Kourtzen, Urban Planner Joseph Corradino, and council member Mixon, among others.
Art Nanni, a candidate endorsed by MacDougall, raised $14,400 in campaign contributions. Nanni, 64, served on the board for the Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay, which hosted candidate forums for the election, and received a $250 donation from Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay president, Steve Zarzecki.
Nanni’s major platforms include: transparency, brining businesses and jobs to the town, and building a community center.
“I will bring leadership and experience from 31 years of being a public servant of this town,” Nanni said. “And I will instill customer service to the residents. I’ve been an advocate for eight years of going to the council meetings and speaking up for the residents of this town. I’m not a politician but I will make sure that the town of Cutler Bay listens to the residents.”
Mixon invested $300 for her total campaign contributions and has served on the council since 2010. A Realtor, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and art history from the University of Miami. Mixon served as a loan officer before becoming a realtor. Mixon has focused on environmental responsibility, keeping the community safe, citizen control over development, government transparency, and keeping taxes low without compromising vital services.
“Plain and simple, I would like to continue serving my community,” Mixon said. “It has been an honor to serve the people of Cutler Bay and I am very proud of all the accomplishments I’ve made over the last four years.”
“I know an additional four years will provide me the opportunity to help Cutler Bay become an even better place to live, work, and play.”
Wolmers, who ran in 2008 and 2006 against MacDougall, and in 2012 against Ernie Sochin, raised $1,195 in campaign contributions. Wolmers’ main platforms include public safety and the creation of a website to enhance communication in the town.
“I think I could do a better job than our incumbent because our incumbent hasn’t done anything in the last two and half years and she hasn’t offered any resolutions or ordinances to put forward,” Wolmers said. “She has been asleep at the wheel.”
Wolmers, 52, filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999, and was discharged three months later, following a triple-drowning incident involving his daughter, brother, and niece and personal losses after hurricane Andrew.
“It shouldn’t affect their vote,” Wolmers said. “That happened as a result of a triple death in my family on my 30th birthday, compounded with hurricane Andrew 10 months later.”
Roger Coriat will fill Seat 3, which was vacated by Bell. The 39-year-old high school social studies teacher was automatically elected because no one else entered the race by the Aug. 8 deadline. Coriat moved to Cutler Bay in 2009 and served on the town’s education advisory committee in 2013.
About the candidates
(PEGGY) MARGARET ANN BELL
OCCUPATION: Office Manager, Bell’s Tree Farm.
EDUCATION: Elk Grove High School, Sacramento.
OTHER: Seat 3 Town Council member since 2005; co-founder of United Citizens of Cutler Bay; council liaison for parks and recreation advisory committee.
ARTHUR RALPH NANNI
OCCUPATION: Realtor, retired police officer.
EDUCATION: Immaculata-LaSalle High School.
OTHER: Miami-Dade police officer for 31 years, homicide detective for 17 years; citizen advisory committee; board of Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay.
Council Seat 1 candidates
MARY ANN MIXON
AGE: Declined to answer
OCCUPATION: Realtor, Cornerstone Real Estate.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in English and art history from the University of Miami.
OTHER: Incumbent Seat 1 council member since 2010; member of Fairchild Palms, a fundraising group affiliated with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden; council liaison to the town’s Flood Mitigation Committee.
OCCUPATION: Owner, JTDA Group, a towing and repossession service.
EDUCATION: Associate’s degree in electronic engineering from National Education Center.
OTHER: Founding member Cutler Bay’s original charter committee; member, charter revision committee, 2007.
Seat 3 candidate (unopposed)
ROGER CHRISTIAN CORIAT
OCCUPATION: Social Studies teacher, John A. Ferguson High School; Adjunct instructor, Miami Dade College.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Miami.
OTHER: Town of Cutler Bay, Education Advisory Committee.