Cutler Bay’s town council will get a fall facelift as residents vote for a new vice mayor and council member in the town’s Nov. 8 general election.
Current Councilwoman Sue Ellen Loyzelle is running for vice mayor against Javier Giraud.
Michael Callahan and Chuck Barrentine are facing off to succeed Loyzelle in council Seat Two.
Loyzelle has $1,120 in campaign contributions from donors including Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor John DuBois, compared to Giraud, who reports raising nothing. Callahan supplied $500 of his total of $600 in campaign contributions. Barrentine has reports no campaign contributions.
“I will continue to fight for families, seniors, public safety and improved parks while protecting the environment and keeping taxes low,” said Loyzelle, who has served on the Cutler Bay council since 2010.
Giraud is a practicing attorney, focusing on residential and commercial real estate and homeowners insurance claims. This is the first time he is running for public office. He has served as an officer on the Kenland Bend South Condominium Association and the Trillium Homeowners Association. He currently serves on the Centennial Homeowners Association.
“It is my belief that everyone that appears before the town council deserves a fair decision based on the facts, not on who their lobbyist is,” Giraud said. “I believe it is the town council's obligation to hold the administration's feet to the fire and not just rubber stamp what is brought before it. All too often, the town council waives its competitive bidding process in favor of certain vendors. The problem is that council members are elected by the people, for the people, yet it is the lobbyist that often times finance the campaigns. I will not accept lobbyist contributions nor their clients' contributions. Perception is reality and when a contributing lobbyist is before a council and wins approval, the perception is that that lobbyist's contributions influenced the decision makers.”
Giraud serves on the board of directors for Chantarelle by the Bay in 2015 and is a registered agent for Chantarelle Properties. In July, the town council approved Chantarelle’s request to permit a rezoning from single family residential district to neighborhood residential district on property at Southwest 200th Terrace and Southwest 87th Avenue. The rezoning allows for three stories, townhouses, two-family, and multi-family dwelling units.
Callahan moved to the area in 1977. He is a graduate of Miami Southridge High School. He currently serves as the manager of facilities at Eastridge of Cutler Bay. In the past, he has served as facility manager for Delaware North, director of facilities and corporate services for Simply Healthcare Plans, and more.
“I have always had a strong commitment to our community which is key in making a difference,” Callahan said. “That's why I strongly supported the incorporation of our community in 2005. I felt strongly that we should have a voice in shaping the future of Cutler Bay and now we do. I became a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee in 2009 and became the chairman of the same committee in 2012 because I wanted to be involved in the process of making our existing parks the best they could be and add additional parks when we can. We have come a long way since 2005 and we have done a great job getting here. I want to build on that excellent foundation we have and help create an even stronger future.”
Barrentine ran for the same office in 2011 against Loyzelle. He lost by 201 votes. He is currently an asset and profit protection manager for Sears Holding Corp. He has been a Cutler Bay resident since 1992. Barrentine prioritizes growth management and development, lobbyist and developers campaign contributions, common sense spending, and being a business-friendly town.
“Our town has been under attack by developers and lobbyist who are trying to gain leverage in our town by making campaign donations to candidates and town council members running for reelection,” Barrentine said.
The candidate qualifying period ended on Aug. 12. Residents can vote at Cutler Bay High School, Cutler Ridge United Methodist Church, East Ridge Retirement Village, Pinelands Presbyterian Church, Whigham Elementary School, Word and Worship Center, and Centro Evangelistico La Roca, and Whispering Pines Elementary School.