Key Biscayne

New village mayor, council installed in Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne Council members Luis Felipe de la Cruz, James Taintor and Franklin Caplan are sworn in by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava J. Tunis.
Key Biscayne Council members Luis Felipe de la Cruz, James Taintor and Franklin Caplan are sworn in by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava J. Tunis. For the Miami Herald

The Key Biscayne Village Council said goodbye to one of its members and hello to the newly elected ones at an installation ceremony on Thursday.

Close to 200 residents packed the Key Biscayne Community Center’s Island Room to welcome the new mayor and council.

Former mayor and new council member Franklin Caplan gave his State of the Village address. He highlighted the village’s accomplishments in the last year, including modernizing the Key Biscayne K-8 Center, expanding the police marine patrol unit, building a school for Key Biscayne students at MAST Academy and funding projects for other new facilities.

“We understand entropy,” he said. “If we don’t put energy into something, it disintegrates.”

The village has an approximately $29 million budget for this fiscal year and about $24 million in reserves.

“The state of the village is good and strong in 2014,” he said.

After Caplan’s address, Councilman Michael Kelly recognized former Councilman Michael Davey Comedy Central roast-style.

“I’ve waited eight years for the opportunity to make jokes in front of hundreds of people at Mike’s expense,” Kelly said.

Kelly said Davey was “truly a man of the people,” and that he was a friend to everyone in the village. He said Davey’s top priorities were making the Key family-friendly and being “the champion of all canines.”

“If your dogs seem blue tonight, it’s because they know they’ve lost their staunchest defender on Key Biscayne,” Kelly said.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Dava J. Tunis swore in the new mayor and candidates.

Mayra P. Lindsay is the first woman to serve as mayor in Key Biscayne.

She said the village’s top goals over the next two years will be strong infrastructure, good government and stewardship. Lindsay also stressed her commitment to ongoing environmental projects like stormwater drainage and beach renourishment.

“We are committed to maintaining sustainability on the island,” she said.

Councilman Edward London presented the three new council members — Frank Caplan, James Taintor and Luis Felipe de la Cruz — with election certificates.

“Frank says this is public service, but really it’s public pleasure,” London said. “We don’t get paid much, but they feed us a little bit of food.”

When Taintor accepted his certificate, he recalled something he read in the Raves and Rants section of The Islander News, the community newspaper. Someone wrote that it’s a nice tradition for council members to stand at the entrance of the Key holding up signs and greeting drivers, but that he would not have voted for anyone who spent hours smelling car exhaust fumes.

“Like a former president said, I did not inhale,” Taintor said. “I don’t think the fumes will affect my judgment.”

De la Cruz, the newest member of the council, thanked his supporters for giving him the most votes this election.

“But it’s not about me,” he said. “No election is about one or two issues. I’m here to represent all needs and people on Key Biscayne.”

He and Lindsay called on residents to be engaged in the community.

“While we’re doing a good job, we can always do better,” she said. “Now the work begins.”