Miami Shores voters will go to the polls on April 18 to choose three new village council members and whether the city should issue $20 million worth of bonds for a new community center.
Six candidates — including a teacher, a lawyer and an incumbent — are running for three spots. Whoever gets the most votes serves as mayor for two years and council member for two years. Runner-up serves as vice mayor for two years, then a council member. The third-place candidate serves a two-year term as council member.
The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the C. Lawton McCall Community Center at 9617 Park Dr.
Liangy Fernandez-Calli, 45
Fernandez-Calli never considered herself politically ambitious. That changed for the office-managing mother of four after the presidential election. She’d loved her 12 years in Miami Shores, she said, and now she wants to help it prosper by encouraging problem solving with a diverse set of voices.
Problems, like the unhappy reaction of residents to the village council’s plans for a new community center, could be avoided with more input from neighbors and better communication, she said.
She’ll vote for the bonds, she said, because she had a contractor friend review the community center brochure and the proposed site, and he told her it was an accurate amount to request. A new center means new opportunities for neighborhood kids and a distinctive draw for downtown businesses.
“The only way this is going to happen is if the community comes together,” Fernandez-Calli said. “And that’s the only way I’d want it.”
She’s raised more than $8,000 for her campaign, $1,100 of which was a self loan.
MacAdam Glinn, 41
Glinn campaigned last round for a council seat. Losing by eight seats was “excruciating,” he said. But when Councilman Jess Walters resigned, he was appointed to fill the seat. This time, he said he’s ready to win a seat. And he’s raised almost $22,000, from donors as far as Palm Beach, to do so.
The senior vice president of Skanska USA Building in South Florida is most proud of his work with the new Miami Shores dog park.
He’s voting for the bond issue, but Glinn said he understands why others won’t.
“That really bothered me when people called it a noninclusive project,” he said. In response, the council created a resident advisory board, put a tax calculator online and sought more input from Miami Shores neighbors.
With this vote, Glinn said he’s seeking a mandate from the residents, “and if they don’t give us one, we’ll go back to square one.”
Bill Davis, 51
As a teacher at Miami Shores Elementary, Davis wants to set an example for his students.
“I tell my children all the time, if you’re not happy with the situation you can do two things: go back to your desk and sit down or you can raise your hand and take a stance,” he said.
His stance is a familiar one for the Davis family. His father served as mayor of Miami Shores.
Davis said his most important goal for the next few years is seeing a new community center built. When he was a kid, he traveled to Europe with the center soccer team, and he said he wants all children to have access to safe, educational programs. But Davis said he will not vote for the bonds. The city already has two, he said, and rushing into a third “before we dot our i’s and cross our t’s” is unwise.
Davis raised $3,986 in cash donations.
Eddie Lewis, 63
Lewis calls Miami Shores the “best kept secret” in Miami-Dade. He’d know — he’s been there 30 years.
This is Lewis’ third campaign for a village council seat. He’s run for Miami-Dade mayor, county property appraiser too. He’s retired and says his only priority these days is making Miami Shores a better place for his grandkids.
He’s against the $20 million bond. He said a new community center wouldn’t be necessary if the city had taken better care of the old one. He doesn’t want to raise taxes.
“We have to go back to the table and redesign,” he said. “Twenty million dollars? I just can’t see it.”
He’s raised $1,800 thus far.
Jonathan Meltz, 48
Meltz holds many titles: former president of the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, a basketball, volleyball and flag football coach and a defense attorney. But he calls himself “a leader, listener and participant.” He’s raised $8,500 for his campaign.
The 15-year Miami Shores resident said he’s “110 percent for” the construction of a new community center, but he’s not voting for the bonds. Meltz said the issue has divided the community, and he worries the wording of the issue would allow the council to spend the money on other projects.
Meltz said residents are upset that they’re voting to fund a project for which “there is no real design.”
“The perception of people that it just showed up — that’s their reality,” he said. “We should be able to work together to build something better for generations to come.”
Sean Brady, 43
As a data analyst with 21 years of experience, Brady’s approach to government is all about streamlining processes and making them more effective.
He wants all meetings (and sub-meetings) recorded and all recordings easily accessible online. As it stands, getting meeting minutes online “can be a matter of years,” he said.
Brady has raised $4,200 for his campaign so far.
He watched the fallout over the plans for the new community center and learned, he said. He wants future plans to more directly involve the neighbors near the proposed center, and he wants the council to review more creative options for a center. He’s voting for the bonds.
“This is a good time to make investments in ourselves,” he said.
An earlier version of this article gave an out-of-date description of Jonathan Meltz’s position with the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce. Also, it incorrectly said that Bill Davis’s uncle had been mayor of Miami Shore; he was not.
Election day info
When: Tuesday, April 18. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: C. Lawton McCall Community Center at 9617 Park Drive