River Cities

Ten candidates running in Miami Springs mayor, council races

Fernando ‘Fred’ Suco, left, and incumbent Mayor Zavier Garcia pose for a photo at the Miami Springs gazebo. Both men seek the mayor's seat in the April 7 city elections.
Fernando ‘Fred’ Suco, left, and incumbent Mayor Zavier Garcia pose for a photo at the Miami Springs gazebo. Both men seek the mayor's seat in the April 7 city elections. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Ten candidates vie for five incumbent seats in Miami Springs city election.

Miami Springs residents will cast ballots at the city’s golf course on Tuesday, April 7, for a mayor and four council members.

In the mayor’s race, incumbent Zavier Garcia, a media company owner, is being challenged by Fernando “Fred” Suco, who runs a busy tavern.

“The most important part of the job of mayor of Miami Springs is maintaining financial order as well as ensuring the public safety,” Suco said. “It's also very important to keep our small town way of life and preserve the characteristics that make Miami Springs a great place to live and raise a family.”

The three-square-mile bedroom community rests just north of Miami International Airport and has about 14,000 residents, Census data shows.

“As your Mayor, I will continue working hard to turn our commercial successes into even bigger successes for Miami Springs residents,” said Garcia, who noted the commercial tax base rate has increased to its current 35 percent from 23 percent in 2008. “Our citizens will feel less and less of a tax burden while enjoying our high quality of life as the process moves forward and incorporates other new businesses.”

Residents will also be choosing four new council members:

▪ Group I: Incumbent Michael Windrem, a real estate agent, is running against former councilman Bob Best, a landscaper.

▪ Group II: Incumbent Billy Bain, a metal worker, is running against Martin Marquez, an architect.

▪ Group III: Incumbent George Lob, a computer programmer, is running against Roslyn Buckner, a retired police officer.

▪ Group IV: Incumbent Jaime Petralanda, a schoolteacher, is running against Constantino Hernandez, also a schoolteacher.

Each of the candidates has previously held or run for a council seat, except Buckner.

Roughly 25 percent of the city’s 14,000 residents turned out to cast ballots during the last election in 2013, records show. The Miami Springs Woman’s Club, along with the local Chamber of Commerce, hopes to increase this year’s turnout by hosting a candidates’ forum this Friday night.

IF YOU GO

▪ What: Candidates’ Forum

▪ Where: Recreation Center, 1401 Westward Dr.

▪ When: 7 p.m. Friday

▪ Sponsors: Miami Springs Woman’s Club, Miami Springs Airport Area Chamber of Commerce

The event is free and open to the public. For information, call 305-805-5000.

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