West Miami-Dade

Virginia Gardens reelects incumbent mayor, council members

Recently reelected Virginia Gardens Councilman Richard Block poses for a photo with Marine Corps Col. David Carbonero at the Sept. 19 re-dedication ceremony of the Marine Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger memorial.
Recently reelected Virginia Gardens Councilman Richard Block poses for a photo with Marine Corps Col. David Carbonero at the Sept. 19 re-dedication ceremony of the Marine Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger memorial. For the Miami Herald

The incumbent mayor and council members will each keep their seats after Virginia Gardens voters cast ballots on Sept. 8.

In the mayor’s race, Spencer Deno IV went unchallenged and will now serve his seventh consecutive term at the post. There are no term limits in the tiny town, about one-third of a mile in length, which sits north of Miami International Airport.

“There have been many positive changes in the village over the last 12 years and there are many projects that are in the works as well,” Deno said. “As long as I am here I will continue to pursue grants and state monies to help beautify the village.”

Residents also elected the following incumbent council members, who each ran without opposition:

▪ Debra Conover, 69 votes.

▪ Richard Block, 57 votes.

▪ Steve Pettersen, 30 votes.

Conover, the person with the most votes, will serve a four-year term and hold the title “council president.” Block, who came in second place, will also serve another four-year term. Pettersen, the third place finisher, will serve a two-year term.

Of the 1,417 registered voters in Virginia Gardens, 100 cast ballots in the Sept. 8 election, according to the Miami-Dade County Department of Elections.

The council members above recently voted to keep the same property tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year and proposed a tax rate of $5.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value; the same as this year’s rate.

The median assessed value of the 566 homes in Virginia Gardens is $133,096, according to the county property appraiser’s 2015 preliminary tax roll report. Under the proposed rate, the typical homeowner who takes the standard $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $427.94 in taxes to the city.

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