MIAMI BEACH COMMISSION Group 3
Michael Gongora is seeking a return to the City Commission, chasing the seat that Joy Malakoff is leaving, citing a spinal injury from which she still is recovering.
Given the level of his accomplishment during his first go-round as an elected official, voters should confidently return him to the dais. He brings institutional knowledge, an understanding of the pertinent issues and a sense of stability that will serve residents well.
He faces Adrian Gonzalez, of the beloved and stalwart David’s Cafe, who says he wants to be a voice for small business, a praiseworthy goal. He says that the city is moving in the wrong direction. He calls it the “Wild West,” where residents don’t feel safe no matter where they live. Gonzalez wants to put the brakes on raising the streets as protection against sea-level rise. He says that already some business have flooded because they are now lower than the sidewalks.
However, Gongora brings commission experience and know-how. And he’s been on the side of right for much of his political career. He decries the lack of community policing on the Beach and what he says is a disconnect between the police department’s rank-and-file and administration. He says that the police chief exhibits a “low energy” that’s not in keeping with the go-go nature of the city, though Gongora is keeping an open mind.
Both candidates express confidence in City Manager Jimmy Morales. Gongora hopes that Morales will become more independent once a new mayor is sworn in.
For the Group 3 commission seat, the Herald recommends MICHAEL GONGORA.