Speak Up

Miami Beach government

It’s not every day that residents can change the fundamental structure of their government. On Nov. 6, Miami Beach voters will have the opportunity to create a new city officer — an Inspector General.

An independent, appropriately staffed office of Inspector General (IG) would audit, review and oversee municipal matters including city contracts, programs, projects and expenditures in order to identify efficiencies and address fraud, misconduct and abuse of power. This new watchdog position necessitates a change in the city charter and the voters will bring this bold vision to reality by voting Yes.

Strong organizations are always looking for proven best practices and independent checks and balances. As such, the IG has been embraced at city hall and was unanimously supported by the commission with Mayor Gelber’s leadership. I look forward to voting Yes and delivering my campaign pledge of meaningful, enduring change at Miami Beach city hall.

Mark Samuelian,


Miami Beach

DeSantis divides

Just finished viewing Ron DeSantis’ flowery campaign ad on strengthening Florida from Dunedin to Tallahassee. I guess the rest of the state, to the east and south, isn’t pale enough for him to consider as Floridian.

I only hope that the true Floridians in his area see how he is taking a page from his idol, Donny, to try to divide us like he has tried to divide our always great country.

Tom May,

Pembroke Pines

Student votes

Re Lois Kahn’s Sept. 20 letter, “Does GOP worry?” in which she states the Republican Party makes a “very weak argument” that senior citizens should be placed “in the mix” regarding early voting sites. She further argues, “Senior citizens who feel they are made to go to the polls have, for many years, requested and received mail-in ballots.”

Well, guess what? So can students. And, it’s probably easier than traveling to an early voting site.

Mike Mullane, Miami

She can’t forget

A woman never forgets sexual assault. We may not remember the date or the exact address where it took place, but we never, ever forget the perpetrator nor what he did to us.

It’s been 60 years since this eight-year-old girl was assaulted, and I can remember it as if it was yesterday.

Deborah Gray Mitchell,


Knowable truth

The House Judiciary Committee seems more concerned with putting on a show of permitting Professor Ford to be heard than in getting at the truth about her allegations.

Certainly, she deserves to be heard about her claimed sexual abuse. But the committee faces a far more pressing issue: The allegation, if true, means that Judge Kavanaugh, who is nominated for a lifetime seat on the nation’s high court, in his youth committed a serious crime, which he refuses to acknowledge, and about which he is ready to lie under oath to deny.

The committee should not push his confirmation ahead until it knows the truth, if knowable, about these allegations.

We might be willing to forgive a drunken act of youth, however despicable, but we cannot afford to overlook a flaw of character that would allow him to lie about it under oath.

Robert S. Steinberg,

Palmetto Bay

A fair investigation

I am strongly opposed to any confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court unless and until the accusations of sexual assault have been thoroughly investigated.

I am a 68-year-old woman who, at the age of 18, was similarly assaulted and raped by a young man. It was traumatic and deeply disturbing. Something no one should have to experience!

The accusations against Judge Kavanaugh should not be dismissed as “boys will be boys” high school hijinks. The damage done to a woman as a result of such behavior is deep, extremely painful and affects a woman’s entire life!

There is no reason to rush this confirmation hearing. There must be a more in-depth investigation of the charges and then, both parties should be respected and heard. This appointment is too important to allow partisan politics to drive the process. It’s not fair to the judge, it’s not fair to Ford, and most of all, it’s not fair to the country.

Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson must do the right thing: Demand a fair, nonpartisan investigation and a thorough, public hearing with the parties and any witnesses involved.

Margaret Ray de Arenas,


Gun realities

Re the Sept. 20 letter, “Feel the heat:"I really do respect the writer’s opinion, but I find it unrealistic. Unfortunately, we have people in our society who take it upon themselves to commit murder, be it by a handgun, shotgun, automatic weapon, bombs or knives.

Realistically, it is almost impossible to stop a perpetrator unless someone is there immediately to stop them before they get started. Weapons have always been in our society and always will be. That being said, I doubt very seriously if the government would be able to confiscate weapons and ammo.

As a retired law enforcement officer, I feel that appropriate security would put a damper on shootings where there are large groups of people, but it will not completely stop this behavior.

One thing is certain, the cowards who commit these acts would not do so if they knew there was a possibility they would be terminated.

Anthony D. Richardson,


Equal treatment

In his Sept. 19 opinion, Leonard Pitts, Jr. argues that Judge Kavanaugh should be held “accountable for some bad thing he allegedly did back in high school.”

Pitts, it seems, would be willing to reject Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, ruin that man’s life and stain his reputation for an incident for which there is no proof.

Pitts has often argued very persuasively and rightly that no person should be subject to this manner of treatment, especially when our nation is governed by the rule of law. Has he abandoned his stand for equal treatment under the law? I certainly hope not.

J. David Bethel, Miami

Bleeding for this

Herman Cain’s Sept. 19 opinion, “Single-payer health care a death sentence for seniors,” was no hyperbole! I have Medicare as my primary insurance. Yesterday, I went to urgent care because I couldn’t stop the bleeding on my arm after I removed a Band-Aid.

Government-controlled insurance (Medicare) decided that the injury was caused by a car accident in 2012? Four hours on the phone and we are still working on a solution!

Adela Sygman,

Palmetto Bay