Village of Key Biscayne Council candidates present their case for island voters to choose them Nov. 3.
As the election process enters the final stretch, with a little less than three weeks to Election Day, and early voting starting Monday,10 Key Biscayne residents vying for three open council seats tell, in their own words, why voters should select them to serve.
Some call this election one of the most important in the island’s history. The candidates have taken advantage of many opportunities to present their views and positions, from Zoom forums to select speaking engagements to campaign meet-and-greets on village streets.
In-person early voting starts on Monday, Oct. 19, so we have turned over space in the Islander News for candidates to succinctly summarize for voters why they should be their choice for Village Council. We hope you find this useful in making your decisions.
Also use the attached sample ballot to become Election Ready!
Since moving here, I’ve been involved in our community. First, on the Education Advisory Board, K-8 PTA and EESAC, later with the Community Involvement Committee for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and most recently on Council since 2016 and as your Vice Mayor in 2018. My approach to council discussions may not be unique, but it is less common nowadays than I wish: As a voice-of-reason, seeking consensus and forward momentum on a fractured council.
My beliefs: Great schools, public safety and quality-of-life make a community special and protect property values. No one has worked harder with the community to drive positive changes at the K-8 and MAST. I’m no rubber stamp, but I will always support the best Fire/Police Departments in Florida. And I’ll continue to protect our youth and senior activities and Community Center from the chopping block. When confronted with tough questions, I listen to residents’ priorities – not my ideology.
I’m proud of four strong years – but there’s more to do: infrastructure projects; the fight for inclusion in the Shoreline Protection Program so we can stop temporary fixes and finally get our beaches protected; and safeguarding access to MAST and enhancing educational experiences for all resident children. My relationships across the bridge are essential for our needs on state, federal and county matters.
Key Biscayne is neither a big city nor a for-profit corporation. It’s special. And it has been, more than anything else, a success. Don’t heed bumper-sticker bromides about change. Change isn’t the goal. Improvement is the goal. But I will not stand by and see our core values set aside – putting residents first, taxing property owners less than any other municipality in the county, treasuring community involvement, and being courageous enough to take on the most critical challenges (like our very incorporation).
We can, and will, do better – as we have been improving for 30 years. We should strive for better, but not at the expense of who we are.
On Nov. 24, 1960, I discovered the Thanksgiving Holiday when Pan Am Airways brought me, my mom and sister to this land of freedom. We dined on a scrumptious turkey dinner at midnight, courtesy of the Hotel Columbus, where our fellow-refugee hosts worked.
To this day, cranberry sauce has never again tasted as good.
My family has navigated the curious but rewarding waters of the American Dream since that November night, endeavored to repay the opportunities that dream offered (how can anyone fully repay the gift of freedom?).
Entrepreneurial since La Salle’s World’s Famous Chocolate Drive, I pursued academic achievement in a life-long quest for economic security for my family. This path led me to found companies. Some failed, but more succeeded in achieving the dual objectives of financial growth and providing tangible social benefit to my country.
Since 1985, one of those companies achieved an unmatched record of providing aviation safety to the US air traffic control system. It has virtually trained every air traffic controller working today -- a small token of service in gratitude for a lifetime of opportunity.
The paths expressing gratitude to America that I chose always followed well-worn tributaries of capitalism. Until now.
Today I see in my childhood playground -- Key Biscayne -- a microcosm of America’s drift toward governing practices that doomed my birth nation decades ago. A beautiful Village Charter ignored or circumvented; poorly enforced procurement and recruitment processes; unaccountability for misspent taxpayer dollars; vicious ad hominem attacks against those advocating policies favoring transparency and respect for all residents.
As a council member, if you so honor me with your votes, with God’s guidance, your involvement and your support, I will apply all the skills and good will gained in my American journey, to bringing excellence to our village government. Starting with an ironclad opposition to any blank check issued to any council at any time.
I ask for your vote on November 3. If elected, I will bring personal integrity, well-honed skills and good faith to every transaction of the Key Biscayne Village Council.
Vice Mayor Brett Moss, married with three children attending public schools, has been a resident of Key Biscayne for more than 15 years.
Brett is a licensed architect and a licensed general contractor and manages an award-winning architecture firm. He brings more than 20 years of project management experience and four years of government experience, where he has worked under two different village managers.
Moss has a Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech, where his thesis project (VT Solar House) won national awards and global recognition. He also has an MBA, Master’s in Human Resources Management, Bachelor of Architecture, and is earning a Ph.D. in Environment and Human Behavior Science with a focus on urban design.
Before serving four years on the Village Council, he chaired the Education Advisory Board and the Chamber of Commerce advocacy committee. He was a Chamber of Commerce board member, was secretary of the Historic and Heritage Society, is a Rotarian, was a PTA member, and served as a special advisor to the Condominium Presidents’ Council. Moss also taught as an adjunct professor at FIU school of Architecture Master’s Program.
Brett’s substantial professional and governmental experience and expertise is crucial for the village in initiating infrastructure projects, hiring a new manager, updating the current zoning ordinance to reflect the needs of the village, improving the budget process to enhance financial policy decisions and clarity to maintain long-term financial sustainability, and establishing a proper “inspection, repair and maintenance program” within our public works department to ensure our current assets are correctly maintained.
“I will be a valuable asset for the village in moving projects forward for future generations. The council needs residents dedicated to long-term goals that will positively enhance our community for future generations. I bring unique project management and creative problem-solving experiences and expertise that will provide a positive voice to council discussions and decisions.
I am open-minded and compassionate, logical, practical, respectful, and devoted to a bright future in Key Biscayne.”
The Village Council is a deliberative body. Deliberation starts with well-reasoned positions rooted in knowledge and principle, with a clear view of best outcomes, and then, give-and-take with creativity.
We’re a small town, but pluralistic. Compromise often leads to better results than a 4-3 bare majority “win.” We’re disserved by rigid ideology, partisanship and stoked-up factionalism. What’s needed is that we talk with each other, not past or around each other.
Council members have to be able to contend with competing ideas with intellectual honesty and civility, and the ability and inclination to work toward consensus. Simply avoiding or ignoring or drowning out competing views or objections degrades that possibility. Same with a council whose debate is limited by vote-counting and contentment with majority “power” on controversial issues.
That is an inadequate approach to governing.
I’ve led debates throughout my service on council. I’ve brought conviction coupled with open-mindedness, patience, a genuine curiosity about and respect for other points-of-view, and the ability to catalyze conversations -- all in service of healthy collaboration and building confidence and participation within the community. I draw on knowledge gained from experience, but not robotically. I’m always open to discussion and if discussion is hampered, I initiate it.
Now we’re facing serious decisions with our administration in transition. Of all things, now the community needs a council with at-the-ready experience and steadiness, working in sync. I’ve been enmeshed in all the issues before us now, and a major recurring theme in my work is working well with others. That takes a certain personal comportment that I believe I embody and that enables better process in governance, better results and a healthier community overall. That’s what I offer. We’re in a time when that’s needed. I respectfully ask for your vote.
I appreciate the Islander allowing me to use my own voice, as there seems to be a group of people (hereinafter referred to as the “Fearmongers”) who have decided to try and speak for me. I can only assume the Fearmongers are against transparency, accountability, financial restraint, and clean government where discussions and decisions take place in the sunshine.
The Fearmongers want to maintain the status quo, and the status quo candidates. They have disseminated lies, lies by omission, and gross misrepresentations to unknowing residents. As such, instead of telling you about myself I feel the need to correct the record.
I have a deep respect for our village and I zealously support the foundation of our village, our Village Charter. The charter, the footprint of our government, brilliantly and uniquely fits the needs of our island. I am grateful and admire the people who created the Village Charter.
I value safety and believe in law and order. I moved to Key Biscayne because it is a safe place to live. Life/safety is a priority for me. I have always supported the police and fire departments. Not only was I in Manhattan on 9/11, but my aunt was trapped in a Tower One elevator for 45 minutes as a result of the plane violently crashing into the building. It was the New York City Fire Department that saved her. The rescue was caught on video and is something I will never forget.
As you decided who will get your vote, remember this is the most important election in Key Biscayne’s history.
1. We need to select the best Village Manager we can find. No cronyism.
2. The Charter Revision is soon upon us.
3. Eventually we will take on debt to fund complex projects.
I believe in “We the People” and if elected I want to be the vehicle to get the people’s voice heard on the dais. We all share a mutual love for our Island!
I am running to serve you and do my part to preserve our island. Contact me to share your priorities and concerns. ElectAllegra@gmail.com or (305) 699-4426
God bless America and God bless Key Biscayne.
I am running for Village Council to usher in a new era for Key Biscayne, to begin a new chapter of leadership and governance for our island paradise. Instead of being an idle spectator, my conscience told me the time had come to step forward and help my island home. I love Key Biscayne. I value our self-rule and history of incorporation. We must ensure the island’s financial resiliency and protect our police and fire as essential services to safeguard our independence as a municipality.
My background as a public policy advocate, business and marketing strategist, and a Key Biscayne community volunteer as president of Key Colony HOA, has provided me with the qualifications to be an effective and efficient leader to the Village Council. Key Colony is the largest HOA on the island, with 1,179 units and an estimated 5,000 residents -- about 38% of Key Biscayne’s population. My condo board experience is closely related to the work of a council member. You have to collaborate with board directors, manage large budgets, address ongoing infrastructure issues, and prioritize strategic projects aimed at improving property values.
I am AGAINST the current GO Bond ballot referendum because it does not validate the money needed, nor specifies the projects targeted for this GO Bond referendum. Whether the GO Bond referendum passes or not, I strongly believe that the best municipal practice for issuing GO Bonds should be done when projects are “shovel ready” and in tranches with cost estimates and timelines identified for voters to approve. Resiliency is more than building protective barriers and hardening infrastructure.
A resilient Key Biscayne can only be achieved by adopting resilient budgeting policies and municipal planning and sustainable services to effectively protect our island paradise.
I, respectfully, ask for your vote to be one of your new council members, and together we will make Key Biscayne history. Thank you for the opportunity to present myself as the right choice for Key Biscayne Village Council.
I love Key Biscayne. I’m proud of our independence, our first-rate community services, and our public spaces. I’m not cynical; I’m optimistic. I’m not eager to stoke division; I want to repair it. I’ve lived in both houses and condos. I’ve rented and owned. I am a unifier, a consensus builder.
I’m experienced. I’ve been involved in Key Biscayne community leadership since the day I arrived — at my church, at the yacht club, in my condo, and for the village.
I’m straightforward. I say the same things in public as I do in private. I don’t shy away from tough realities. I’ve been writing about Key Biscayne issues for several years and publishing my thoughts and opinions. I’m consistent and dependable.
I get results. The three years I led Key Colony as president of the Homeowners Association were the most productive in many, many years. Major repairs and improvements were accomplished to our infrastructure and operations. With my leadership we trimmed the operating budget, improved communication, and restored owner confidence.
If elected to the Village Council, I would work to bring results. My top three priorities would be:
Completing the long-range strategic vision plan for the community. This will provide us with clarity and priorities around our goals, which is an essential first step.
Improving communication and transparency. I will work to see that the village's website is redesigned to be more accessible and effective. We have a good story to tell: we should tell it.
Restoring civility and voter confidence. Our village government has important responsibilities and voters deserve to be assured that they are being managed responsibly.
If the foundational priorities above are accomplished, it will make many things that have been wished for and talked about for years and years far easier to accomplish.
Voters interested in knowing more about me can visit my website at mattbramson.com and/or meet me physically or virtually through Mondays with Matt, both at Donut Gallery from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. or via Zoom, every Monday, 7 to 8 p. - Meeting ID 279 159 3961
Michael J. Kelly, Esq.
Why Me? Because I am the only candidate who was born and raised in Key Biscayne. I know what the perfect childhood entails and what must be done to ensure that future generations get to experience the same, if not better (if that’s even possible), childhood that I had.
Why Me? Because like many of my peers, I am finding it increasingly difficult not to be scared about the future and angry about the choices and actions made by past generations, which is why my generation needs a voice.
Why me? Because as a young adult preparing for the challenges that life had to throw at me, whether that be career-wise or on a personal level, I have never been more motivated and excited to face and overcome a challenge. I believe this is the type of mindset and energy that the council currently needs in order to overcome the challenges Key Biscayne will face in the future, such as sea-level rise.
Why me? Because I will bring a fresh set of eyes to the council. I will bring a new perspective, a modern philosophy, and a level headed approach. As a lawyer with a Masters in Business Administration I have the skillset to solve the most pressing challenges this island has to face. A strong foundation in law and business is key to positioning the council to make the best possible decision.
Why me? Because a vote for me will be voting in engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and all the other experts who are necessary to answer a question, resolve an issue, or overcome a challenge. My reliance on these experts makes me a great council member because I will never make a decision based on “gut-feeling” or previous experiences.
Why me? Because I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my mother, uncles, aunts and friends’ parents will continue to call Key Biscayne “home.”
- Dedicated Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend and Neighbor
- Community Service
- Elected by parents of Key Biscayne K-8
- Educational Excellence School Advisory Committee
- Appointed by Village Council / Educational Advisory Board
- Key Biscayne Children & Education Foundation dedicated to raising educational standards and access for all. “No Child Left Behind”
Professional career building organizations at home and abroad
Expatriated for over 10 years working to hire, train and develop supply chain optimization teams across several continents, managing hundreds of team members and global budgets
I am a strong communicator with a keen EQ that allows me to empathize with others in my search for common ground.
I have and will continue to work hard to improve the quality of life for us all on this paradise island and I pledge to be your voice as your chosen councilmember and to protect our island’s values and culture
I am a proud father of two daughters, my inspiration to inspire others to do what inspires them. Calling Key Biscayne home has afforded me the opportunity to live a blessed life -- a life I am incredibly grateful for and one that has inspired me to serve my community. My experience working with people from all walks of life has allowed me to develop the belief that together we can accomplish remarkable feats by starting from a place of unity for a common goal.
I love this island and what it has represented for me over 35 years of my life, and I have made a commitment to give back. Give back to show gratitude, pay homage to those before us, and to be the best example I can be to my daughters and nieces.
In summary, my devotion to better the well-being of my family, friends and neighbors, my ability to collaborate and communicate effectively, and my absolute belief that we can together accomplish extraordinary achievements, are all reasons for “Why Me?”
I LOVE YOU KEY BISCAYNE and I WON’T LET YOU DOWN!!!!!
I decided to run for Village Council this year to do more to help Key Biscayne come together as a community. I would like to see some positive change and collaboration; we can accomplish so much more in our island if we can work together. I want to be your voice in the council.
Like many of you, I am concerned with the impact of COVID-19on our lives, the economy and the state of the nation. I am concerned with rising costs, runaway government spending, and the prospect of higher property taxes during a recession. That is why I am against the GO Bonds.
My 30-year career in finance has provided me with skills and insights that I believe would be useful at the council dais, in serving the public, and in dealing with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, our neighboring municipalities.
The most important decision I will make as a council member will be to hire a new manager. The Village Manager is a complex job that serves multiple constituencies: citizens, the council, staff and the environment. I pledge to hire a professional manager.
With respect to policy, I will strive to maintain the quality of life on the key and improve property values. To do so, we need to invest in key infrastructure projects to make sure Key Biscayne continues to be the best place to live in South Florida.
When elected, my priorities will be: improving public safety; protecting the quality of our beach and environment; upgrading our public utilities infrastructure; and building a new school and library.
I plan on living in this island paradise with my family for a long time and I want to play an active role in making sure Key Biscayne is a great place for all. I conduct myself with integrity and commitment. I intend to be true to those values as your council member.
I respectfully ask for your support. Vote for Reynaldo Figueredo #119 on your ballot.
More information on the candidates.
- For a replay of the September 21 Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce / Islander News Candidate Forum, click here.
- For a replay of ASK Club of Key Biscayne September 24 Candidate Forum, click here.
- For a replay of ASK Club of Key Biscayne September 25 Candidate Forum, click here.
- For a replay of the October 8 Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce / Islander News Candidate Forum, click here.
Early voting locations. #kbvotes