Ten residents have stepped up to run for three Key Biscayne Village Council seats. Leading up to the November 3 election, the Islander News will do its best to help you get to know the candidates -- who they are, what motivated them to run for office, and their stance on issues impacting our community.
In upcoming issues, the Islander News will feature candidate profiles, and explore their thoughts on current critical concerns. Candidates will be able to delve deeper into issues through questions developed by Islander staff. We also want readers involved. If you have questions or issues you’d like addressed by candidates, please send them to us at email@example.com.
We also are planning virtual 2020 Village Council Candidate forums in partnership with the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce.
Dates of the forums will be announced in next week’s Islander News. The goal is for residents to hear the candidates’ platforms, as well as their responses to questions from our staff and from the public.
The Islander will also publish the candidates’ answers to a series of questions in a future edition. Of course, we also welcome candidate mini-endorsements from readers, to run in the print edition as Letters to the Editor, then online.
Mini-endorsements should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday prior to publication. They must be the author’s original words and must list specific reasons for supporting a candidate or candidates. The Islander will not run letters that attack an individual candidate or candidates, nor will we publish anonymous endorsement.
To get things rolling, here's a little bit from the candidate in their own words (listed in alpha-order).
Allegra to fight for beaches, fiscal discipline
By Jennifer Allegra
About two years ago I started paying close attention to our local government because I was becoming concerned about the rapidly deteriorating conditions of our beach, and our increasing municipal budget. When we purchased our home in 2013, the annual village budget was $25 million, and now, in 2020, the budget has climbed to $36 million -- a 44% increase over a mere six years.
As an avid paddleboarder and fisherwoman, I am in tune with the ocean and the beach. Our beach is a place of peace and tranquility. Every sunrise is beautiful and special. As such, we need to return to the high-quality beach we once had, and fight the county, state and federal government for the funds to get it done.
I am a private person and far from a politician. But I am civic-minded and willing to jump into the arena to do my part. The principal issue that prompted me to run for council is the proposed Amendment to the Village Charter and the $100 million bond.
This is not the right time, and this is not the right bond.
I look forward to earning your trust and vote. Please feel free to email or call me to share your views, questions and concerns at: ElectAllegra@gmail.com or (786) 354-6188
Bramson brings extensive civil, business experience to the table
By Matt Bramson
Key Biscayne is the home to my wife, Jennifer Pema, and I ,and where we have raised and
educated our children -- Kyle (18) and Madeline (16) -- for 12 years. I have proudly given back to this community that we love. I have served on the Vestry of St. Christopher’s, as the president of Botanica and Key Colony, and as member of the Village of Key Biscayne 2040 Strategic Vision Board. I own a growing management consulting firm headquartered on Key Biscayne.
Key Biscayne is a gift from the generations before us and we have a responsibility to build upon its many strengths, preserve its unique character, and address the threats to its environmental and economic stability. This requires a vision for our future that incorporates expertise and builds consensus. Our vision must be organized into a plan with specific objectives and timeframes.
We lack this today. I will change that.
Matt Bramson. You may reach me via email at email@example.com
Why Run Again?
By Franklin Caplan
People I respect, including former colleagues, urged me to run for reasons I found compelling, summoning a responsibility I still feel despite my contented retirement after two terms as mayor, eight years on council overall, and at least 30 years of community service.
The main driver (for running) is I can help the council work better as a group, facilitating debates as a thought-leader and good listener, melding competing views while advocating. I seek engagement with residents and can explain issues and alternatives, helping to find threads of commonality from which consensus can emerge.
My temperament, experience and capabilities can be a source of help where help is needed, for improved process and better outcomes, engendering greater trust, better coordination with the administration, and more activated civic engagement – one of our historic strengths – thus helping to transmit our village “ethos” to newcomers and others who do not participate actively in public affairs. My “platform” is all that I can bring to service.
Feel free to reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapelli looking to apply his public service experience on council
By Armando Chapelli
For the last 40 years I have taken an active civic role in the areas of arts and culture, business mentorship, and entrepreneurship.
In Washington DC, I served as board member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and The Washington Performing Arts Society. I was treasurer on the board of the University Club of Washington, responsible for a $7 million budget. Locally, I was a founding member of the Immaculata-LaSalle High School Alumni Association.
I am running for Village Council with a commitment to apply my public service experience for the benefit of the community we all love.
My goal is to lead as I have led my businesses and nonprofit organizations: with transparency, intelligence, and effective leadership. My vision is for a cohesive village that works together for the best interests of all residents.
My priorities include:
- Instituting public trust, respect and common sense.
- Helping secure a resilient village that plans for the future and is able to absorb and bounce back from any hits. This means no blank checks.
- Increasing transparency and accountability in our administration.
- Supporting public safety; our residents deserve to feel safe.
- Strengthening our property values and local economy.
You may reach me via email at
Feel free to reach me via email at email@example.com
Conway wants efficiency, communication and smarter spending
By Louisa Lincoln Conway
Here are my five campaign platforms for running for village council:
- Zero-based budgeting is critical: Residents want an efficient, cost effective government. Zero-based budgeting allows Key Biscayne to allocate funding/expenditures based on efficiency and necessity versus a department’s budget history.
- Invest in resilient and sustainable initiatives: The issuance of debt must be done in tranches as projects are deemed “shovel ready.” The project costs and financing terms should be presented to voters for final approval. The future of the island rests in all our hands, not just councilmembers.
- Education, security and safety are key components to improving property values: We must continue to enhance our levels of service for security and safety, because having our own police, fire department and local school options will help us to improve our property values.
- Fiscal responsibility and preservation of the village charter: Our charter mandates debt ceiling limits on spending (1% of total assessed value), and it must be preserved.
- Transparent and inclusive governance: Improving our village communication is essential to establish a transparent and inclusive style of governance. It builds trust and collaboration among residents, council and our village government.
To learn more about me and my positions, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Figueredo in council race to preserve "small village" character
By Reynaldo Figueredo
I’m running for Key Biscayne Village Council because I care. I have a full time job in Finance. My time and energy is allocated to my family, faith, professional career, rugby coach and in giving back to those in need. Together with dear friends from Key Biscayne, we founded a non-for profit foundation to help homeless individuals.
I’m blessed and lucky to live with my wife, Carolina and son, Reynaldo in Key Biscayne. I want to preserve the “small village” character: a One Friendly Island mentality. There is no better quality of life around.
I stand for:
- A unified community
- Taking action executing key projects for the community
- Public safety
- Protecting our environment
- Educational campaigns and civics
- Giving back
- Lean and efficient government
- Improve the relationship with Miami-Dade County, City of Miami and State Parks Administration
You may email me at email@example.com
Kelly wants to help Key Biscayne deal with challenges ahead
By Michael J. Kelly
Born and raised in Key Biscayne, I have had the honor and privilege of calling this island my home for 27 years. I love this island and care about the people who live on it. However, like many of my peers, I am finding it increasingly difficult not to be concerned with the future of our island.
My generation needs a voice, which is why I have decided to run for council.
I believe that my leadership and unique set of skills and ideas will help guide our village into a more effective community that will serve the needs and interests of not only my generation but all Key Biscayners.
Preparing for the future gives us a clearer vision as to where Key Biscayne will be in the decades to come and help us understand the challenges that lie ahead.
You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
McCormick seeks 4 more years to continue building beaches, community cohesion
By Allison McCormick
Thanks to the Islander News, and thank you for allowing me the honor of representing you all on council these four years.
Here’s what I believe: Great schools, public safety, and quality of life make a community special and, yes, protect property values.
I have worked with the council and the community to drive positive changes for years at the K-8 and MAST. I’m no rubber stamp, but will always do my part to support the best fire and police departments in Florida. I will protect the village’s youth and senior activities, Community Center and open spaces. And, when confronted with tough questions,
I listen to what our residents say about their priorities – seeking consensus.
I am proud of what we’ve started, but there is much more to be accomplished. For example, work to ensure our inclusion in the federal Shoreline Protection Program will allow us to stop with temporary fixes and finally restore our beaches. MAST is one of the nation’s best high schools, but we must continue to safeguard our access and students’ education and experience.
Be proud of what together we have accomplished with the lowest property tax rate in all of Miami-Dade County.
Let’s keep moving forward.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com
Moss four-part platform directed at improving quality of life on KB
By Brett Moss
Vice Mayor Brett Moss, an architect and resident of Key Biscayne for 16 years, wants to focus on four issues in the next term to positively enhance the quality of life, public safety and protect the values of our properties.
Working with the council and the administration, he wants to:
- First, implement an “inspection, repair and maintenance program” within our public works department to ensure our current assets are correctly maintained and in excellent condition.
- Second, create a proper budgeting process to maintain long-term financial sustainability that will improve policy decisions and financial clarity.
- Third, execute infrastructure improvements to protect our properties, such as enhancements to our storm-water system, long-term solutions to our beach and dunes, underground utilities, and eliminate poor water quality on our beach.
- Fourth, establish a comprehensive vision and urban plan that will guide policy decisions for modifications to the zoning code that will maintain and improve community experiences by increasing walkability, pedestrian safety, and neighborliness, especially along Crandon Boulevard. Furthermore, this plan will address additional major topics such as protecting the Rickenbacker Causeway, exploring potential partnerships in the use of Crandon Park, reducing stormwater runoff, water usage, and the electrical demand on our FP&L substation.
Feel free to email me your questions or ideas. You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Education and community service top priorities for Sardinas
By Oscar Sardinas
I have been a KB resident since 1985 and somewhere between hydro-sliding behind the yacht club to eating at Vernon’s diner, I decided Key Biscayne will always be my home.
Today, my immediate family of four along with my brothers’ family and my parents, who will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year, all still live here.
I am eager to find ways to give back to this wonderful community. It’s offered my family so much in the form of community connections, a quality of life that dreams are made of, and an opportunity to consistently enrich my life.
Over the last 25 years, from my undergraduate education at UF to my six years as an expatriate in Southeast Asia, to my few years residing in NYC, I have had the goal of returning to KB and serving my community. This desire has guided me to create the Key Biscayne Children & Education Foundation, a nonprofit that builds educational curriculums to offer ways to enrich children. I serve on the Educational Advisory Board and the Educational Excellence School Advisory Committee.
If and when elected, I plan to continue to roll up my sleeves with education opportunities for our youth. I am also passionate about the restoration of our beaches and improving water quality.
Should I be given the privilege of serving the community, I am committed to utilize my skills to bring value anywhere I can.
You may reach me at email@example.com