Islanders weigh in on their choices for Village Council
The following are mini-endorsements received from Key Biscayne residents regarding the 2020 Village Council election, where 10 candidates are vying for three open seats. The endorsements are presented in the order in which they were received. see below for information on how to submit your mini-endorsement.
Mr. Armando Chapelli has supported Immaculata-La Salle High School as a proud alumni in many ways. He has donated the batting cage and pitching machine for the baseball team. He has been on the Immaculata-LaSalle Alumni Board and Sports Hall Of Fame Board. He has the leadership skills to help the Key Biscayne community be successful in the future.
Coach Carmen Grosso, director of Alumni, Immaculata LaSalle High School
I wholeheartedly endorse Allison McCormick for four more years on the Key Biscayne Village Council. For the past four years, she has been a true asset for Key Biscayne. She listens to all of the residents with respect and responds to the needs of our village. Allison always goes out of her way to work for all of us. Please return Allison McCormick to the Village Council. We need her thoughtful and honest involvement.
Joan E. McCaughan
I whole-heartedly endorse Allison McCormick, Brett Moss, and Frank Caplan. I had the honor of serving with these outstanding individuals and attest that they’re insightful, hard-working and have only one item on their agendas: helping our community be its best for all who live here. They’ve always made important, and sometimes difficult, decisions after seeking input from as many as possible, representing all. It’s critical to elect leaders with the knowledge and understanding of what we need to protect our island, preparing for challenges that lie ahead. Please join Elaine and me in supporting Brett, Allison and Frank.
I endorse Allison McCormick. As a council member, she has proven to be informed, thorough and well prepared on the issues. She is a determined public servant who thinks independently and finds opportunity not obstacles. Allison’s well established relationship with the school district and her commitment to public safety have served our island well. We deserve to have Allison for another term.
One of the greatest problems we face in this election is that everybody’s fighting for their cause. When the causes people are fighting for are more important than the sense of community that binds them together, the community is in jeopardy. This seems to be happening in Key Biscayne. Politics depends on compromise --- working together, and being able to negotiate to get what most people want. Reynaldo Figueredo has the demeanor and skill to bring together parties of opposing ideologies ... to come up with a plan together for the benefit of our cherished island community. I look up to Reynaldo Figueredo to bring back more civil discourse to the council. Vote for Reynaldo Figueredo.
Juan Santaella Zamora
My mini-endorsement for Michael Kelly: “Ambition is enthusiasm with a purpose.” This quote perfectly represents Michael Kelly. Youth needs a voice. We were born with an insurmountable challenge of combating climate change. Key Biscayne needs to build a bridge to the 22nd Century. The first step is approving the bond. Michael’s age may resemble inexperience to some, but to me it resembles diversity. Electing members with different backgrounds, skills and perspectives will ultimately allow our council a wider variety of perspectives and more accurately represent all aspects of our island.
I endorse Michael Kelly for Village Council. I have spent many years working with our village's youth as a school counselor and through youth programs at our Community Center. Our village is in desperate need of someone who knows what it is to grow up on Key Biscayne, who has participated in a number of youth programs and sports on the island, and will push for programs and support for adolescents. Please consider Michael Kelly and give a voice to our village's youth!
My family and I would be honored to endorse Michael "Mikey" Kelly for Village Council. We have known Mikey for almost 20 years. As a kid, he would frequently come to my home with my daughter after school. He was always very respectful and courteous. As an adult, Mikey has demonstrated to be responsible, honest, dedicated and committed to everything he does. I know he will be an inspiration to our community and will work hard for our village.
I have known Matt Bramson for over a decade in both social and business contexts on Key Biscayne. I believe Matt will be a positive force on the village council. I’ve witnessed Matt approach volunteer roles on the key collaboratively, with the highest level of professionalism. Matt will make significant contributions to the village serving on the council because of his thorough and effective executive acumen. Matt listens to people, assesses opposing positions from various perspectives, and efficiently distills arguments down, leading to thoughtful and succinct discussions. I am endorsing Matthew Bramson for Village Council.
This is an important election for our village and who we choose for council is critical. We have known Matt Bramson for over 10 years and have seen him excel in community leadership when our kids attended St. Christopher’s together. We know he cares deeply about protecting and improving Key Biscayne. Not only does he support the GO Bond, but he also has a clear plan with strict criteria to greenlight projects. Most importantly, Matt is a truly good-hearted person. KB deserves outstanding people to bring us together and move us forward. Matt is the perfect candidate to accomplish this!
Barbara and Tino Peña
It is my pleasure to enthusiastically endorse Armando Chapelli for our Village Council. I have known Armando for years and have long been aware of his strong financial management skills. Armando Chapelli’s many decades of business experience and financial acumen would be important assets on our Village Council.
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, former US Congressman
I endorse Council Member Allison McCormick for re-election to Key Biscayne Village Council. I have known Allison personally for many years. She is smart, honest, committed, trustworthy, articulate, extremely hard working and places the well being of the village above all else (bar her family). We are fortunate to have her as a council member. Her experience and thoroughly vetted knowledge of issues provides valuable continuity moving forward. Without reservation, Allison McCormick has my vote and would recommend she has yours as well.
Steven M Stollman
We live in a unique moment in history, in which voting and choosing our representatives is more critical than ever. The lack of representation of women and younger generations in our community has always caught my attention. I want to express my support for a leading young woman in our community who can competently represent us. Since I have known Jennifer Allegra, she has proven that in addition to being a model lawyer, she is smart, honest, a fighter for her ideals, representing fiscal responsibility and our community interests accordingly. In these pivotal times, let’s choose wisely!
Silvina Rodriguez Picaro
I’m writing to endorse Jennifer Allegra in her candidacy for the Village Council. Ms. Allegra is an intelligent woman, devoted to her causes. She has a high sense of honesty and integrity. She is energetic in working with issues and goes to great lengths in obtaining facts for the issues in which she becomes involved. I believe she will be a constructive member of the governing body of Key Biscayne.
I am pleased to endorse Reynaldo Figueredo for the Key Biscayne Village Council.
Born in Venezuela in 1966, Mr. Figueredo comes from a family from whom he learned community service and politics. He (studied) college in the US, graduating from Babson College in Boston. After graduation, he moved to Europe to begin a 30-year professional career in the financial service industry. I met Mr. Figueredo in relation to his involvement with Hermanos de La Calle, an organization (dedicated to placing) dozens of homeless into permanent homes. The combination of community service and his 30-year career in finance have provided Mr. Figueredo with skills and insights that I believe would be useful at the council dais.
Xavier L. Suarez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner
As Key Biscayne approaches it’s 30th anniversary, it is facing some challenges. Typically, bureaucracies expand with time, and clearly there are budget difficulties ahead. But Key Biscayne is simultaneously facing special environmental issues. Jennifer Allegra’s background as state regulator, an environmentalist, and an attorney makes her uniquely qualified to tackle these obstacles with singular focus, insights and strength. She will continue to be a tireless watchdog of residents’ resources and laser focused on real, long-term, sustainable solutions both environmentally and financially.
Charles Hyatt Collins
It is not uncommon during elections to have the problem of having to choose among the least disagreeable candidates. Not this year. We have five excellent candidates for council who have served our community very well over the years and have earned our respect. Unfortunately, we can only vote for three. I am endorsing former mayor Frank Caplan, current council members Allison McCormick and Brett Moss and community leaders Matt Bramson and Oscar Sardiñas.I know them all well and they are running for all of the right reasons. Candidates you can trust.
Jorge E. Mendia M.D.
I strongly endorse Michael Kelly for the Village Council for several reasons. He is fully qualified for the job and approaches every task methodically and with sound common sense. Importantly, Michael grew up here on the key and knows firsthand the importance of providing facilities and programs for all residents, especially our young children and teens. Michael Kelly is the candidate best qualified to represent all of us who are blessed to live here in Key Biscayne.
Brian S. Keif
Please consider Matt Bramson for Village Council on November 3. I've known Matt for over a decade and find him to be a good listener and very pragmatic in his approach to solving problems. His dedicated NIPA service as a leader of the sprawling Key Colony Master Condo Assn., the islands largest, will serve him well in securing consensus among those with differing views.
We are hopeful all in this community will do our best to inspire our council members to be unified once the new council is elected and help defend the integrity of our local government and the quality way of life our community has achieved . We need to elect a council capable of demonstrating unity of purpose towards the goals Key Biscayners treasure. Our next council should be Luis Lauredo, Ed London and Ignacio Segurola … and we endorse Allison McCormick, Brett Moss and Frank Caplan to join them. They hold the same traditional Key Biscayne values we do.
Karen and Raul Llorente
Matt Bramson is an excellent candidate for our Village Council. Matt is one of the most brilliant people we know, is calm and measured, and can bridge the gap when people are strongly opposed to each other’s positions. He has been active in his HOA in leadership positions, and is excellent at seeing the “big picture” and finding common ground and resolution. He loves our community, and works tirelessly and diligently on anything he sets his mind to. We would all be very lucky to have Matt working on behalf of all of us in our council.
Dr. & Mrs. Jaime Zambrano
I support Matt Bramson for the Village Council. I have known and worked with Matt for many years and I admire his capacity for leadership and smart decisions. At a time when our collective well being is challenged by misguided small town political shenanigans we need to support good men and women whose ideologies are not so set in stone. Matt is such a person. He understands the issues at hand. He understands that our infrastructure is threatened daily and is given a lifeline with the GO Bond… and (that) the disconnect to work harmoniously with other Village Elders, including members of neighboring communities, is paramount to stop our decline. Matt would serve us well on the Council.
Ruediger J Flik
Islander News will continue publishing residents’ mini-endorsements in our Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 issues. To send your endorsement, email email@example.com. Maximum 100 words. Endorsements will be edited for length.