CUTLER BAY CANDIDATES FOR VICE MAYOR
Sue Loyzelle currently serves as the district 2 representative. She works for the YMCA and is liaison to the town's Communities for A Lifetime Committee. She was appointed to the council in 2010 and then ran for office in 2011 using lobbyist Jose Luis Castillo as a consultant. She has also consulted with him in her current campaign. Jose Luis Castillo works as a campaign consultant and as a lobbyist hired to convince the council to approve zoning changes and site plans in Cutler Bay.
Loyzelle stated in 2011 that she was in favor of allowing buildings as high as 4 stories along Old Cutler Road and she has voted accordingly. She has also voted to rezone properties to allow greater density. In recent debates and interviews she has tried to rewrite history, contradicting her former positions. The rest of her platform is rather generic and nondescript with no written details whatsoever, wanting to improve our quality of life, fight for families, public safety, better parks, etc.
Her campaign finance reports show contributors including 3 real estate PAC's ($3,000), recalled former Miami-Dade Commissioner Natacha Seijas ($100), former commissioner Katy Sorenson ($75) and Palmetto Bay's Vice-Mayor John Dubois ($250). One check from a business ($1,000) and another from an individual ($1,000) associated with the recently approved Mater Academy which Loyzelle voted in favor of.
Giraud is a relative newcomer to Cutler Bay. He has taken a strong anti-lobbyist stance and has publicly stated he is against four story buildings on Old Cutler Road. He is also against any attempt to increase the zoning or density on property along this roadway. He owns property on 87th Ave which was recently rezoned, but he did not ask for increased density. According to Sunbiz, he has a business relationship with an Old Cutler landowner who has attempted and failed to get approval to build a CVS on his property.
Other issues Giraud is focused on is making changes to the growth management plan, converting parts of town hall into office condos to save money, fewer no bid contracts, and public safety. He alsostates he will not meet privately with lobbyists or their clients, a practice now allowed in the town. He gives voters a detailed account on his positions on his website. His campaign finance reports show he is primarily self funding his campaign. He pledged to never take funds from lobbyists or their clients and so far he has kept this promise. There are no smoking guns regarding contributions.
CUTLER BAY CANDIDATES FOR DISTRICT 2
Chuck Barrentine works in loss prevention for Sears. This is his third run for office, his first was in 2006, and again in 2011. In his last campaign, he ran against Sue Loyzelle on a platform of replacing the town manager (who left a year later) and opposing 4 story buildings on Old Cutler Road. His position of limited growth on Old Cutler Road appears unchanged, citing traffic as a primary concern.
Barrentine has come out strongly against the influence of lobbyists, developers and special interests and for increased transparency. His website includes a detailed list of several local issues of concern, along with potential solutions. Barrentine has served on the South Dade Military Affairs Committee, hurricane preparedness activities (CERT team), and coaching sports teams among others. Chuck is less polished then his opponent, but appears to be well informed about local issues. According to Barrentine's latest campaign report he has collected $3,900.00. For the most part, Barrentine seems to be funding his own campaign. There appear to be no smoking guns.
Michael Callahan works as Manager of Facilities at East Ridge Village and is the chair of the town's Parks and Recreation committee. Unlike Barrentine and Giraud, Callahan appears to be unconcerned about the influence of lobbyists on town decisions. His concerns seem to be focused on three main issues. The first being parks, which he is well familiar. He supports building a multimillion dollar aquatic center, creating a park by town hall, and other park improvements. His other two issues include managed development and traffic calming. His position on not allowing developers to provide their own traffic studies is an important issue but his thoughts on traffic calming presents nothing new.
Callahan is far more polished than his opponent, but he comes off as very much the politician, perhaps due to a previous career in acting.
He has the least amount of funding, with just $1,950.00 raised. Again, there are no smoking guns regarding his campaign finances. Callahan has made comments that lead me to believe he would be pro-environment, which does fit nicely with his parks
Part 1 - Palmetto Bay
My problem with both of these -- the influence of Jose Luis Castillo. I don't believe that one should manage a campaign and then get paid to lobby the people he has managed. It is an unethical situation to me. I think both towns (or villages) should look at an ordinance to curtail this. I wrote about this problem in Cutler Bay in 2014. When are they going to fix it? Unless they make a pledge to recuse themselves from any vote he is lobbying for --- I would NOT vote for any candidate that he manages.