Doral Residents Voted for Transparency and Stability
By: María Alejandra Pulgar
Doral electors started to cast votes since the beginning of October through mail-in ballots and took advantage of early voting locations to avoid crowds and Covid. There were still many who approached the precincts on Election Day, on which has certainly been one of the most important elections in the United States.
The interest and participation in the Doral race was impacted by the fact that it was a general election, but the results reflect that most residents took the time to evaluate the choices and make informed decisions, for the future wellbeing of the City.
Bermudez reelection: a vote of confidence
It was a landslide. And it was expected. The good people of Doral recognized Bermudez’s dedication over the years and rewarded his knowledge and experience with their support.
Doral residents reelected Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez with 69.85% of votes for four more years to lead the community. A total of 22,984 voters out of the 38,637 registered in Doral concurred to the polls to express their opinion, a proportion that was expected given that this year was also a general election.
The campaign promoted by the challengers for the position was unfortunate and pointless, plagued with allegations and provocations that proved ineffective given the results. It was directed towards misleading those who have not lived in the city long enough to appreciate and recognize the difference that Bermudez’s leadership, along with the hard work of the Councilmembers and City staff, have made in the community, which have made the City of Doral a national reference of good governance and successful management.
Mayor Bermudez looks forward this time to complete the job of consolidating Doral services for residents and business owners and getting the city ready for a transition in 2024 focused on preserving the quality of life for future generations.
A challenge he will need to confront though is to reach out to the 6,929 electors who supported his opponents, to understand their needs, and address their concerns over the next four years.
Results for Seat 1 and Seat 3
Claudia Mariaca won four more years in the Council with 63.48% of votes versus 36.52% obtained by challenger Rafael Pineyro.
It was a campaign close and with different approaches from the candidates. Results of the harmony and teamwork that has been prevalent in the chamber these past years, convinced electors to preserve the status quo and give Mariaca more time to continue serving the community, a task she has embraced wholeheartedly with dedication and responsibility.
The result for Seat 3 will have to wait until December 8th, when a runoff election will take place between Oscar Puig and Juan Carlos Esquivel, as none of the candidates obtained the 50%+1 of votes to call the election.
Decision on Doral Charter Amendments
In addition to choosing the mayor and two councilmembers, Doral residents voted on the passing of six amendments to the City Charter, which were formulated in 2019 by the Charter Amendment Review Committee that convenes every five years, as established in the City Charter.
This time around these were basically housekeeping items intended to clarify certain details and procedures for the governance of the City.
The amendments approved were the following
Amendment 1: reviews the requirements to appoint the committee to select the Charter Enforcement Official, establishes the qualifications for the position, and provides for funding for the Office of Charter Enforcement. The entity is responsible to ensure that councilmembers and staff always comply and follow procedures described in the City of Doral Charter. This amendment updated the previous amendment from 2014 which created the Office of Charter Enforcement.
Amendment 2: updates and clarifies the procedures for naming City properties and facilities, not limiting the naming and designations for posthumous nominees. With this change, for example, a City property or facility can be designated by ordinance to honor a donor or corporation. It would be in the hands of elected officials to make the decision.
Amendments 3 and 4: updates education and experience qualifications required for hiring and designating the City Manager and City Attorney.
The amendments 5 and 6, related to the modification of the date for Doral elections and Charter Review Committee cycle were not approved by Doral residents.
Election season has basically ended for Doral, pending only the definition of the new councilmember for Seat 3. The participation of electors was unprecedented, and the results reflect that people took the time to review alternatives and ponder their decisions.
However, the responsibility for the quality of life in Doral does not lie exclusively on the shoulders of the Council. It will take the work of every single one of us, residents, to continue making sure that Doral is always the place we love to call home. Time, talent, and treasure are important not only during the election season but always. You pay your taxes, but participation is also important. Make sure as a resident that you continue being involved and informed, holding your elected officials accountable and reaching out to them to voice your needs or concerns so they can help you. It is a team effort. And also remember to praise them every now and then for a job well done; Public service is not an easy task and these neighbors of yours were willing to offer their time to serve you with love and dedication.