BHA Endorses Marc Sarnoff for District 2 Miami Commissioner

Unlike ever before in its 21-year history, Brickell Homeowners Association has had the ongoing, active support and involvement of its Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Also unprecedented, BHA endorsed the candidacy of Commissioner Sarnoff for re-election to his District 2 seat on November 1st. BHA has a history of encouraging participation in the election process, hosting Candidates Forums every year and covering the races of importance to the Brickell community. There is even a PAC when hotly contested political issues arise. This is the first time, however, that BHA endorsed a candidate, testament to the board’s recognition of the leadership role Commissioner Sarnoff has played, and a desire to see his initiatives continue.

vote-iconBHA President Ernesto Cuesta explained “Commissioner Sarnoff has paid attention to the concerns of Brickell, advocated and fought on behalf of our interests, and has succeeded in bringing about quality-of-life improvements to the Brickell area.”

Commissioner Sarnoff was chosen among a field of five contenders, each of whom participated in the BHA Candidates Forum in September. They each presented their platforms and answered questions on a range of issues. The packed-house crowd was particularly attentive to candidates’ responses to questions relating to the Brickell area.

BHA made its endorsement of Commissioner Sarnoff because of his understanding of the issues of importance to the Brickell community (see Legislative Agenda on the opposite page), and the tangible progress he has made in several key areas.

Sarnoff-Forum2011

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff at the
2011 BHA Candidates Forum

These successes are detailed below, along with the next steps BHA looks forward to continuing with the Commissioner.

Impact Fees

The proper and legal use of development impact fees has been an issue for BHA for many years. Commissioner Sarnoff has pushed to rectify years of fees paid by Brickell developers that should have benefited Brickell and instead were used elsewhere in the City’s general fund.

“Sixty-five percent of development in the City of Miami has been in the Brickell area,” Commissioner Sarnoff recently stated.“ But the corresponding impact fees have not been used in the area.

Going forward, with significant development continuing in the area, BHA looks to Commissioner Sarnoff to ensure that these fees help to benefit the impacted area.

Greenspace

Commissioner Sarnoff has worked to find greenspace and create parks in the Brickell area, as well as other parts of Miami. He recognizes that these elements are imperative for sustaining a vibrant urban community. Residents and those working in Brickell will benefit from a park being constructed at 1814 Brickell Avenue, as well as other smaller parks and playgrounds the Commissioner has conceived and is seeing happen through public-private partnerships. (See article on page 1.) BHA is hoping for timely completion of these important greenspaces and realization of the Commissioner’s vision for “a Brickell Avenue park that you will be really proud of.”

Garbage Fees

For many years Brickell residents living in high rises have been assessed property taxes for garbage collection to supplement the service provided to single-family homeowners, but without getting the service. Brickell homeowners are tired of paying for garbage collection in their taxes as well as paying private waste haulers at their condos. Commissioner Sarnoff has sought to remedy the disparity.

Going forward, BHA hopes to continue to work with the Commissioner to change this inequity.

Traffic Safety

Commissioner Sarnoff has also worked with BHA on issues relating to the safety of Brickell Avenue for the growing pedestrian community, including the lowering of the speed limit along the entire stretch of Brickell from SE 26th Road north to the River.

Going forward, BHA is seeking, with Commissioner Sarnoff’s support, to convince the Florida Department of Transportation to maintain 30 mph limits after the road reconstruction project is complete, among other FDOT issues.

From BHA News, Vol. XXI, No. 3, Fall 2011