By Larisa Svechin, Mayor
(Friday, October 1, 2021) – There have been some changes in Sunny Isles Beach, which I believe bring opportunities for growth. As we know, former Mayor Scholl resigned and I assumed the role of Mayor until the special election that will be held on November 2. Our beloved former Chief of Police Dwight Snyder retired and Captain Michael Grandinetti is now the Interim Police Chief. We have hired new staff and hope to be hiring more as we all do our best to edge out of this pandemic and back to regular programming.
Our peak visitor months of fall and winter bring on a time of celebration and excitement. Everyone is anxious to participate in programs and events in person. I am thrilled that so many new and long residing residents have already met with me to discuss ideas for their vision of Sunny Isles Beach, from Tony who wants more exercise equipment for adults, Dennis who is advocating for seniors, and parents looking for programming for exceptional kids. It is a time of change and progress. We have an opportunity to reflect on our values and adjust our priorities.
Everyone has something important to them, whether that be a cause, an issue, or an idea. There are many resident- sponsored committees that I am fostering, including a safety, environment, parks, arts & culture, and a parent committee. We also have active nonprofits such as the St. Vincent De Paul Society, Russian Club, Social Citizens of Southeast Dade and the Kiwanis club. I urge you to reach out to me and get involved in any of these or create one of your own.
Come November, there will be two open seats (seats 1 and 3) on the Commission. The mayor will nominate two people to the vacant commission seats, which the Commission approves until a second special election that will be held on January 25.
The City Commission is the legislative body that oversees the ‘big picture’ of the city. That includes setting policy, approving the budget, determining tax rates, and developing land policies. The City Manager and the staff carry out the day-to-day responsibilities and the policies adopted by the Commission. If you have not attended or watched a Commission Meeting, I invite you to our next one on October 21. You can come in person, tune in on SIBTV, or watch from our website.
Sometimes government may inspire hesitation. Do not let that stop you from dropping in, my door is open. I am proud of the responsive city government we have here and it only works with the participation and feedback of our community.