As part of our If I Were Mayor project, we asked Miami Lakes residents what they would do if they were in charge of their town.
Miami Lakes is holding a special election today to choose a new mayor after the suspension of Mayor Michael Pizzi. Pizzi was one of three mayors arrested last month on corruption charges.
Geoffrey Shideler is a publications coordinator for a scientific journal. He met me at the town’s Publix, which was across the street from a cow pasture. And across the street from the town hall? Another cow pasture.
Shideler said Miami Lakes likes to retain some of its past as a dairy farm, which was owned and developed by the family of former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Partly in homage to that history, colorful cow sculptures dot the commercial center.
Resident Sean Schwinghammer spoke glowingly about his town, “What’s made the town different, why everyone’s always been an advocate, is this has always been a civic-minded community. It’s Miami Lakes against the world.”
Schwinghammer, a former office holder in Miami Lakes, is involved in health care issues.
Likening the town to "Mayberry," Schwinghammer added, "Some of us just want to make sure it’s kept at the same level that it was founded on and where it should be restored to."
Hear what Schwinghammer and Shideler said they would do if they were mayor: