For our If I Were Mayor project, we asked what you would do if you were in charge of your town. Now, after the elections, we’re taking your ideas to the mayors. I spoke to Philip Levine, who was sworn in as the new mayor of Miami Beach Monday, Nov. 25.
This is Levine's first time in elected office; he is the CEO of a multi-million dollar cruise ship media business.
Although the position of Miami Beach mayor pays only $10,000 a year and carries no veto power -- or any executive power, really -- the race is one of the few competitive elections in South Florida. It's been an active battle among candidates Steve Berke, Michael Gongora and Philip Levine, even garnering unofficial endorsements from national influencers.
Former president Bill Clinton, Virgin CEO Richard Branson, billionaire Norman Braman and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson have weighed in on who they think should win.
Has South Florida had any good mayors? Some of suggestions from our audience, clockwise from top left, Robert King High, mayor of Miami (1956-1967); Jim Naugle, mayor of Fort Lauderdale (1991-2009); Alex Penelas, mayor of Miami-Dade County (1996-2004) and Raul Martinez, mayor of Hialeah (1981-2005).
Local governments handle many issues that affect people on a regular basis, like trash collection, property taxes and zoning. But odd-year elections, which are primarily local races, usually receive little media attention.
That's a shame given that many of us have views about the cleanliness of our neighborhoods, the traffic on our streets and the state of our parks, for example.
WLRN-Miami Herald News wants to amplify your views on these topics and initiate a discussion through a series entitled,If I Were Mayor.