• 23 Sep 2018 1:12 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    Zoning Workshop: Doral Retail Development - Doral 87 Group, LLC

    Starts:   9/27/2018 6:00 PM

    Ends:   9/27/2018 7:00 PM

    Event type: Workshop

    Zoning Workshop - Retail STores

  • 02 Nov 2016 4:03 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    DORAL COMMUNITY COALITION

    The City of Doral is again facing election time. For all members of the DCC, it is time to reflect on what has happened since the formation of our Group and reflect on our future.

    When the DCC was founded, we all had a concern about good governance and transparency in the management of our City.

    We concentrated our efforts on few subjects that, not to our surprise, are the critical issues in this political campaign.

    1.     Transparency;

    2.   Traffic;

    3.   Real Estate Development;

    4.   Quality of Life.

    Those key issues guided our activities during this period, including but not limited to taking an active role in addressing overcrowding of schools, ad-hoc amendments to the City’s comprehensive master plan for development, the City’s ability (or lack thereof) to alleviate traffic problems, transparency in the City’s financial management (such as the increasing annual budget, the Miss Universe project, and red light cameras), and the loss of operating margins and the capital surplus that the City enjoyed previously.City.

    Many of our Directors and Members participated on different Advisory Boards and community activities and we are happy that two of them are now participating in the political challenge ahead.

    1.Transparency

    We have participated actively in the discussions to sustain a transparent government, reflected on proper measurement tools, access to information, proper public participation, including allowing public comments in all public meetings, calling the meetings at reasonable time to allow citizens to participate amongst other issues. We spent numerous hours in meetings, requested public information on a periodic basis and have review activities and presented our concerns and recommendation to the Council members. We are satisfied with our efforts but not with the results. We have noticed a reluctance from the City to share information with us and we have not always succeeded in having City officials attend our meetings.

    We have conducted annual budget review discussions led by our members to offer a different view of the City’s Financials, raising many concerns about how our money is being spent.

    We notice that the transparency issues remain high on the agenda of the political campaigns and we appreciate that. The Doral Community Coalition will continue to pursue the objective of a transparency and good governance regardless of the election results and will continue to demand that the government comes closer to the people and does not sit still.


    2. Traffic

    Traffic was a subject of multiple discussions with developers and we conducted a workshop with Joe Corradino, the City’s traffic planner and a subject matter expert to discuss the issues and look for mitigation of this major issue with our City.

    We will continue to do so as we are not satisfied with the efforts made and we continue to oppose the dramatic changes made to the City’s comprehensive master plan for development, which changes have aggravated the situation by placing more residential areas far from the schools and increasing density. Residential projects inside Commercial Areas have created a major issue some of which were approved even against the recommendtion of the professional staff. 

    3. Development

    The Doral Community Coalition has been active in opposing the City Council’s approval of ad-hoc and significant alternations of the City’s comprehensive master plan for development. We made our voice heard loud and clear and even took legal action in an attempt to prevent the alteration of the comprehensive master plan without any prior study as to the comprehensive effect of approving the developers’ requests for the many changes to land use in our City. Contempo, Gateway, Transaal and  Sanctuary were some of those projects. Unfortunately, in some cases, even against the professional opinion of City administrators, the Council managed to pass these changes, usually with a suspicious 3 to 2 vote.

    The Doral Community Coalition sponsored a resolution, presented by one of our members, Claudia Mariaca, (and approved by City Council) to create workshops between developers and the community to address citizen concerns.  This was based on legislation used in other Cities and eventually the Coalition facilitated a discussion between a developer and the community to resolve a pending issue.

    We are not happy to report that the Council, by using deferral techniques, has made it very difficult for Citizens to participate in the discussions with the most bizarre case that of the Sanctuary project discussion in which the final vote occurred well past midnight. We will continue to fight for the proper respect to our citizens.

    4. Quality of Life

    In 2014 we noticed that the Parks plan developed by the previous administration was not moving. The DCC organized a petition in 2014 collecting over 500 signatures that were presented to the City and, in 2015, the NW 104th Av. Park finally started to be built. We are very pleased to have started that movement and that your petition made the government act.

    We do expect to further participate on the issue of our parks as they are a critical part of our quality of life. We are seriously concerned about new projects and we hope to discuss them further with the government officials and the community.

    We held discussions on the odor issues with the processing plant with the attendance of the Management and Residents, this is an on going issues that needs Management attention.

    In summary, we are very pleased that our agenda was the agenda of the people of Doral. When reflecting back on the results we are never satisfied, but we understand that this is the job of this volunteer organization - to help the voice of our residents to be heard. The current City government has not been very receptive to our efforts, but we are hopeful that starting in 2017 we can all work together for a better Doral - A City we can all be proud of.

    It is very important to make your voice heard. Your vote is fundamental to driving our City’s future.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at doralcommunitycoalition@gmail.com. You can join our organization at www.doralcommunitycoaltion.org

  • 19 Oct 2016 4:44 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    As we did in past few years we have analyzed the approved budget of the City of Doral for the fiscal period 2016/2017, its trends and how the financials have evolved throughout the last four years.

     As  we had anticipated in our previous reviews the trend needs prompt attention. The City has increased its expenses over 4 years by 65% and the revenues have only increased by 10%.

    The  City has dimished its surplus or cash generation from approx. $20MM four years ago  to $6MM in the 16/17 period. That is not enough to cover depreciation, future capital needs, etc. The city has lost its abillity to build a new park  with its own money, as an example. In the period 2013/14 the City needed 64% of its tax revenues to cover the personnel expenses, in 2016/17 tax revenues are not enought to cover personnel expenses which have grown 72% in the last four years

    See the full presentation with sound in English https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQ8S7Mh4dA&spfreload=10 or in Spanish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn8oqVLFbFg&spfreload=10

     Any questions you can contact us at doralcommunitycoalition@gmail.com. If you want a copy of the presentation please send us an email.

  • 17 Oct 2016 8:20 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    The City Council has finally approved a bonus based on qualified development but has rejected the bonus on Affordable Housing.

  • 21 Aug 2016 10:39 AM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    The second reading will be held this coming August 23rd. at 6 PM at the Council Zoning meeting. If you opposed it pls write to the Council members and/or attend the meeting at City Hall.

    You can find the agenda at this link:

    https://docs.google.com/gview?url=http%253A%252F%252Flegistar1.granicus.com%252FDoral%252Fmeetings%252F2016%252F8%252F1132_A_Council_Zoning_Meeting_16-08-23_Meeting_Agenda.pdf&embedded=true


    T

  • 11 Apr 2016 10:35 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    We  inform you that former Mayor J.C. Bermudez,  a co-founder of the Doral Community Coalition, has submitted his resignation to the Coalition Board. Mr. Bermudez has announced that he filed to run for Mayor of the City of Doral in the upcoming November elections.


    Mr. Bermudez is a leader in our community and we want to thank him for the invaluable contribution he made to the Coalition and his continuous efforts to fulfill the objective of the Coalition: to promote good and transparent governance in our City of Doral.


  • 26 Feb 2016 3:50 PM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    As you are aware the Doral Community Coaliton wrote a letter to the PGA raising its concern about the possibility moving the tournment to another location. We have received a reply from the PGA which is attached.

    Letter from PGA.pdf

  • 23 Feb 2016 7:04 AM | Norberto Spangaro (Administrator)

    The Doral Community Coalition is seriously concerned about the lack of transparency in the City Council processes and is meeting to discuss what actions need to be taken. Several Citizens have expressed their concerns. We share with you a recent article by our Director, in the City of Doral Newspaper .

    DORAL AND TRANSPARENCE IN GOVERNMENT



    I was reading recently an article written by Mauricio Merino, from Mexico, about democracy and citizens participation, which I found very interesting and will like to share with you in this free translation.


    The key idea to modern democracy — do not loose sight of it - was popular sovereignty. If the Sovereign Kings only responded to God, the political representatives in modern states should respond to the people who elected them.  The votes do not concede limited power, but the obligation and responsibility to exercise the political power for the benefit of the people. According the classic concept of Abraham Lincoln, it is the peoples government, for the people by the people. It is in this direction that we can explain that the evolution of democratic regimes is a continuous effort to make the elected officials more responsible in front of the society.


    A democratic government, has to be a responsible government, in both senses. It cannot be, paradoxically, if the citizens do not find the way to establish a channel of participation to ensure that responsibility.  It is a two way road, the political representation and the citizens participation , and a two way obligation, from the government to the society who has empowered them and from the citizens towards the values on which rest the democracy: it is the foundation of a civilized partnership.


    This concepts, so well expressed by the author, bring us to the delicate situation that we are experiencing in the City of Doral, now for some time, due to the clear antidemocratic attitude of the authorities and the City of Doral Council.


    The City of Doral Council has demonstrated clearly a complete disregard to the political and ethical responsibility of their decisions. Why do we say that?


    1. City Council, in general uses confused and false arguments to approve matters like:


    1. Spending $2.5MM in a beauty contest.
    2. Financing the personal legal expenses of Councilman Pete Cabrera who is in contempt to Court for not delivering records requested by the Court.
    3. Approving dubious expenses for international trips of council members
    4. Hire advisors/lobbyist of dubious reputation 
    5. Approve many zoning changes in contradiction with the opinion of the professionals and in some cases related to contributors to their political campaigns.


    2. Complete lack of transparency when approving resolutions/proposals that are not included in the public agenda, hiding them from the citizens and thus eliminating the chance of citizens to give their opinions.


    3. Nominate sessions as Zoning but then include many items related to normal government activities with no relationship to Zoning, misleading the citizens about the reasons and objectives of the meetings.


    4. No respect to the freedom of speech of the citizens, having to be compelled to do so through legal actions.

    5. Complete disrespect to the Citizens participation. A clear examples is the public expression by Councilman Cabrera that people go to the Council meeting for “show” so they do not need to be at proper times so they can participate. It is also notorious the lack of interest to the opinions and comments of the citizens.


    6. The lack of respect to the laws of Florida, as it is demonstrated by the  numerous messages exchanged by council members and also interaction with lobbyists as can be seen in the current lawsuit against the City.


    7. The extraordinary increase in Council and Public Affair expenses during this government, without clarity as the objectives and without demonstrating the reasonability and effectiveness of those expenses. The Council has more than duplicate its cost in the last three years, and has embarked in the political propaganda in the best  Goebbels’ style ” 


    It is time for the Citizens of Doral to wake up. It is already a common comment in the political corridors of South Florida what is going on in Doral. It is not unusual that we hear the word “corruption” when there is a conversation related to our City. The absolutely irregular situation of Councilman Cabrera regarding his telephone records and the list of messages known to have happened between some council members, the Mayor, etc., are just an indicator of what is going on with the way our city is governed and the relationship with lobbyists and power groups.

    It is clear the intention to mislead public opinion, hide information and irregular activities. 

    What is not clear is how this can happen under the eyes and approval of the City Attorneys? Their reputation is also in the line and should be seriously questioned. 

    It is difficult to understand how a law professional can consider that paying personal legal expenses, or approve a beauty contest can be considered a matter of urgency for the health, safety or wealth of the city, so they can be approved in clear violation of the City Charter.


    We need to recover the ethics and dignity of our City of Doral. It was once a City with an impeccable reputation. This political leadership is committed to destroy it in pursue of personal interests. It is time to wake up.

    Norberto Spangaro

    Resident City of Doral


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