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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can join our organization at www.doralcommunitycoaltion.org