KENDALL (CBS4) – It’s the first time all eleven candidates for Miami-Dade mayor sat down to debate.
The forum, put on by the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations and moderated by CBS4’s Elliot Rodriguez was standing room only. Topics ranged from transportation issues to the new CEO of Jackson hospital’s six figure salary.
Former State Representative Marcelo Llorente told the standing room audience he didn’t support the salary.
“The City of Miami got Mr. Migoya for a $1 a year and Miami-Dade County is going to get him for almost a million dollars a year,” said Llorente
Entertainer Luther Campbell followed up Llorente’s response, “To take a million dollar salary. That is outrageous.”
For the most part the debate dragged on with no one capturing the audience, until the very end. The question was would they support forcing the Florida Marlins to renegotiate their new stadium.
“I’d boycott the stadium,” Luther Campbell pledged.
While entertainer Luther Campbell was the only one to go that far fireworks flew between the two presumed front runners. Carlos Gimenez took the debate over the Marlins and accused Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina of supporting it.
“It was rotten to the core and he supported it.” Gimenez told the audience. He continued to accuse the Robaina of flip-flopping his support on the Marlins billion dollar stadium deal.
As the commission voted on it years ago, Robaina was one of three mayors to stand before the commission to support the team.
“The tape doesn’t lie. The item was the deal. Mayor Robaina stood in front of the commission and he said I am in support of this item,” said Gimenez.
Robaina took the microphone and quickly responded. “I do not support welfare for millionaire owners and that’s why I had the opportunity of the mayor as the mayor of Hialeah, as the manager of the city of Hialeah, I did not make that deal with them. No one else at this table can say that.”
Robaina states that he did not support the deal, just the idea to keep the Marlins in South Florida.
This is really just the beginning of the debates. Another one is scheduled this week.
The election is May 24th.