Miami-Dade County commissioners voted themselves an enormous pay raise last week, then granted a zoning application that reeks of favoritism and pay-to-play.
The application for a proposed new development in my community of Presidential Estates in Northeast Dade is a quintessential example of corruption. A virtually identical zoning application was submitted 13 years ago and was rejected unanimously. Three of the commissioners who rejected that application are still on the commission. Two of them inexplicably changed their vote this time.
We know that Lennar Corporation has donated to the campaigns, directly or indirectly, of every commissioner. In spite of some ridiculous explanations from Commissioners Raquel Regalado, Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Oliver Gilbert, political might and money were the determining factors in granting this zoning application.
Not my family
As a Surfside resident, I find the proposal by our mayor to form a Sister City pact with a settlement in the West Bank deeply offensive. In a newspaper interview last week, Mayor Shlomo Danzinger claimed to be representing his constituents. He is not representing me.
The settlement policy in the West bank has been condemned by international law. I have no issue with a Sister City relationship with Israel. However, this proposal shows a moral callousness. Out of a tragedy that cost nearly 100 lives and many more homes, the mayor suggests this pact is appropriate. To call that ironic doesn’t get it quite right.
I would urge town commissioners to oppose this proposal. I know many of my Israeli friends share my view that this is deeply and morally disturbing.
Cuban views vary
Re the Sept. 22 letter “Second thoughts:” The Cuban community is not monolithic. Yes, there is group that is loud. However, about 40% of Cubans voted for President Biden in 2020.
There is an organization — Cuban American Women Supporting Democracy (CAWSD.org) — which formed within the last year. We have more than 100 members. Most of us arrived as children or adolescents and are often referred to as the Pedro Pan generation. We defend the democratic values we cherish and that our families have enjoyed as Americans.
We condemn Gov. DeSantis’ cruelty, made evident in his manipulation of Venezuelan asylum seekers in a journey from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, done purely for publicity and political gain.
No free money
We all know there is no “free lunch,” so why does the Biden administration (like previous administrations) continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow?
The federal deficit is reaching a tipping point, inflation is out of control and politicians do not care. Someone must pay, and it is the taxpayers.
Congressional and presidential candidates must address how they are going to reduce the deficit. They also should provide realistic plans to fix other looming challenges across the nation.
I am not interested in candidates telling me what is wrong with their opponents. I am not interested in their attempts to divide Americans. I am committed to doing my own fact-finding, because the media have failed.
We, as Americans, are on the same side. There is no right or wrong, and it is wonderful that Americans are passionate about America. We have the freedom to discuss different views that make America great.
Politicians and candidates must stop dividing Americans and do their jobs.
Fleta Anne Stamen,
Donald Trump has given new meaning to the phrase “thought process.” He explained his method of declassifying top-secret documents as merely needing to think they were declassified.
The same thought process was revealed last week when New York Attorney General Letitia James provided multiple examples of Trump’s suspected fraudulent business practices, in which he inflated the value of his properties and his net worth by what he thought they were worth; his estimates were well beyond reasonable. For decades, Trump has successfully gotten away with lies and exaggerations. Seemingly, his thought process is, “If I think it, it is done.”
I’m thinking, too, and would like him to be done.
Democracy in peril
Would someone in authority please inform Gov. Ron DeSantis that we live in the United States of 2022, not Germany of 1936?
My wife and I are seniors. We have lived in this country all our lives. We do not need a dictatorial governor to lecture us on religion, what medical services and procedures are best for us or what books we should and shouldn’t read.
He is a danger to our way of life, and more important, to democracy.
John and Deborah Bonano,
I thank the Biden administration for restoring consular services that will speed Cuban family reunification. I hope that, in the near future, the administration also will restore multiple-entry visas for professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and academics.
Multiple visits will decrease the need to emigrate and continue our support of Cuban civil society.
Silvia Wilhelm, Miami
Former President Donald Trump now claims he has the power to declassify secrets just by thinking about it.
He may have watched “The Music Man” a few too many times.
Robert S. Squier,