Two residents who’ve never held elective office entered the race for Key Biscayne’s Village Council last week, while one incumbent said he’d consider not running if quality candidates were on the ballot.
Oscar Sardiñas, a tile company executive, and Mary Stevens, a social worker, both filed initial papers for Council this week.
Stevens, who has put on teen wellness programs at the Community Center and St. Agnes Academy, said she is running because she “has a passion for Key Biscayne as an invested resident,” but did not have specific proposals.
“I am not going in with a platform or strong opinions,” she said. “I plan to do my research, read, and do my best. I hope I can do good things if I am elected.”
Sardiñas, 49, ran unsuccessfully for Council in 2020, coming in ninth in a field of 10 candidates. He has served on the Village’s Educational Advisory Board, and says this time around, he is more prepared.
“I see this opportunity for us to get behind a couple of things that we can all get behind. For instance, the causeway is something that interests all of us, it’s our driveway,” he said.
Sardiñas said he wasn’t sure about a ballot question asking voters to increase the island’s debt cap, the strictest in Miami-Dade County. The Village administration has said the cap would be an obstacle to $250 million of resiliency projects, even though voters authorized up to $100 million of borrowing.
“I don’t know enough about it. I know that we’re at 1%. And I know that there’s very few municipalities that run on a 1% cap,” Sardiñas said.
Meanwhile, incumbent Council Member Ed London said he hadn’t decided on whether to run for re-election, but said he is considering stepping aside if “good people” are on the November ballot. “We’ll see,” he said.
Stevens and Sardiñas bring to three the number of announced candidates for Village Council, joining Nicolas Lopez-Jenkins who announced earlier in June. The other two incumbents – Luis Lauredo and Ignacio Segurola, did not comment on their election plans.
The filing deadline for council member is Aug. 25th. The filing period for Village Mayor closed Friday, with Fausto Gomez, Katie Petros, and Joe Rasco all formally qualifying for an Aug. 23 primary.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.