Council Member Ed London filed papers last week for another term on Key Biscayne’s Village Council, the first incumbent to do so.
“I believe it is a critical time in village history,” said London, 82. “The causeway issue, resiliency, there are major issues,” he said. He declined to endorse any of the three candidates now running for mayor.
London, who served on the council earlier from 2012 to 2016 before becoming the top vote getter in 2018, has earned a reputation for examining village finances with a critical eye. Frequently a lone ‘no’ vote when it comes to spending matters, he has often contended that staffing in police and other departments is excessive for the village’s population of 15,000. It’s a stance that has put him at odds with the village’s public safety unions.
But he succeeded a few years ago, however, when the village reorganized its financial operations and hired a chief financial officer for the first time at his urging.
As for Manager Steve Williamson, who is charting a course for up to $250 million in shoreline protection, flooding, and utility undergrounding projects, London gave high marks. “He’s a good administrator,” London said. “He’s doing a good job.”
London said he would work to reduce the divisiveness he sees in village politics.
“You know what? We’re a small community at the whim of the county and the state. And we have to do our damndest to make our voices heard,” London said. “Condos versus the homes, the renters versus the owners, this group versus that group, trying to create problems. I think this is not in the best interest of the village.”
London is the fifth person to declare for Village Council this cycle. Four political newcomers have filed papers: Nicolas Lopez-Jenkins, Oscar Sardiñas, Mary Keif Stevens, and Fernando Vazquez,
The field could become more crowded before the Aug. 25th filing deadline. Among those picking up candidate information packets were H. Frances Reaves, a former candidate, Mary Lou Dasburg, and incumbent Council Member Ignacio Segurola.
Outgoing Mayor Mike Davey also picked up a packet, but said he had made no decision on whether to run for a council seat. Reaves also said she has not made a decision on running.
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.