Candidate Response: JACKSON ‘RIP’ HOLMES

Group IV Candidates:
Ivette Arango O’Doski | Melissa Castro | Jackson ‘Rip’ Holmes | Sean McGrover


    • Why are you running? What is the most important issue you would address or advocate for if elected?

Holmes: My main issue is overdevelopment. Citizens United makes it legal for developers to buy City Hall. The developers donate 4 times more to candidates than all taxpayers combined.  As a result, we no longer have a democracy, but instead a developer-ocracy. Our best way of fighting this is to amend the City Charter to require voter- referendum approval of any major development, as the City of Miami Beach and the City of Key Biscayne have done.

    • In what ways do you think the current City administration could better serve the citizens of Coral Gables, and how should the incoming administration put those ideas into action? 

Holmes: Please see the answer above.


Climate Change:

The top three contributors to climate change are the use of fossil fuels for electricity, motorized transportation, and construction and manufacturing.  Another contributor in the top ten includes methane from waste in landfills.

    • What actions would you propose that the City of Coral Gables take to control and reduce these and other climate change contributors?

Holmes: I advocate doing an experiment to see if heavy seawater free energy works. The History Channel has successfully tested Tesla’s free energy theory and IT WORKS. We are facing sea-level rise threatening to drown Coral Gables within 100 years, destroying all we have. Eugene Mallove of MIT says hundreds of experiments have verified a net energy gain running electricity through heavy seawater — seawater containing deuterium — whereby, say, you run an electric current of 5 amperes into one end of a lab container, and somehow get 7.5 amperes out the other end. Multiplying this free energy thousands of times, we no longer need petroleum, and we thereby end sea-level rise. The experiment costs about $10,000. What do we have to lose?!


Depending on who you ask, Coral Gables is either over-developed or ripe for development.

    • Where do you stand on future development and the concerns that residents have raised in opposition? Do you think the city needs more development or more restrictions on development? Explain why.

Holmes: Please see my answer to the first question in General Questions.

    • The Coral Gables Commission voted in favor of an updated zoning code in 2021 after several years of discussion among the residents, the City administration and the City Commission.  What reasons would cause you to consider supporting a zoning code exemption or amendment to alter the code for a developer’s site proposal?

Holmes: None.


Traffic in Coral Gables is a constant source of debate and concern for residents, and as development in the City and across Miami-Dade County increases, it will only become more of a problem.

    • What initiatives are included in your strategy to improve traffic in and through the City?

Holmes: The Penny Sales Tax was only voted in circa 2001 on the explicit promise the money would only be used to build rapid transit traffic solutions. Instead, in The Great Recession, the County violated its explicit promise to taxpayers, and misappropriated $27 million of the $32 million collected. It only costs $14 million to put MetroRail on all our Expressways, thereby reducing traffic by at least 1/3. We need to get the money put back in the Penny Sales Tax Fund, and our traffic problems are tremendously reduced. I support Vince Lago’s lawsuit to do this, and think the City should join as a Party.

    • Do you support improving safe infrastructure on roadways and rights-of-way to encourage active modes of transportation? Specifically, do you support bicycle and micromobility (scooters) lanes or paths, expansion of the sidewalk system?  

Holmes: Yes. SAFETY FIRST AS TO BICYCLES AND SCOOTERS. I like armadillos like on the Venetian Causeway. Unless thoroughly safe, I cannot justify sending our young people to be slaughtered on our roadways. I understand and sympathize with these alternatives to cars, but SAFETY FIRST.

    • Do you believe that such safe infrastructure should depend on approval of contiguous property owners, or do you recognize that these improvements benefit all because they increase safety and therefore will increase alternate transportation and reduce automobile traffic?

Holmes: The contiguous property owners should majority approve.

Civility, Ethics and Campaign Finance:

One of the few things people seem to agree upon today is that, when it comes to political and policy discussions, there is little agreement and even less civility. In addition, negative advertising by outside PACs is a big concern.

    • When we look at your campaign finance reports after the election, what percentage will be found to have been contributed from PACs and parties outside of Miami-Dade County?  Do you believe that there should be voluntary limitations on contributions outside of Miami-Dade County to candidates for Coral Gables City Commission and Mayor?

Holmes: I agree to these limitations. They are needed.

    • Have you pledged to run a positive campaign and to avoid any negative or defamatory attacks on the character or reputation of your opponent(s)? Will you publicly repudiate any third-party individuals or PACs who engage in negative attacks against your opponent(s) on behalf of your campaign?

Holmes: I have no PAC. I take the pledge, unless I must defend myself from a PAC smear, or need to point out misrepresentations.

    • What do you think can be done to improve trust and participation in local government?  Do you have ideas on how to improve civil discourse in our community regarding interactions between City Hall and the public?

Holmes: Please see my answer to the first question in General Questions. The Comments section of City Commission meetings is excellent.