Joint Letter to the Miami Herald: Negative Campaigning in Coral Gables Elections

In partnership with the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the Gables Good Government Committee submitted a letter to the Miami Herald concerning negative campaigning in the recent Coral Gables municipal election. Please read the unpublished letter below:

Putting your name on a ballot for consideration for public office takes a tremendous amount of determination and intestinal fortitude, especially these days. But it also requires an equal amount of integrity, faith and honor, something we as residents and business leaders in Coral Gables expect of our candidates, no matter if the term is for two years or four years. And while we saw a vast field – 13 in total – put their name forward and qualify for the April election, not all lived up to that expectation in our estimation.

Continue reading “Joint Letter to the Miami Herald: Negative Campaigning in Coral Gables Elections”

Coral Gables Neighbors Association’s Zoom Runoff Debate

The Coral Gables Neighbors Association is hosting a Zoom Debate for the Coral Gables Runoff Election on Wednesday, April 21st, starting at 7:00 PM. The debate will be moderated by former U.S. Attorney Leon Kellner and is hosted in partnership with Gables Good Government, the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables, the Ponce Neighbors Association, and Urban Core Community Coalition, Inc.

Judge Thomas W. Snook, President of GGG, will be representing the Committee and will ask the candidates questions during each session. For more information or to register, click the link below:

Commission Seat 2: 7:00 PM          Commission Seat 3: 8:00 PM         

Rhonda Anderson                               Javier Baños

Jose Valdes-Fauli                               Kirk Menendez


April 27, 2021: Coral Gables Run-Off Election

The Run-off Election for Coral Gables Commission, group 2 and 3, is on Tuesday, April 27th. Be sure to mark your calendar!

Group 2 Candidates:

Rhonda Anderson
Rhonda Anderson
Jose Valdes-Fauli






Group 3 Candidates

Javier Baños
Kirk Menendez







If you requested a Vote-by-Mail Ballot, track your status here:

Candidates Forum: Are You Ready to Cast Your Vote?

CANDIDATES FORUM: Hear from the candidates for City Commission and Mayor. Hear their thoughts on the critical issues impacting Coral Gables, and BE INFORMED before you head to the polls in April.

Event by The Coral Gables Chamber Of Commerce and League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County


Info on this event is at Facebook


Candidates Forum: Are You Ready to Cast Your Vote?

6 PM – 9 PMRecorded Live: Thursday, March 11, 2021Broadcast: Friday, March 12, 2021In person attendance is by invitation only and limited to the candidates, their guests, Chamber leadership, UM hosts and City officials.

Events@CoralGablesChamber.orgModerated By: Dr. Gregory Koger
Professor & Chair, Dept. of Political Science | University of Miami-


Rhonda Anne Anderson
Tania Cruz-Gimenez
Alexander Luis Haq
Mayra Joli
Claudia Miro
Jose Valdes-Fauli


Javier Baños
Alex Bucelo
Kirk Menendez
Phillip ‘PJ’ Mitchell-


Jackson Rip Holmes
Patricia Ann Keon
Vince Lago

Presented By: Sora Global Risk Advisors & University of MiamiIn Partnership With: Gables Good Government | League of Women Voters See Less

GGG Board of Directors July 2020 to June 2022



President ​Tom Snook
Vice President, Membership ​Susi Davis ​
Secretary Robert GIll
Treasurer ​Ines Calderon
Chair, Advisory Council Mayor Don Slesnick
Past President Debbie Swain

Member Emerita Mayor Dorothy Thomson​

Board Members

  • Sally Baumgartner
  • Gay Bondurant
  • Debbie Register

Presidents Ex-Officio

  • Jorge Alvarez
  • Mayor Don Slesnick
  • Jeannett Slesnick

GGG Advisory Council Members 2020-2021

  • Tony Andenoro
  • Evelyn Budde
  • Frank Gonzalez
  • Richard Leslie
  • Joanne Meagher
  • Patrick Morris
  • Jeannett Slesnick
  • Dorothy Stein


Obituary: Coral Gables ‘ambassador,’ attorney Richard DeWitt dies at 69 (Miami Herald)

By Howard Cohen

APRIL 07, 2017 12:52 PM, UPDATED APRIL 07, 2017 12:13 PM



Richard DeWitt’s brother-in-law Jeff Kindler marveled at DeWitt’s adaptability.

“You could drop Richard into the middle of a Manhattan cocktail party, a Catskills coffee shop, a St. Louis Rotary Club meeting, a Southern California boys’ weekend in tents, a Polish town square, a village in Kenya, a rainforest in Peru. Put him in any situation, with any type of people, in any place on the planet. And, in an hour, he would know his way around as well as the locals and have at least 10 new best friends for life,” Kindler said at DeWitt’s recent funeral.

DeWitt, a former Miami police sergeant turned Coral Gables attorney who served on numerous city boards, died on March 29 after a heart attack. He was 69.

DeWitt, an arts lover, cigar and spirits connoisseur, who also loved fishing in Key Largo, met his wife, Luba, 34 years ago while visiting Slovakia. “He was a dashing American, full of energy and an incredible curiosity,” she said at his funeral. When they met her command of English was elementary, she said, and she’d never been to America. But 10 days after they met he proposed.

“There was not one dull moment with Richard,” Luba DeWitt said. He taught her to walk through the Everglades muck and enjoy it and how to camp in the swamps without fear. She taught him to ski and appreciate foreign films with subtitles. Together, they traveled and opened their home in the Gables to visiting dignitaries and fellow arts lovers.

. . .

He served as a trustee for the Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg and as the director of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. DeWitt was also a board member of the Coral Gables Community Foundation and vice president of the Coral Gables Good Government Committee.

“Richard was a caring and concerned resident of his beloved Coral Gables,” said former mayor, Don Slesnick. “When needed to work for his fellow citizens, he was ready, willing and able to serve in whichever capacity he was needed. Over the years, he served on four different city boards demonstrating his effective leadership style in each instance. When we needed a person to guide the Economic Development Board through the fiscal trials and tribulations of the early 21st Century it was Richard who was the chairman for six consecutive years.”

More recently, DeWitt was an appointee to the city’s Code Enforcement Board and Charter Review Committee. Said Slesnick, “He and his wife, Luba, were active participants in the Sister City program and traveled — at their own expense — with our delegations to Pisa, Granada, Aix-en-Provence and La Antiqua. They were superb ambassadors for the City Beautiful.”

DeWitt’s survivors also include his children Tina Krablin, Rick and Sasha DeWitt, and grandchildren Ethan, Delaney, Liam and Sidney. Services were held. Donations in his name may be made to the 200 Club of Greater Miami.

Read the full article online at The Miami Herald.

Election Update ‐ VOTE! on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Below is information about each candidate taken from their campaign websites. We encourage you to visit their websites for more detailed information about their backgrounds and issues.

Editor’s note: editing done for brevity. Please see candidates’ websites for full details.


Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick:

Jeannett seeks to preserve the essential features of Coral Gables, and to protect the legacy of George Merrick’s vision for future generations. As a 40‐year resident and current City Commissioner, Jeannett wants to serve a more significant role in preserving the “City Beautiful”. Her efforts will focus on the issues that come in front of the City Government, and she will be especially passionate about the following issues: Open Government, Traffic, Smart Development, Public Safety.

Former Mayor Raul Valdes‐Fauli:

Raul understands that dozens of issues will arise in a campaign for Mayor, but believes that a focused candidate must prioritize a handful of the most critical issues for our community: Safety, Fiscal Stability, Traffic, Development, Quality of Life.

“Coral Gables has been home to the Valdes‐Fauli family for more than five decades. It’s where our children grew up and grandchildren are raised. I have once again felt a strong sense of obligation to serve, give back and contribute to our collective future.”

GROUP III (Commissioner)

Commissioner Pat Keon:

Our Neighborhood Schools initiative also took hold in 2016. Now parents know in advance which schools their children can attend. By working with the Miami‐ Dade Public Schools, we have also maintained a 25% preference for admission to the International Studies Program at Sunset Elementary and continue to work to have more seats available for our residents at West Lab. I’ve been fortunate to live in Coral Gables over 40 years, and I believe our quality of life continues to be among the highest anywhere. I am committed to keeping it that way. I’m proud to have served as your City Commissioner the past four years and, with your support, I would be honored to continue to do so.

Former Commissioner Wayne “Chip” Withers:

Over the course of my career, I’ve proudly dedicated more than one‐third of my life to improving The City Beautiful. I’ve had the privilege of serving on your City Commission and City Boards for 20‐plus years, working closely with leaders and residents to make important decisions that improve Gables’ quality of life.

We live in one of the greatest cities in the world, and one that’s reached a pivotal point in its history. It’s now vital to proactively map out the next 10 to 15 years – not only to ensure that future growth and decisions are forward thinking, but to protect the core values for which our City is known.

Group V (Commissioner)

Marlin Ebbert:

As your commissioner, I will hold developers accountable to the same rules we all follow, prioritize calming traffic and public safety, be available and accessible to you, in person and by phone (305) 778‐4928

Randi Hoff:

It’s important to me that you know where I stand on issues that are imperative to our community’s well being. don’t hesitate to contact me at randyhoffcampaign@ if you want to ask me where I stand on any other specific issues.

Michael “Mike” Mena:

I will implement an aggressive traffic reduction plan, continue to lower property taxes and fees, prioritize smart development – protect our residential neighborhoods, Improve our city parks and promote green spaces, continue to evaluate and implement various sea level rise adaptation policy options at the City’s disposal, work with our Police Department to keep our streets safe.

Serafin Sosa, Jr.:
Interview by Community Newspapers

Top 3 issues include: Congestion due to population growth; overcrowding, which strains our infrastructure; these will inevitably result in more crime; the ongoing Streetscape projects need to be addressed to restore normality to the affected areas, combined with global warming, sea water level rising and aging infrastructure.

No public funds were used to publish this document. It may contain errors and omissions.