Nov. 6 is the most important day of the year for America – it is the day we vote to elect our next president; it is the day that we, as Americans, get a chance to determine who we want to be in charge of our country for the next four years.
As American citizens, we get to pick our leader through the ballot box, a responsibility that we are lucky to have and one that we should all treasure. We must take advantage of the opportunity. According to Census Bureau data, 131 million people participated in the 2008 Presidential Election; that’s out of 146 million registered voters and of 206 million Americans who are of voting age. Those who are registered and otherwise eligible to vote, but who don’t, are either tuned out or turned off, sick or just too busy. And that’s a shame. Voting is a right and a privilege.
It’s hard to predict how that 208 presidential election would have changed if those who were eligible had voted. Perhaps John McCain might be running for re-election today; then again, perhaps not. No doubt the negativity of campaigning keeps many voters away from the polls, and that is a concern this year.
Many states have been working to make the voting process more convenient and less burdensome for voters. But these reforms have come under attack throughout the nation, which may mean that many voters in 2012 will find it more difficult to cast their ballot.
And, while it is important that you vote, it is equally important to be educated on the issues that you will cast your ballot on. This year’s ballot is long and complicated, so please get a sample ballot and study it carefully in advance. There are 10 proposed amendments to the State Constitution and a dozen proposed amendments to the Miami- Dade County Charter.
I have put together a list of endorsements by the Pinecrest Tribune. Those endorsements are printed below. Please read them and then make your own decisions.
We feel that Hingston has a proven record of dedication to the community of Pinecrest where he has been a resident for 30 years. His accomplishments are considerable, with more than 14 years of service on the Village Council and other Village panels, and more than 30 years of community involvement.
Hingston served as a founding councilmember in Pinecrest from 1996-2006 and was Vice Mayor from 1996-98, 2001-02 and 2005-06. He also distinguished himself as the chair of the Building and Zoning Committee and the Parks and Recreation Committee. He was a member of the Pinecrest Planning Board from 2008-11 and served as its chairman from 2009-11. He served on the Community Center Advisory Committee in 2010-11 and when the Village of Pinecrest needed a new manager in 2011, he served on the Manager Search Committee.
With such an intimate working knowledge of Pinecrest and its history, Hingston will be a solid, tested and beneficial presence on the council as it deals with the important issues in the coming months and years.
Hingston has been a partner at the Coral Gables law firm of Welbaum Guernsey Hingston Greenleaf Gregory Black Rune & Thomas since 1974. He received his law degree in 1974 from the University of Florida after obtaining his BA from Ripon College in 1971.
Hingston’s active participation in the community includes serving with the Howard Palmetto Baseball/Softball Association (Howard Palmetto Khoury League) from 1983 to the present in varying positions as manager, coach, baseball commissioner, vice president and as a member of the Rules Committee and Executive Committee, the Wayne Moore Award panel and the 50th anniversary Reunion Committee.
Additional community service includes his work with the Suniland Optimists (Optimist Club of Suniland) from 1979 to the present. He has served on the board of directors, as Coach of the Suniland Sundevils (a Pop Warner League team) and as a coach and commissioner of the Suniland Basketball team. He is a Life Optimist.
Bob Hingston will be an able and dedicated representative on the Pinecrest Village Council and deserves your vote.
THE PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES JENNIFER WOLLMANN FOR PINECREST VILLAGE COUNCIL, SEAT 1
Wollmann and her family have lived in Pinecrest since 1992 and that decade of change has made her determined to be a part of the team that will chart the course of the Village as it faces many key issues coming up in the near future.
She has served on the Village’s Pinecrest Parkway Visioning Committee and the MDCPS Family and Community Involvement Advisory Budget Subcommittee. She also served on the Village Planning Board, the Community Foundation of Pinecrest, Miami-Dade Green Building Council, Florida Realtors Association Sustainable Growth Committee and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Site Selection Committee. Committed to educational issues affecting the children of the community, Wollmann has served as legislative chair of the PTAs at Pinecrest Elementary, Palmetto Middle and Palmetto Senior High School. She has vowed to continue to work with area schools so they remain competitive and increase their national and state rankings. Her concern for the school system led her to lobby for Miami- Dade County Public Schools, as well as other important matters.
Wollmann is deeply concerned about such major issues as FPL’s plans to run high-power lines down the US 1 corridor, the county plan to expand the current US-1 busway, which would include Sunpass express lanes similar to those on 95 and would result in a structure as tall as Metrorail running along US 1 from Dadeland to Florida City, which would impact the Village of Pinecrest as well as other communities. She is also concerned about the current high windstorm insurance rates.
As an active EWM Realtor in the Miami Association of Realtors, Wollmann has knowledge and experience that should prove helpful in addressing related issues that can impact Pinecrest or that come before the council.
Wollmann has said that as a council member she would encourage businesses and landowners along US 1 to make stores more appealing while protecting the privacy of neighboring residents, and continue working with state legislators and the Miami Association of Realtors to address windstorm insurance reform.
With her knowledge of the issues that concern Pinecrest residents and her desire to keep the Village a multi generational community, the Pinecrest Tribune feels that Wollmann deserves your vote.
THE PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES BILL NELSON FOR UNITED STATES SENATE
Bill Nelson, a fifth-generation Floridian, was elected to the Florida Legislature in 1972 and has been serving the public ever since. He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1978 where he served six terms representing Orlando and the Space Coast and became an early advocate for a balanced federal budget. In 1994, he was elected to the Florida Cabinet as state Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal. After serving for six years as a strong consumer advocate, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He currently serves on the Senate Commerce, Budget, Finance, Intelligence and Aging committees and is recognized as the leading congressional expert on NASA. In 1986, he spent six days orbiting the Earth aboard the space shuttle Columbia. He served his country as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1971, both on active duty and in the reserves. He has been married to his wife, Grace, since 1972 and has two grown children.
THE PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN FOR U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was born in Havana, Cuba, but she was forced to flee the country with her family when she was eight years old. They settled in Miami where Ros-Lehtinen has established firm roots in the community. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004. She was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives in 1982 and the Florida Senate in 1986. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989 and has been strongly returned to Congress ever since, currently representing Florida’s 18th Congressional District, a diverse area that includes Miami, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Miami Beach, Westchester and the Florida Keys. She has devoted her working life to improving the lives of her constituents by supporting tax reductions and the cutting back of unnecessary government spending.
She is working to strengthen the Head Start program and has supported legislation to revise the FAFSA process. She is a strong advocate of programs that address domestic violence against women and is passionate about improving our nation’s military, safeguarding veteran’s health care, and ensuring that returning veterans have access to a college education. She is also the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she voices her support of Israel and of human rights, including her opposition to Castro’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. She has also led on pressing foreign policy issues, including the fight against Islamist extremism and support of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. She is the wife of former U.S. Attorney Dexter Lehtinen and a mother, stepmother and grandmother.
THE PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES GWEN MARGOLIS FOR SENATE DISTRICT
35 Gwen Margolis began her public service career in 1974 when she was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. Her career in the Florida Senate began in 1980 where she was appointed to chair the Finance, Tax and Claims Committee, and later the Appropriations Committee, where she assisted in leading the state out of budgetary crisis.
In 1990 she became the first woman to serve as President of any Senate in the Unites States of America. She currently serves on the board of directors of the World Trade Center, Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, Jewish Home for the Aged, Actor’s Playhouse and Maximum Dance Company. She has lived in Miami-Dade County since 1960. She has four adult children and seven grandchildren.
THE PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES ERIK FRESEN FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 114
Erik Fresen was elected to the House in 2008 and then was re-elected. He served as a legislative aide from 2000-02. He is the vice chair of the PreK- 12 Policy Committee and is a board member of both the Beacon Council and Children’s Home Society. He is the past chair of the Educational Facilities Benefit District and Republican Party of Miami- Dade, as well as a current member of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Workforce Housing and School Concurrency Task Force. He received his B.S. from Florida State University and is married to Ethel Fresen. They have three children.
PINECREST TRIBUNE ENDORSES MICHAEL BILECA FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 115
Michael Bileca was elected to the House in 2010. He is currently the vice chair of the K-20 C o m p e t i t i v e n e s s Subcommittee and a member of the Education Committee, Federal Affairs S u b c o m m i t t e e , Government Operations Subcommittee, Health & Human Services Access Subcommittee, Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, K-20 Innovations Subcommittee and PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. He is a founding board member and treasurer of the Dental Group Practice Association, a board member of Hands-On-Miami and March of Dimes, and a trustee of the Miami Chamber of Commerce. He received his BSM from Tulane University and his MBA from Northwestern University. He is married to Vivian Salazar and has three children.
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