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What are they thinking…
As we all know long-time Hialeah City Council member Esteban “Steve” Bovo was just elected to the Florida House, leaving a vacancy on the City Council. That vacancy was to be filled by appointment, it is after all just a one year term and the appoint would save the city some cash in running an election; however it seems we had forgotten what happens when the council is left to determine these matters.

Tuesday evening they went ahead and appointed a 21-year old St. Thomas University student to fill the seat. Now I’m sure Katherine Cue, who formerly served as Mayor Julio Robaina’s staff member, is a sharp young woman with excellent potential, but as a citizen you have and ask yourself who else could have been considered? Can the council possibly tell that there were no other qualified candidates?

Lets just clarify, Hialeah is the fifth largest city in the state, its ripe with professionals — attorneys, accountants, social workers, teachers even those who have previously served or have a long standing history of activism in the community. Miss Cue should have been left to further mature in her current staff member role, or even as a council assistant. Yes, the youth should to be represented, but youth is wise enough to know to that experience counts for something.

Her appointment won’t be official until Next Tuesday’s (Nov. 25) meeting. This is one of those moments when we need to call all the council members and express our dismay.

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photo-ebovoWith the win of the State House District 110 seat, Hialeah Council President Esteban ”Steve” Bovo leaves a ten year legacy and an open seat on the council.

At the last City Council meeting, Bovo was bid a fond farewell, and presented with a city proclamation and many well wishes — the city was obviously confident of his win. His departure however, poses the task of filling his council seat, which is not up for another year.

City Attorney William Grodnick proposed two options — either appoint someone or call for a special election. It appears we’ll be going with an appointment, based on council concerns about the cost associated with running a special election. A replacement must be named no more than 30 days after the Nov. 4 election, meaning the Nov. 25 council meeting should be a good one — mark your calenders. Also up in the air is who will succeed Bovo as council president.

Bovo will continue to serve the city of Hialeah as his district office covers portions of Hialeah and Miami Lakes.

vote-graphic1Voting’s come along way in la ciudad que progresa. When the city was incorporated in 1925 there was one precint and 532 registered voters. Now 83 years later there are nearly 80,000 voters and countless precincts.
Our voting experience went smoothly first thing this morning (literally), by 6:30 a.m. voters were lining up at Milander Auditorium, the sleepy crowd nonetheless was cheerful and in good humor.
After a charming chat with a couple who could remember the day when Hialeah didn’t go further than West 4th Ave (57 Ave) we cast our votes and wished for the best. As we were leaving we couldn’t help but note campaigners sharing cafecito and the granizado cart pulling up – ah, elections Hialeah style.

Time’s running out folks, make sure to get out there and vote early. From what we’ve seen lines are wrapping around JFK Library so give yourself plenty of time to cast your ballot.

Two big races featuring Hialeahans include the race for Florida House District 110 and the U.S. 21st Congressional District seat.

District 110’s race features Esteban “Steve” Bovo (R), current Hialeah City Council president and Nancy L. Stander (D) a school teacher and former staffer for U.S. Sen. Graham.

The other heated battle is the seat currently held by Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) and being challenged by former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez (D). The battle has garnered a lot of press lately particularly with accusations of absentee voter fraud. — “La cosa se esta poniendo caliente,” as one political junkie put it recently.

”Fire chief gets cuffed at Obama Rally”
Yesterday, browsing through the Miami Herald Web site, the above headline stuck out, and considering the ridiculous nature of it, our first thought was — only in Miami — yet it gets even better — only in Hialeah.

For those of you that hadn’t heard, Dean Parkerson, an off-duty Hialeah Fire Department district chief, was arrested at Tuesday’s Obama rally in Bicentennial Park for jumping a security fence. He was charged with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest without violence.

I’m sure there are all kinds of sides to this story, but the main point is: Dude what were you thinking? Jumping a fence at a presidential rally of all things? Could you not show credentials? How badly did you want to see Obama?

Its amazing, do people loose all common sense once given a title? Sure its always shameful to be arrested, but typically being arrested brings shame to yourself, maybe your family, however once you hold a high-ranking public position you bring shame to the whole city. Hialeah already doesn’t have the best reputation as we all know (just look at that ridiculous Enrique & Joe video), but when you have incidents and headlines like this it doesn’t help change people’s perspectives. Thanks a lot chief.

We’re so very disappointed we couldn’t be there to document the festivities, but we just stumbled across this event. And honestly we can’t think of a more kitschy or ingenious way to engage the local community. Apparently on Oct. 20, the first day of early voting, the Obama/Biden Hialeah field office decided to celebrate in style with a “Lechonazo (early voting event).” Now, Hialeah we know has one of the highest concentrations of Cubans in the country and is decidedly republican ground, barring former long time Democrat Mayor Raul Martinez, yet its events such as this that engage a community. Yea it’s hoaky, but who cares, if it brings out voters or makes a few more people stop and consider the candidates then it should be applauded. The Republicans might actually take a cue and come up with similar events rather than drive around town with bull horns and pick-ups, which we must say are just ostentatious and annoying. Vote Early!

Local Congressional Debates Air Tonight On CBS4

Why not gear-up for the final presidential debate tonight by watching some local politicians go at it. CBS4 Anchor Antonio Mora will moderate two local congressional debates tonight from 7-8 pm. These are two key races affecting south Florida. Hialeah angle: Not only do we fall within the district, but one of the candidates is former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez. — Can’t wait!

7:00 pm: U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Faces Challenger Joe Garcia
7:30 pm: U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart Faces Challenger Raul Martinez