Town Topics: Will you vote for the $19.5 million bond referendum to improve Optimist Park?

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Friday, November 4, 2022

Mariela Martinez, Physician, Miami Lakes

     “No I am against it, because of the way it was explained to me and how the taxes will [impact] residents,” Mariela Martinez said in Spanish. “It’s going to cost the residents of Miami Lakes more.  [Taxes based on property values] won’t be [evenly distributed] and if it was going to be evenly distributed, I’d be for it, but it’s not, so I’m against it.”

Martha Gonzalez, Health and Human Services, Miami Lakes 

     “Definitely I am, we need to enhance the park,” Martha Gonzalez said.  “My grandchildren have been beneficiaries of the park for years and I am in support of it.”

Kevin Menendez Macki, Principal, Horeb Christian School, Miami Lakes 

     “After doing my research and really trying to come to a logical conclusion, I am voting for the bond,” Kevin Menendez Macki said. “I wholeheartedly believe it will be a positive for our community.  Another reason is I want to make sure that the park is going to benefit generations to come."

Maribel Balbin, Retired/Small business owner, Miami Lakes 

     “I am voting for it,” Maribel Balbin said. “I am a believer as a former government employee, government can get things done mostly by borrowing money.  I am very distraught by the line of thought that people are opposed [because] of the fact that the majority of the kids who use the park are not from our community.  Look at what an opportunity we have as a community, that we can provide this to help other children from other areas enjoy our amenities.  Especially when you hear people say that our children are now going to other cities to use their parks.”

Deborah Marrero, Realtor, Miami Lakes 

     “I’m not informed about it enough,” Deborah Marrero said.  “If they’re going to put the park in optimal condition and everybody is going to use it and it’s going to be for the benefit of everybody, I don’t have a problem.  It all depends on how much it’s going to cost me. If they do things in a way that’s reasonable, I have no problem with restoring the park and having it in good condition.” 

Alexandra Herrera interviewed and photographed our Town Topics talkers, except for Maribel Balbin and Kevin Menendez Macki, who shared their photos. We thank you all!