Anti-Social

KB Council Oscar Sardiñas & Matt Bramson

August 29, 2020 Tony Winton & Thom Mozloom Season 1 Episode 11
Anti-Social
KB Council Oscar Sardiñas & Matt Bramson
Chapters
00:04:22
Oscar Sardiñas
00:22:28
Matt Bramson
Anti-Social
KB Council Oscar Sardiñas & Matt Bramson
Aug 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
Tony Winton & Thom Mozloom

TWICE THE CANDIDATES, TWICE THE FUN! On this show, we interview Oscar Sardiñas and Matt Bramson, two of TEN -- count them TEN -- candidates running for Key Biscayne Village Council.  Hear their thoughts on issues ranging from the resiliency bond issue to education, to how they think they can help the Village. PLUS -- Thom apologizes.... again. About what??? You'll have to listen. 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

TWICE THE CANDIDATES, TWICE THE FUN! On this show, we interview Oscar Sardiñas and Matt Bramson, two of TEN -- count them TEN -- candidates running for Key Biscayne Village Council.  Hear their thoughts on issues ranging from the resiliency bond issue to education, to how they think they can help the Village. PLUS -- Thom apologizes.... again. About what??? You'll have to listen. 

Tony Winton :

Live from WSQF 94.5 blink radio on beautiful Key Biscayne This is anti social, a radio show that takes the nonsense that's being talked about on social media and attempts to make sense of it. I'm Tony Winton.

Thom Mozloom :

And I'm Thom Mozloom. Tony, are we trying to make sense of it? Are we trying to make fun of him?

Tony Winton :

Never tried it both on this show.

Thom Mozloom :

Sorry. To be clear, Tony is a 30 year veteran journalist who asks hard questions in a nice way.

Tony Winton :

And Tom is a former journalist too, turned into a branding and communication strategist and expert.

Thom Mozloom :

I thank you. If you didn't hear last weeks, you missed the first of our candidate interviews. And today Well, we're going to have some more, and I'm pretty excited about it.

Tony Winton :

We have two coming in today. But we have a total of 10 running for the village of Key Biscayne Villag Council, and we're going to do a series of interviews. I can tell our audience that so far, six of the 10 candidates have agreed to come on the show. One was on last week. Two are here today and we hope to hear from the others

Thom Mozloom :

noise can we start naming names of the people who we haven't heard from is there. Is there a way to pressure people to come on the show?

Tony Winton :

Thom who would never pressure anyone you know that.

Thom Mozloom :

Who wouldn't want to come on this show? This has got to be the friendliest of friendlies

Tony Winton :

and you know, we have a free Product placement with the Perrier.

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah, absolutely every every guest gets a free bottle of Perrier.

Unknown Speaker :

So our format is we as we mentioned, we have two people who will be candidates on but we're not gonna it's not a debate. We don't want to have that kind of vibe, but we want to have as an interview, keep it a little lighthearted talk about some serious stuff. one candidate will wait outside in a separate room, kind of like a sound chamber like the old 50s or 60s quiz shows. And then we will bring the second candidate in but how who's gonna go first?

Thom Mozloom :

I think we should do a coin flip.

Tony Winton :

Okay, le t's do a coin flip.

Thom Mozloom :

We'll do a coin flip. I'm holding in my hand. MIA's executive director coin, because it sounds great when it hits here. Listen to this. You ready?

Tony Winton :

Oh, that sounds great.

Thom Mozloom :

It sounds heavy. So we're gonna we have both candidates in front of us. I'm gonna flip the coin. This is heads. This is tail. Do you have some Jeopardy music for

Tony Winton :

a no, but i wanna i have a do. I have a Sound Effect I'm going to use them. Okay.

Thom Mozloom :

All right, so heads is the MIA logo. Tails is the county logo and the director signature. If anybody at MIA is offended by that. I'm really sorry. Alright, so here we go. You'll call it in the air And tails it is. Oh, the rim shot rim shot.

Tony Winton :

Absolutely. Yeah.

Thom Mozloom :

That's awesome. All right. Well, I will escort our second interview out. You'll get the first interview situated and start the interview without me if I don't come back.

Tony Winton :

All right, and I can I can tell our listeners it's radio. We just had a very nice, completely socially distance fist bump elbow bump. So yes, the two candidates are starting off in a mark of great civility here. So everyone's getting situated in our broadcast studio and Thom's making his way back to this very large we're actually we're sitting at a at a pool table that has a long history, we can talk about it later. That's how far apart we are. We're on opposite ends of a pool table. So make sure we're being safe.

Thom Mozloom :

Maybe we'll have the guy who, who refurbished this full pool table. The full table is expecting now that I think about it, this pool table come in.

Tony Winton :

All right, well, our first guest is here ready to get started. And I'm going to ask you to just read put that microphone close as we talked about earlier, so everyone can hear you. And our first guest is ours, Oscar Sardinas. So thank you and welcome to antisocial.

Oscar Sardinas :

Thank you guys. Good afternoon. First and foremost, really appreciate the invite completely humbled by the opportunity to speak to I've been listening the podcast quite a bit and you guys are incredibly well read. And and just to say thank you to the community for giving me the opportunity to speak.

Tony Winton :

Well, that's very interesting. I would like to hear those nice kinds of sounds. It's very nice to ingratiate yourself with the with the host.

Oscar Sardinas :

Wow.

Thom Mozloom :

you came fully prepared with all the sound effects today. Oh, my goodness. Well, Oscar tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Are you When did you get to the key and why did you come to the key?

Oscar Sardinas :

Okay, good story. So summers of 83 and 84 was came to the key was invited by a close friend of mine to spend the summer spent two summers consecutively went back home told my parents This place is the best thing since sliced bread. I literally came from island paradise. And so as good parents, they started to looking into the key and surprised me and my two younger brothers with the purchase of an apartment and a key colony and with the caveat of saying, guys, don't get too excited. This is a summer place and then we're coming back home. Fast forward to the end of that first summer family meeting boys got a nice big house your friends, South Miami, we could go there and the three of us just looked and said or, or and they they sprung it on us or we could stay here it's gonna be a little bit tight for a bit while we wait to upgrade to a bigger place. What do you guys think? And we dove right in never left. My first exam How old were you when this happened? I was 13 years old so summers of 1314 and I finally came in about the end of 14

Thom Mozloom :

You're like a real key rat.

Oscar Sardinas :

Uh, yeah. So yeah, yes. as good or bad as that may sound Yes, I Yeah.

Tony Winton :

Right. And I think the test for key rat is you had to have gone to school

Oscar Sardinas :

correct

Tony Winton :

while living in Key Biscayne. So you know,

Oscar Sardinas :

caveat I did not so I went to Ponce, so first year already in middle school, right. So I was there. Right on the fringe. Great story, though, met some really nice people. And I guess the first outpour of kindness that my family received is we had almost a tragedy in the family where one of my brothers was in an accident and the outcry from the community was absolutely remarkable, outstanding, and it really made me realize what community truly is and so we never left and I've been fighting my entire life to get back. I finally got back onto the key about three years ago now been renting and just a few months ago just purchased a property so I am allowing my roots to really get in there.

Thom Mozloom :

Oscar, you seem like a Nice guy with a great story. Why on earth do you want to be a politician?

Oscar Sardinas :

So I don't know if it's politician I want to be but I definitely want to help and serve. So I, I found a way to serve as soon as I came in. I have two daughters, an eight year old and a four year old, found education as being that platform for me, jumped into the ESAC, which is the educational excellent school advisory committee was voted in shortly thereafter was nominated to serve on the EIB as well. So I've sat on both of those for two years now. Shortly thereafter, I created a foundation and that foundation is the Key Biscayne children and Education Foundation. The idea there is after school enrichment, more vocational type enrichment courses for children of all ages. And the model is 50% of that revenue that comes in is to pay for the instructors and the other half is to pay right back to the school with the idea of potentially supporting the school. I saw this model in North Beach Elementary, which I was there for some time. And then again in southpoint. Fast forward a few years after the idea came to my mind, I partnered with two very special people on the island. And we were able to bring it to fruition, unfortunately, the pandemic kit and so we weren't actually able to execute it. But just to give you an idea, we found out the incredible demand. within about three or four weeks, we were able to set up instructors about 30 different instructors that were very well willing, all locally sourced, by the way, some of them school teachers at the K through eight. And within a week, we raised almost $70,000, half of which was around for the school. Now as a result of the pandemic, we went against our own policy and started giving refunds back to most of the people and I'm happy to say that most people have chosen to leave their money with us in hopes that the moment we can launch, they can be a part of it.

Tony Winton :

You mentioned a pandemic, let's talk about that. To start off because it's affecting everything right? Schools, it's affecting the economy. It has a role we'll get to some of the big ballot issues that are coming up on in this election in Key Biscayne and just generally What on the local level...what is the right role of government for you? Do you.. the Village of Key Biscayne did sponsor some kind of testing for a while now that is no longer sponsored, people want to get tested have to have to pay, they're still using the community center. I think it's out in the parking garage as a spot. Do you think that's the kind of proper role of government to assist in the testing and contact tracing? What do you think?

Oscar Sardinas :

So I'm a big fan of collaboration and community. I think at the very least, we have to give people the opportunity to feel safe, to have information to understand what they're going to do with that information. And as far as the testing is concerned, and without really looking at what the cost potentially may be, I think at times we really have to come together. And sometimes it's unfortunate that bad moments bring people together. I like to see it the other way around, where we just come together all the time. But I think this is an opportunity for the community to do something for their people.

Tony Winton :

So just to make sure I didn't want to put words in your mouth, you'd be in favor of renewing it, at least a subsidy of some kind for covid 19 testing and understanding the technology is changing and it gets faster and less expensive. Have that look that up there, but you see some role there.

Oscar Sardinas :

I do see some role there.

Thom Mozloom :

But when we talk about who pays for that? Where does that money come from? Are you going to general? You know, the general budget? Are you thinking, special tax? How does that work?

Oscar Sardinas :

And so that's a good question. And something I probably haven't given enough thought to. But something I definitely like to look into. I know there's a part in government and there's private sector as well to see if they help and sure and become that community that we know we are. But that's a great question. I don't really have a detailed answer.

Thom Mozloom :

So the the big thing that has been on the show for the last couple of weeks is the is the resiliency bond. And that's been really contentious. And that sort of revolves around this same kind of issue is where does the money come from?

Oscar Sardinas :

Sure.

Thom Mozloom :

So where were you on that when You followed that progress? What were your thoughts?

Tony Winton :

So I think it's easy to say that we're all for resiliency, I think it's easy to say that we all believe that we have to do something. I mean, I personally think that not only do we have to do something, but we probably have a great opportunity to become a model. Given the reality of our situation, we're an island or barrier island. We have an incredible community, we have an opportunity not only to do something reactive, but even better proactive to get ahead of it. With regards to the G.O. bond, as far as I see it today, the way I understand it is no more than a financial mechanism and option to be able to get that done. And so I think with the proper oversight, and the proper vote, obviously, because we would need a majority vote for any projects that we take on. I think that it could potentially be a good option. That being said, I've gained a lot of different perspectives in the last few days and so I respect all of them. And I think my job is to continue to find more similarities between the sides that are for or against to really find out what the best option is You're a voter. How will you be voting on it? So as it as I understand it today, I believe that I'm leaning more towards voting for it. But again, at this juncture, I still think that there's additional perspectives that I still need to learn in order to make an educated decision on that. Let me ask you this. What do you make of the of the main reason, driver behind it? Which of course, is sea level rise. Do you think that sea level rise is real? And if it is, or isn't? The if it is, what is the level of severity? How important an issue is it? So I think it is real. I, when I moved on Key Biscayne, we had sea walls behind Key Colony. They didn't last half the amount of time that we thought they would. There was a thought process that we could hold back the ocean. Right? There was a certain type of science there that said that sea walls were the way to go.

Oscar Sardinas :

Go, fast forward to where we are now. There's no more seawall. And it was definitely deteriorating. And I remember it very clearly. And so we moved then to other options. And so the science has changed. It's irrefutable that the shorelines are changing. And so there's options out there to look at. And I think it's incredibly important. Now, as far as timing, I'm not a big fan of kicking the can down the road. I think if we have an opportunity today, and we've done all the studies necessary to put a good plan together, I think we put it to the people and we let them decide.

Thom Mozloom :

So this issue has been more than contentious. I mean, there's been you know, name calling and labeling and, you know, all kinds of attempts to either bolster one position or subvert another in a lot of ways that that discussion is necessary, but it can bring out the worst in people

Oscar Sardinas :

100%

Thom Mozloom :

As you've campaigned, how have you felt those emotions coming towards you and how do you see those, those emotions manifesting themselves throughout the key and what are you going to If you're a council member to try to bring everybody together after this.

Tony Winton :

So interestingly enough, I was named the other day by a contemporary, that I'm an optimist. I think the conversation will came from me talking about that. In my conversations, I'm actually seeing a lot more similarities than I am differences. I think that people need to be educated. I think messaging and language is very important, too. Right. And so you guys make fun of the hundred million dollars, right?

Thom Mozloom :

Can I? Can I Tony? yeah, and I tell me do it one last time.?

Tony Winton :

Oh, please. Do we have to?

Thom Mozloom :

just one more time. Ready?

Tony Winton :

No. You mean, I mean, this one (Sound effect)

Thom Mozloom :

100 million dollars Okay, well,

Tony Winton :

that is officially the last time we're using that sound effect. It is now -- we're gonna hang it up like here in the studio, like you like retired jerseys. Okay, we're hanging up that sound effect. I'm sorry Oscar And So truth be told when I heard that language, I balked as well. I mean, it's a lot of money, right? But then you look at the mechanism and how it's used. And at the end of the day, it doesn't need to be used. It's just an option that is afforded to us. And so the way I see it now is yes, put it to the people let them decide. And then who then doesn't want to have the option when it comes down to a project that is then again, voted on, agreed upon studied? And then what mechanism Are we going to use? The idea that we can't trust our councill to make those decisions, then what are we really saying about the councill that we've put into office,

Unknown Speaker :

but it extends beyond just the council because this there's a debate going on, and I would put it in general terms about I guess you could call it a taxation debate,

Oscar Sardinas :

sure

Tony Winton :

that some people believe that taxes are too high, that we're getting a bad deal with our government services, as a Constant examination of whether or not we should have our own police and fire departments, whether or not we should I think there's been some discussion of turning it back over to the county to operate where, what do you what is your general assessment going into this election as someone who wants to sit on the Council of the municipal services, because obviously, police and fire are the large, the large drivers of the village budget?

Oscar Sardinas :

Sure. We're incredibly highly, highly rated with regards to that service. We have a growing elderly community that needs that service. I think it's important to look at that. I don't have exact numbers, but i've i've seen numbers to suggest that we've actually saved the money by bringing it inside. I even I remember at one point in time back in the 80s. When I came into the Key, we had a fire department that didn't have a paramedic on staff and so you start to say to yourself, okay, so now I see somebody calling 911, who needs a paramedic and we just don't hav e that service available to us immediately. And so These are all very important things. As far as where I sit on it. I don't know enough to know if we have too large of government. Fundamentally, I am not for large, potentially inefficient governments funding.

Tony Winton :

I don't think anybody's in favor of inefficient.,,

Thom Mozloom :

I'm all for inefficiency.

Tony Winton :

Yeah, I m ean, come on. I mean, who is in favor of inefficient government?

Thom Mozloom :

All right, well, your entree into politics and your entree into leadership roles is education. We've got about five minutes left, and I want to give you an opportunity to talk about that, okay, why it's important and where you see the needs in education on the key to be?

Tony Winton :

so I think education in general, you know, the ratio of child to teachers, generally between 20 and 23. To one it's a it's an off putting ratio, especially when we now have science that suggests that people learn differently, right, and by different methods, and so the idea is to not allow anybody to get left behind.

Oscar Sardinas :

And so we could find some way to not only supplement the current schools system through enrichment courses, etc, etc. and additional funding that will potentially allow us to cut that in half when I was in North Beach Elementary. I mean, every classroom for kindergarten to fifth grade had two teachers in the classroom full time. Wow. So you're talking about 11 to one ratio? Yeah, that's amazing, a lot less people are going to be left behind in that sense. Additionally to that, you know, and speaking to my colleague earlier, and talking about the differences of how people learn, some people are great with math and English and science, but are not good with the arts, or vice versa. And so I think as parents I by no means do, I think it's the responsibility of the government to teach our children I think it's a responsibility to parent to know what your children can and cannot do understand the limitations and then find a way to help it but we have all the resources to be able to help them with without as well. And so I guess that's my stance. I'm actually very fortunate. And then my daughters are seem to be doing very well in this whole environment. But they're all for the enrichment as well. And so we're talking about gymnastics, we're talking about modeling for young children from develop motor skills. We're talking about coding potentially which is becoming a very, you know, sought after sure type enrichment. We're talking about languages to to broaden that ability.

Tony Winton :

Let me bring it to a more local issue that is somewhat controversial, which would be spending funds to redo the library branch in Key Biscayne that has come up in front of the Council. Council Member Petros, who has decided not to run for re election that was one of her big issues, hoping to basically rebuild or redevelop this spot that's outside of Key Colony. Other proposals have habit moving elsewhere. And using it as a as a multi purpose facility. Some proposals actually the council investigated, withdrawing from the Library District and then using the money that would be saved -- if it were possible to do so --to basically operate a library as a village library as opposed to being operated by the county. When you say enrichment, Is that what you're talking about? So for me, Look, I love books. I love the idea of libraries. I'm a little bit biased. My daughter reads a book a day, practically. I mean, it's incredible. She's like a little old lady. She's sitting in her bed every evening with a book, reading. It's fantastic. But I'm also aware that that's not the form of enrichment for every child.

Oscar Sardinas :

And so I'm for having a library of sorts, I think it's just very important to understand what are the experiences that are most going to enrich that child's ability to learn and grow their mind? And I don't know that that study has really been done to the moment where we could say yeah, let's go pull a trigger and get get ourselves another library or better library just more books or newer books or nicer books or what whatnot. Maybe it's a mix of VR, you know, and books and theater and music, etc, etc. and more of a hobby Can I say just just an enrichment opportunity, not just a library book library.

Thom Mozloom :

All right. It's the moment we've all been waiting for.

Oscar Sardinas :

Oh, boy,

Thom Mozloom :

you've got about 90 seconds left of the interview. It's closing arguments. Why should people vote for you?

Tony Winton :

Okay, so, big belief in perspective, I think it's important. I don't necessarily believe that a difference of opinion means you're not you can't collaborate, collaboration, intent and perspective are really important. I believe my job now leading up to the campaign, whether voted in or not, from now, from this point forward is to gain as much perspective as I possibly can. I want to bring the facts. And I want to listen to my community. And that's basically my platform that and other than that is just my absolute love and adoration for the island that has given me and my family so much. All right, Oscar Sardinas. Thank you for being a guest on Anti Social, we're glad to have you. And just to remind everybody, the election is only 32 days away. Why do I say that because in 32 days the ballots will enter people's mailboxes.

Thom Mozloom :

That's crazy.

Tony Winton :

Yes 32 days so it's not like it's something in the future. Thank you. And we'll be back in just a minute. Thanks. And we are back live on WSQF-LP, blink radio Key Biscayne 94.5 on your FM dial. I am Tony Winton.

Thom Mozloom :

And I'm Thom Mozloom Are you back yet? Am I was letting Oscar out.

Tony Winton :

Well, you know, it's dangerous out there. You're very safety conscious. I appreciate that.

Thom Mozloom :

I know I Well, my wife suggests I might be bordering on paranoid.

Tony Winton :

Okay. Well, we did again, just to remind everyone we're being very socially safe. We wiped down the microphones and the headset. So our our next guest is in and we can, we can within the limits of reason. We think that we're where we can safely continue.

Thom Mozloom :

Yes, I will. I will wipe everybody down with medical grade alcohol after this and my one deal with ultraviolet light I

Tony Winton :

can think of other uses for alchohol.. And now that's another show.

Thom Mozloom :

I wouldn't drink the kind that I'm going to use man. Alright, so our guest is is running for village council. It's Matt Bramson.

Tony Winton :

And we are live just to remind you,

Thom Mozloom :

yes, yeah.

Matt Bramson :

Thank you for having me.

Thom Mozloom :

And we're still live. Okay.

Tony Winton :

Yes, we're still alive.

Matt Bramson :

All right, Matt, tell us a little bit about yourself Who are you? How did you get to the key and how did you fall into getting into politics for lack of a better term? Sure. I have been starting and growing technology companies for 30 years, I came to Key Biscayne to take take a job running a telecom software company was responsible for growing that company, which I succeeded at over a 10 year period, we tripled the size of the company revenue wise increased profits, doubled the number of employees created jobs in political parlance. And we decided to to live on Key Biscayne my family and I and I have two kids and, and my wife and early on, we fell in love with Key Biscayne the the community the facilities, the natural beauty, the beaches, all that stuff and we joined a church, and very quickly I got conscripted into church leadership.

Thom Mozloom :

And that's how that happens. That's Yeah, there you go.

Tony Winton :

That's another show, Thom that

Thom Mozloom :

we can do a whole show on church leadership. Right

Tony Winton :

and church conscription.

Thom Mozloom :

Yes. voluntold

Matt Bramson :

Well, it was a it was a really good learning experience. candidly, I had never been in leadership in a in a nonprofit in a community service way. I'd been experienced as a business leader with a you know, with a profit motive, but never with the motive being a stronger, more inclusive, more successful community. So that was a really important learning experience. Then, after renting homes on Key Biscayne for six or seven years, we decided to buy a place we we bought a condo in key colony. And then I made my my second mistake. I attended a condo meeting for the first time and decided that there was an opportunity for me to help provide some leadership there. And so I became the president of my condo building.

Tony Winton :

[Scary music] Okay, that's, that's the second -- The reason I played that is because we have now two people from key colony and I live in Key Colony and that is [Scary Music] scary. Right? Please go ahead. Yes.

Matt Bramson :

So I became the president of my condo building and also the president of the master association of key colony, the four buildings that comprise key colony. And that was another learning experience. And then beyond that, I have served on the two village committees, a social media advisory committee that didn't get very far. And the 2040 vision committee which is still a standing committee and was involved in the news and the meeting just a few days ago.

Tony Winton :

I want to ask you about that I played the little sound effect about Key Colony in jest, but it is a very large condominium complex for people who are off the island and listen to the show. It's perhaps 25 To 35% of the population lives in one set of four buildings on the island of Key Biscayne. Some people have suggested that the island or Island governance should be more like a condo association than a government. Do you see a big differences? It's a service that you've just relayed, what's different between a condominium Association and a government?

Matt Bramson :

Hmm, that's a good question. Um, I think there are a lot of differences. There are some commonalities, you know, Key Biscayne is not a comparable community to you know, most cities and states. and countries. We don't have. We don't have challenges with poverty. We don't have, you know, bad neighborhoods. We don't we don't have hospitals. We don't have social programs. We don't have a military. So, in a sense, it's a it's got a lot in common with the homeowners association. But I think you know, there are some, you know, there are some differences. Certainly there are differences around the, the particulars of the charter and the sunshine laws and things like that. We also, you know, I mean, I mean, I think the, you know, the biggest difference is, is just that it's, you know, there it's, it's a much bigger community, the, you know, we don't share all the assets in the same way that a community does. And there are you know, more perspectives in the village to keep us game than there is in a in a condo building.

Tony Winton :

Well, and I was also -- I guess what I was referring to is the fact that condominium associations are an ownership model. The people who vote and make decisions are owners.

Matt Bramson :

That's right.

Tony Winton :

In a government the people ultimately who make the decisions are voters

Thom Mozloom :

also another show that we should

Tony Winton :

that's another show and and that there's been a lot of discussion in Key Biscayne about whether or not owners, property owners, should be have the franchise about making decisions versus people who are voters? Where are you on that?

Matt Bramson :

Um, well, I mean, I, I think that even within a condo, what I've tried to do is understand the perspectives of all the residents because even if even if a unit is owned by someone, the folks that live there do have a perspective on the services. And on on the priorities. Obviously, you have to be focused on the owners, because they're the ones that have invested the money and they're the ones that but but you know, residents are paying rent and ultimately their satisfaction is going to it's going to affect the success of the owner.

Thom Mozloom :

I want to make sure I understand the question. Is there a suggestion that if you own a condo or a block of condos on Key Biscayne, but don't live there, you should vote, too?

Tony Winton :

Well, I'm referring to a little bit of history. So let me just -- for the people again from off the island -- who wouldn't listen to the show, like what are you guys talking about?

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah, what are you talking about?

Tony Winton :

you have a referendum coming up on we have a referendum coming up on a resiliency bond, which I'm sure we're going to get to in a minute. But before that referendum, there was another debate about a referendum about whether we should do utility undergrounding.

Thom Mozloom :

Oh, OK.

Tony Winton :

Power lines. And one group of people were saying we need to put that out to a referendum, but only a referendum of people who are property owners, not voters. They wanted to have a system where the the financing for this product project would be would have been done, basically through an "assessment" as opposed to a general tax.

Thom Mozloom :

But are we talking about owners who also live on the key or just owners? so I could live

Tony Winton :

you could live in..

Thom Mozloom :

in Jersey I do live in Trenton. I don't know

Tony Winton :

"Trenton makes"

Thom Mozloom :

"The world takes". Exactly.

Tony Winton :

If you live anywhere. You don't have to be a US citizen. If you're a property owner, you could be a corporation, the corporation would designate someone to vote just like a condominium Association. Corporations vote for the board of directors, corporations vote: corporations are people in condominium associations. They're not in a village government. . That's a fundamental difference. And I guess what I'm this is kind of a transition to the bond question, because I am reading the chats and I'm sorry, I'm hooked on WhatsApp, I these chats go back and forth all the time. That's a real active debate. Who gets to vote? Who gets to decide? Who should decide?

Matt Bramson :

Yeah. Thankfully, that's not an issue for the village council. The who votes is decided by the federal and state government and I agree with with the position that it's you know, people who are eligible to vote based on based on residency. You know, I did rent on Key Biscayne for six years. I I paid you know, handsomely for that the owner use some of that money presumably to pay property taxes. So, you know, I didn't get you know, a say in in his decisions about his property, but I certainly was subsidizing the property taxes and, you know, I consume services. I For a very brief period of time had my kids in the public schools and certainly use the roads and the police and the fire. I had a golf cart that caught on fire. So I used my fair share

Thom Mozloom :

you were that guy.

Tony Winton :

Oh, now we know we know.

Matt Bramson :

Yeah. So I you know, I paid for those fire services through my rent. So I, I think I deserve to say,

Tony Winton :

well, it's time for the big question. We have to get into the topic, the topic and I'm not gonna play it. Because we decided we're not going to play that sound effect anymore.

Thom Mozloom :

killjoy. You're a killjoy.

Tony Winton :

No, I'm it's overused is abused.

Thom Mozloom :

Yes. Okay. wore it out, didn't it?

Tony Winton :

Yeah, you did. I'm sorry.

Thom Mozloom :

I won't do it again.

Tony Winton :

All right. So we have a $100 million resiliency bond the council the referendum did pass it is going to be on the ballot. Where are you on this issue?

Matt Bramson :

Well, it's a you know, it's a it's an issue that has a lot of sides do it. Um, number one, I think it's totally proper that the citizens are going to decide I think that that that that was the right decision to to allow that to come before all the voters. You know, Monday morning quarterbacking it, I think that the fact that the bond is 100 million and the debt limit is 92 or 82 million and that some of the projects that it's going to be applied to or not well defined and specified, I would have done it differently. However, I do. You know, I am bullish on Key Biscayne, I'm an investor, I'm an owner, I believe that the Key Biscayne has, you know, achievable potential. I think we need to address some of our strengths and weaknesses. I think some of the projects that are have been discussed like undergrounding, like between nourishment, like storm water capabilities, some of the other projects are absolutely necessary and smart investments. And I think that when it comes time to make those decisions, I think the council whether I'm on it or not should have access to all the, you know, best means to fund those projects. And as I understand it, general obligation bond is a is a good way to fund projects and affordable way to fund projects. And I wouldn't want the council to be in a position where they want to move forward with certain infrastructure projects and not have one of the best tools available.

Thom Mozloom :

Well, that brings up the second part of that debate, which was the debt cap. Why did that become such a sacred cow? Like, I don't understand that as an outsider looking in?

Matt Bramson :

Well, I mean, I think that that, you know, keeping government within constraints, especially financial constraints is a is a very cherished value. I think that it's we've all seen, whether it's, you know, cities or states or countries, you know, spend beyond their means create unsustainable debt, create situations where a large share of tax revenue is already accounted for in, in debt service. And I think there's a lot of desire that I you know, I have a lot of sympathy for

Thom Mozloom :

sure

Matt Bramson :

to prevent kivus game from falling into that type of a situation.

Thom Mozloom :

I agree with you, and I hear you. But this sounds like the kind of situation is that that that that constraint should be agreed upon by the widest number of people not the narrowest. Why would that be kept off the ballot? Why wouldn't that go to referendum as well?

Matt Bramson :

Um, candidly, if I was on the council, I would have put that question before the voters because 1% as I understand it, is a is an unusually low debt cap. And, and, and might even be, you know, imprudent. If it turns out that there are, you know, you know, important projects with a high return on investment that are, you know, more than 100 million dollars, it would be a shame, you're not to be able to pursue those. You know, I look at it from you know, from my business background. You know, when you come up with a business strategy and a, an approach to grow the business and it's going to cost a certain amount of money and you can prove that that amount of money is going to be applied to things that are going to generate a high return. When the investors come back and give you only a percentage of that money, then it constrains your ability to execute that growth strategy. And I think that, I think that that would though, raising the debt cap at this stage, would even be a more profound you know, movement of the cart before the horse than than the than the the general obligation bond. I, I was asked about a year ago to join the 2040 vision committee. And one of the first things that we did when we got together is recognized that the, the assignment of coming up with a long term vision for Key Biscayne that was comprehensive that incorporated environmental needs, capital improvement needs, zoning changes, traffic maintenance, educational and, and other other community needs. was, you know, a problem That requires tremendous imagination, lots of expertise, lots of experience. And we we advocated very early on for a budget to bring in a professional to help us with that.

Tony Winton :

And that just was approved at the last meeting, but it was a controversial vote. And in fact, there was a council member Lauredo attempted to or argued that, in fact, was illegal because in his view, it required It was a donation to a charity and a violation of the charter. The Council decided not to even get a legal opinion on that. But But let me ask you, what is your general view of what big projects we've talked about the resiliency issue, and that will be decided, but what other things as a candidate would that are out there big public works projects? What is part of that vision plan? What do you think people should be looking at?

Matt Bramson :

Well, I mean, I think most of them are have already been have already been brought up, right? There's There's undergrounding of power lines for more resiliency, also, maybe the potential to you know beefed up network infrastructure around internet access, I think there's gonna be a huge shift. We're already seeing it towards people working from home. I think Key Biscayne could be a very attractive destination to work from home A famous writer that we just talked about is secretly living on Key Biscayne, you know, learning that, you know, realizing that, you know, if New York is dead, it's a good place for him to, you know, to live and work. And you know, I think having strong infrastructure that's resilient in the storm can help with that. Obviously, the ability to handle you know, torrential rainfall and storm surge in storms, we're already seeing that we're, our capabilities there are inadequate, we have lots of flooding of streets and some of the low lying houses. We, you know, you know, have concerns about, you know, our educational infrastructure, our facilities, we have, I think, I think that our commercial area is in in jeopardy, I think that it was already sort of a weak spot in our community and the challenges that retailers face, you know, going forward, I think are significant. And there might be an opportunity to redevelop some of that space into mixed use and and generate a higher return for those. Those property owners and also a better environment for us citizens and pedestrians and, and create more sustainable businesses. So

Thom Mozloom :

we have about five minutes left, I'm going to start getting into some more campaign related issues. But the first kind of question that leaps to my mind when I talk to candidates is why do you want to do this? And what makes you think you're going to be any good at?

Matt Bramson :

Okay, well, I'll take the second part first, um, I have a proven record of performance in in community leadership. I I was, you know, a part of a team that affected I think it's fair to say a turn around at St. Christopher's, where I was on the board of that You know, church in school, I had a, you know, was a part of a team, once again that had a positive impact that key colony we in my building Botanica, we address some financial challenges and made a replacement of our manager that was a very positive move. At the master Association we we addressed millions of dollars of deferred maintenance and built a beautiful facility out of our ocean pool called the sandbar and we restored the Olympic pool to its former glory improved other aspects of the property that had been had been ignored for a long time. And, um I think I've learned a tremendous amount about the potential and the challenges that face keep us gain in my service on the 2040 vision board. Why do I want to do it? I'm one of these people that when I see an opportunity or I see a need I'm i i impulsively raise my hand. I don't know what it is about me but I sometimes I regret that but Um, what I see at the village is, you know, an approach to, to, to running our, our affairs that's not only short sighted, but also, you know, cynical and damaging.

Tony Winton :

That's what I was about to ask you what needs to what needs to be fixed? What's broken? You now, because that's part of what anyone coming in a new candidate coming in. What do you think is and how would you fix it?

Matt Bramson :

Yeah. I think we've got to focus on the future. We've got to focus on on trying to find consensus around the things that we want to see improved. And we've got to roll up our sleeves and get those things in process. I think that there are a lot of things we can disagree about. There are a lot of philosophies that we can that we can, you know, you know, you know, bat back and forth, but that what we really owe our community is positive focus on the things that we can do that need to be improved.

Thom Mozloom :

All right. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. You've got about 90 seconds left. This is your closing argument. Why should anybody vote for you?

Matt Bramson :

Um, I think that I have the ability to add a perspective to the council that would be positive. I'm someone who likes to, as I said before, focus on what's needed find consensus and, and and execute. I have a business background but I'm not one of these people that believes that the business sensibilities can be brought to government I had a an experience when I was on the St. Christopher's board where I came in as the chairman of the Finance Committee, like a bit of a bull in a china shop with a very aggressive financial plan and how to talk with the with the priest on the way home where he assessed my performance as disastrous and when I asked him why he said that, that your financial plan was was was perfect every word of it, I agree with but if we execute that And the result is that the church is empty on Sunday. It's a failure. Whereas if we don't execute any of it and the church is full on Sunday, we have an opportunity to build on that. And I feel like that's what's missing from the council is making everyone feel involved. educating people finding consensus and making sure that people's confidence and ambition for keepa scan is preserved.

Tony Winton :

Thank you, Matt Bramson, candidate for village council for joining us here on Antisocial. We're going to slowly escort you from the room and again, thanks for coming. We'll be back in an escort him nicely. Yes. We'll be back in a moment.

Thom Mozloom :

And we're back live on WSQF 94.5. FM. This is anti social. And we just heard from two village council candidates. Tony, what do you think?

Tony Winton :

Well, I mean, we have 10 people running. And there are only three seats. It would be great if you could have such a situation where everybody could get elected, right?

Thom Mozloom :

Maybe, I don't know, spanned the council. Yeah, two really nice guys really super smart. Very different in their approach. Like I've never heard a candidate who's not an incumbent, run on their experience and track record like Matt. And then on the other side of that, Oscar was, you know, listen, I want to learn more. I want to have as much information before I take a hard stand on any of these issues. And that's really a different approach as well and and appreciated both. Both approaches are appreciated by me who have been involved in campaigns.

Tony Winton :

Right. And I have to say what came across it for both candidates is sincerity and a commitment to working. And of course, it's easy to say when you're you're haven't served and there's on the on the council coming into it. We know it's been a fractious council with lots of debates, but there is clearly a sincerity and an effort there to get in. Get along is what I'm getting at.

Thom Mozloom :

Honestly, between these two guys and Councilwoman McCormick last week. I mean, this makes for a really nice dinner party. I mean, I would hang out with all of these people.

Tony Winton :

Well, maybe we should do this show a little bit later in the day. We can get some.

Thom Mozloom :

Yes, that's gonna get messy. I think that's gonna get really messy.

Tony Winton :

Yes, that would be a different show. Yeah. Yeah, a different title.

Thom Mozloom :

No, I think it would have the same title. I think anti social is where that's headed. So you have some news about the show, though.

Tony Winton :

Yes, I do have some news. Listeners to our program know that we had a show where we talked about the debates on the council.

Thom Mozloom :

It came up today.

Tony Winton :

It came up today. And as a result, and I've been told this is the case, as a result of the show that we did about Robert's Rules of Order. The mayor of Key Biscayne actually brought it up as a business item at the last meeting. Wow, that is

Mike Davey :

I'm trying. I'm trying to run these meetings, you know, as the chair, but I feel like we are. We're not getting there a lot of the time and you know, I'm supposed to be running 'em. So I'll take the heat. But I think part of it is that we've been lax about adhering to protocols, and I think Robert's Rules lays out a really well thought out system of running an operating a meeting and running running a council such as we are.

Tony Winton :

I want to say right right off that we are not being paid or sponsored in any way by the people who publish Robert's Rules of Order.

Thom Mozloom :

Wow. Well, okay, I have two thoughts on this. I have two thoughts on this one. Mayor Davey saying I've been running them, so I'll take the heat. That's a big boy move right there. I mean, that's like that's, that's real leadership.

Tony Winton :

Are you suggesting that's an accountability moment? [Clapping] Okay.

Thom Mozloom :

I don't generally do that to politicians. Yeah. Give me the applause. I mean, that's a big move way to go. Mayor. The second aspect of this takeaway is we really need to be more thoughtful about what you and I talk about if people are going to actually listen to us.

Tony Winton :

That's actually really scary.

Thom Mozloom :

That's terrifying.

Tony Winton :

Yeah. I mean, you know, I want to use that sound effect again, because if something we say here actually results in and I actually voted on this, it was I think, was an a consensus that they're going to be more formal in following Robert's Rules on the So, like, Yes, I

Thom Mozloom :

I feel like we owe people in apology. Well, you don't, you're always pretty good. I feel like I owe people an apology because I'm just goofing off of here most of the time. So I promise I'll do. I'll put more homework in now.

Tony Winton :

Yeah, so that's my big announcement. What announcement do you have?

Thom Mozloom :

I have no one. Did you watch the RNC at all?

Tony Winton :

Yes, I did. You know, I watched the RNC because I have to because I'm a journalist. I actually would prefer to watch a nice movie. I have watched the DNC. I felt the same way about the DNC. Truthfully, they're, they're both of them. It's four nights. Why do we need four nights?

Thom Mozloom :

No, no, I've been

Tony Winton :

I've covered conventions. I've been I've been actually covered I've been at the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention on the floor wearing those crazy headsets that makes you look like the guy from Doonesbury. Yeah, I've done all that. Yeah.

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah. I've been there as well. Here's my question to you about the conventions now that they have both occurred. It may And that we could not see another political ad from now to the election would you be for conventions? Pick one, either the convention or political ads, but you can't have both.

Tony Winton :

Wow, that's tough. Um, how I guess the question is how long? Like do we have to go through a campaign that runs almost two years? It feels like we've been the campaign and this is why

Thom Mozloom :

it destroys the first term, doesn't it? Like whoever the candidate is? Never really leads. They do more campaigning in their first term than they do anything else. It's it sort of destroys the process. I mean, it seems like something we should take a look at.

Tony Winton :

Well, in Key Biscayne, we just had these candidates here. It's actually a very compressed election schedule.

Thom Mozloom :

Oh, my goodness. You said September 30. The ballots

Tony Winton :

The ballots are being mailed out - I confirmed that with the Miami Dade elections department, the ballots are going to go out just all over the state on in Miami Dade County anyway on the 30th. So 32 days, and because of COVID-19, we'd expect that to be a higher number of people voting by mail. So in many respects, the campaign season is really compressed. These candidates that the two gentlemen we had today, Allison McCormick and the other guests that will be coming on in our upcoming shows, I want to encourage those of you who have not responded to our invitation if you didn't get one,

Thom Mozloom :

yeah, this is your chance. A couple you understand how these go, right. Yeah,

Tony Winton :

I would encourage you to contact us so we can afford you the opportunity to talk to the voters before the ballots go out. That's really important.

Thom Mozloom :

What other forum do these candidates have?

Tony Winton :

Well, I mean, we are expecting to be typically there are there are candidate forums with the the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce I know is organizing one, the Islander news is organizing one there. I know that in the past, the lawyers there's a Key Biscayne Bar Association they have they've done that. So I would expect given given zoom that we have a number of these forums, but this is an interview. This is not a debate. It's not when we We put you and just you to talk about what you think is important. And that's why it's a different a different format I would encourage folks to reach out to and

Thom Mozloom :

we do that intentionally. You know why? Because I'm really interested. Like I said before, I'm really intrigued with the decision making of the candidates, what do they want to talk about? And how long do they want to talk about it? What questions do they want to answer? What questions should they choose not to answer? I think you'd learn as much about what they don't say, as from what they do say.

Tony Winton :

And and I would, I would say the 90-second, closing argument question. Now that you know that you're going to get one when you come up here you have the advantage of knowing you're going to get a 90-second closing argument question.

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah. All right. Tony well this is this show number 11.

Tony Winton :

Show number 11. How about that. I'm, I'm amazed we're still here, but we're having fun.

Thom Mozloom :

Nobody's burned the place down yet. There. We haven't we haven't incited a protest yet, Tony.

Tony Winton :

No, and I want to

Thom Mozloom :

wait. I have to if I said I was going to think before I speak, didn't I? I've already gotten back That promise I'm so so so very sorry. Do not protest us. I'm sorry.

Tony Winton :

Thank you for joining us on anti social. My name is Tony Winton,

Thom Mozloom :

I'm Thom Mozloom and everybody be safe please.

Tony Winton :

This is WSQF-LP, Key Biscayne.

Thom Mozloom :

Thank you very much again

Oscar Sardiñas
Matt Bramson