Anti-Social

Cindy Lerner and Reynaldo Figueredo, & ❤️ for RBG

September 19, 2020 Tony Winton & Thom Mozloom Season 1 Episode 14
Anti-Social
Cindy Lerner and Reynaldo Figueredo, & ❤️ for RBG
Chapters
00:01:40
RBG - A Personal Story from Dick Carelli
00:07:41
Cindy Lerner, candidate for county commission
00:27:43
Reynaldo Figueredo , candidate for Village Council
00:46:20
SCOTUS and the presidential election.
Anti-Social
Cindy Lerner and Reynaldo Figueredo, & ❤️ for RBG
Sep 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 14
Tony Winton & Thom Mozloom

COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE CINDY LERNER talks about what's broken and how she can fix it representing Key Biscayne and much of coastal Miami And VILLAGE COUNCIL CANDIDATE REYNALDO FIGUEREDO tells us why he's a "no" on a proposed $100 million resiliency bond -- but also, what would turn that vote to a "yes."And -- a special guest tells a personal story about how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touched his life. Listen now. 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE CINDY LERNER talks about what's broken and how she can fix it representing Key Biscayne and much of coastal Miami And VILLAGE COUNCIL CANDIDATE REYNALDO FIGUEREDO tells us why he's a "no" on a proposed $100 million resiliency bond -- but also, what would turn that vote to a "yes."And -- a special guest tells a personal story about how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touched his life. Listen now. 

Tony Winton :

This is WSQF-LP Key Biscayne. Portions of the following program were pre recorded.

Thom Mozloom :

The views and opinions expressed on this program are those of the hosts and guests and do not represent the views and opinions of the station or of the Key Biscayne Independent. MUSIC STARTS

Tony Winton :

And this is Anti-Social, where we take a look at some of the broken arguments that happen on social media and attempt to fix them. From the Key Biscayne Independent, I'm Tony Winton,

Thom Mozloom :

And from the M Network, I'm Thom Mozloom. Tony, rather than fixing those arguments. Can we just stop arguing that something possible?

Tony Winton :

Well, you know, social media, and for that matter, every piece of media these days is consumed with continuing arguments, and we just have the latest iteration of that with a very sad thing that happened yesterday, the death of a Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

Thom Mozloom :

yes, proof that no tragedy can go without being made into a knife fight.

Tony Winton :

Yeah. But before we and we'll have a discussion about the implications of that later. But before we did that, I wanted to bring on on the line a former colleague of mine who worked at the Associated Press, he was the correspondent who covered the US Supreme Court for I think, about 24 years if I'm not mistaken. Dick Carelli who worked at the who worked covering the justices, and he posted on Facebook yesterday, a personal interaction that he had with Justice Ginsburg, sometimes, you know, we just hear about the the tropes and the memes and this and that this is a personal story. And joining us now live from Gaithersburg, Maryland, is my friend Dick Carelli, the former Supreme court reporter for The Associated Press. Hi, Dick.

Thom Mozloom :

Welcome.

Dick Carelli :

Hi, Tony.

Tony Winton :

Good to hear from you. And thanks for joining us on anti social. Could you tell us a little bit about that post that you shared with people who follow you on Facebook? And and that that that very human moment that you had with with Justice Ginsburg?

Dick Carelli :

Sure, I'd be glad to. I retired from my AP job in September 2000. And took a job with the federal court system actually. My about a about two or three weeks after that, that change. My mom passed away. Now I had covered Justice Ginsburg since 1993. And had several dealings with her. But she was not one of the justices I considered I knew very well. But about a week after my mom's death, I received a note from the Justice a handwritten note, an in it, she said this, "Dear Mr. Carelli, even when one is fully grown, the death of a parent is a loss like no other. But you have the fortitude to carry on thriving in your life and work. May you continue to seek the joys of being alive, as your mother would have willed. With sympathy, RBG."

Tony Winton :

Wow. What a note. You must have been so surprised and heartened.

Dick Carelli :

I was. I was I was touched, my wife and I were very touched. It was a very, very humane and very decent thing to do.

Tony Winton :

While we have you on the phone, and I don't want to keep you very long. Thank you for sharing that. Another thing that doesn't I think get reported enough is the friendship that Justice Ginsburg had with Antonin Scalia. Polar, complete opposites in their perspective on the law, of their their various positions, but yet they had this amazing personal of friendship, can you can maybe share an anecdote or how how that looked to you as someone who was covering the court?

Dick Carelli :

Well, sure, I think it was, it was a mutual admiration thing between the two of them. Clearly, political opposites, and to a certain extent, personality opposites. ginsburg was a was a rather introverted shy person. Scalia, just the opposite of very gregarious fellow very comfortable in his own skin. Much like Ginsburg's late husband, Marty In fact, Scalia and Marty, were also very good friends and Ginsburg and Scalia became travel buddies. They were opera buddies, they both had a great love of opera. And of course, they were intellectual equals. They were both brilliant. They were among the fastest on a very fast track at the Supreme Court. And so there was this gravitational pull, even though even though they disagreed on many issues, Scalia, Scalia would tell people that among modern justices, only Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall, were giants in the legal profession before even getting getting to put on robes.

Tony Winton :

That is a that is a fascinating insight.

Thom Mozloom :

Cool

Tony Winton :

Yeah, thank thank you so much for sharing that and, and, and coming on the program and letting us know just a little bit about, you know, there's going to be a huge and we'll get to this later in the in the program, the decision on how that's how the vacancy is going to be filled. And that's a political process. But But I wanted to take the beginning of the program to talk a little bit about who this person was, and her relationships. And thank you very much Dick, for sharing.

Thom Mozloom :

Thank you, Dick

Dick Carelli :

Sure, Tony

Tony Winton :

All right. Take care. Bye. Bye.

Thom Mozloom :

You know, it reminds me though, we should have done that segment last. Because, you know, we this hasn't gone on more than, what 15 hours, and we're already in a political knife fight. We're already screaming at each other. And just hearing Dick, tell that story and talk about Scalia. And, and Ginsburg's friendship reminds us that if that could happen, at the very top of political power, it should be easy among neighbors. But it isn't for reasons I don't know we have devolved into this knife fight. And it seems to me like that clouds people's decision making?

Tony Winton :

Well, I'm you know, I take it - beginning at the end. It's just on every it's the current biggest news at the moment. And I just wanted to start the program in that tone.

Thom Mozloom :

Thank you i

Tony Winton :

In that tone, because we're going to be having we're about to have our next guests on in a moment, we'll get into what is a political question that has to be resolved first at the county level, and then at the village level. And, you know, at the end of the day, you know, there are people involved right? Even the opponents, they're opponents in an election but that that's where it should stop right? They're opponents intellectually on a court. There should be hopefully that kind of grace.

Thom Mozloom :

Alright, so the rule going forward is understanding the humanity that is at the table in the conversation, I extending the maximum amount of grace I like this. So far I like this Like this. This is my favorite show.

Tony Winton :

I second that emotion. I second, I second, I second that emotion. So without any further ado, that and let us get to our

Thom Mozloom :

let's get back to our candidates

Tony Winton :

Our guest Yes. And our first guest is a candidate for the Miami Dade County Commission. There was a runoff election, a primary, earlier in the summer and that has winnowed the field to two candidates. So we had the first candidate on a couple of weeks ago, Raquel Regalado, a former school board member, and now joining us live here in the socially distance pool table. That is the heart of the M Network.

Thom Mozloom :

That's correct.

Tony Winton :

The Heart of the network is Cindy Lerner, former mayor of Pinecrest, and welcome and thank you for joining us on Anti-Social.

Cindy Lerner :

Glad to be here. Great.

Thom Mozloom :

So Cindy, most people who run for office come to their senses at some point, but no, no, you just keep running. I'm teasing you is what would make you run for this seat after being mayor. And after going through those two, those terms that you you, you were you know, you've served well, why now, why here and what does this commission need?

Cindy Lerner :

A couple of reasons. While I was serving as mayor, Pinecrest, I embraced a lot of the county wide initiatives that were critically important for all of us in local government to be implementing. Southeast Florida regional climate compact and the plans. Were something that I felt very strongly an obligation to move my village forward and advance those initiatives and make the investments that needed to be made. It was a four county compact and when I saw how collaboratively, Broward County was working with all of their municipalities, and I would look back at Miami Dade County and say, "Hey, what's up?" There was no collaboration. There was very little leadership coming out of the county administration. And there were, I'd say the majority of municipalities -- my term was from 2008 To '16. So very early on in the engagement of the community that I realized this is a county wide initiative is a county wide problem and to expect each individual municipality to figure it out for themselves without collaborating with the county and looking holistically at what our vulnerabilities are, what our highest priorities must be, and how to do the best investments through collaboration. I decided during my term, my next step was going to be to run for the county.

Tony Winton :

Well, we have to get into it because we're asking every candidate this question you talked about the word investment, right? Because we are a, we're a the whole, South Florida is next to the ocean and then part in Miami, we have Biscayne Bay, as well. So it's not only just in our own County, but regionally as well, and the entire state, In Key Biscayne. And that's the listeners to this program. Primarily, we're a barrier island and on the ballot along with you and your opponent and everything, including the President of the United States. There's also going to be a ballot question about a 100 up to 100 million dollars resiliency bond. You have any thoughts on that?

Cindy Lerner :

I do. I'm having watched what happened in city of Miami, they went forward a couple of years ago, with I believe it was a $400 million referendum

Thom Mozloom :

That's correct

Cindy Lerner :

that was going to include affordable housing and resiliency, and a few other initiatives. And it was it passed, it was surprising to me that that it passed because it was not laid out in advance. Here's how much it's going to go to to each particular project. It was just a request that you allow us to invest where needed. And a people of the city of Miami agreed to do that. City of Miami has been moving forward and finally updated their stormwater master plan. And there's a lot of movement toward doing a lot that hadn't been done probably for the last decade. There was a lot of paralysis in the city of Miami, as there has been at the county level. For for my own personal experience going forward with a bond. We had built a community center in Pinecrest, which opened up just before I was elected mayor. And shortly after I was elected. My then-county commissioner was Carlos Gimenez. And

Tony Winton :

it's amazing how these names seem to keep coming back.

Thom Mozloom :

It is, a circle

Tony Winton :

It's like It's like maybe we should have a pool table effect where the ball bounces back it comes right back at you You never

Thom Mozloom :

Miami politician bingo

Tony Winton :

Sorry to interrupt Go ahead.

Cindy Lerner :

So, he came to see community center and said, Wow, you should go see the Key Biscayne community center. And I took him up on it. I went over and and I got a tour of the Key Biscayne community center. And I asked them to explain to me how they went about the process of building planning for and then building this very impressive facility that includes so many different parts to it that allow your community to not only meet and congregate and socialize and have physical fitness opportunities all together in one rather large facility probably three times the size of the one in Pinecrest. So they explained how they had brought everybody together and came in the community and asked what 'what would you like to see in your community center?' They had to pare it down evidently from what the initial

Thom Mozloom :

Yup

Cindy Lerner :

Your grandiose plans were, but they did a really good job. I come back to Pinecrest. And I asked then-village manager, how did we decide to build this small little community center that we built? And he said, 'Well, the village council gave me X number dollars and said, go build what you can with this allocation' without going out to the community and asking what they needed. So we ended up having to To go forward and get a bond referendum for $5 million to be able to expand our community center within five years of having it built, which was my only experience personally at the time with a bond initiative. But it's a matter of understanding that your your municipality, your village, your community has some extreme severe, critical needs that are going to have to be addressed. And having faith that with your input, your oversight as the voters, that they're going to direct the funds when they need to, to what what can be

Tony Winton :

Right, so if I can just, if I can just zero in a little bit. If you are a voter in Key Biscayne, you'd be voting yes.

Cindy Lerner :

Yes

Tony Winton :

Okay. Right. And you, you you view it, I mean, your opponent has opposite opinion, and we just remind our listeners that - but but you view that as a the ability for a council to listen to the to the constituency and figure out what is needed, and what's it what is then approved with a bond mechanism?

Cindy Lerner :

Right.

Thom Mozloom :

Okay. So when you talk about sea level rise being a priority, what can the county be doing with when you should you take office? What are you going to bring to the table?

Cindy Lerner :

I have a long list. I'll shorten it to cut to the chase.

Tony Winton :

we want to remind you, Thom has this this big digital clock,

Thom Mozloom :

I don't generally show that to the guests, Tony. It makes them nervous.

Cindy Lerner :

So basically, the county has not yet yet conducted a county wide vulnerability assessment. That's the first step. Countywide not just the infrastructure, the assets of government and buildings and homes, but the populations too, because we have some very vulnerable populations scattered throughout the county, we need to know where all those vulnerabilities are, and then put together a plan where we can prioritize addressing the most critical issues First, there is not a county commission committee dealing with climate change and sea level rise, it was folded into another committee, which ignores and avoids dealing with the issue. So we need a committee specifically focused on what we need to do for moving the county forward and the investments that need to be made for that. And that will allow the commission to focus on it just like the Biscayne Bay Task Force has recommended there be somebody in charge of the bay and planning And let's talk about that because we have the resiliency, sea level rise question but there's also the pollution question right?And I'm gonna steal your thunder. Do you want to use the word?

Dick Carelli :

No, go ahead, Tony

Tony Winton :

Okay.All right, the Poop, poop on the water and poop on the beaches, which is of critical interest to everyone in the county. It is, after all, a county park. But of course, in Key Biscayne, you have that and you have the state park at the tip of the island. So we have this we have the sewage plant, I guess there's different potential sources of where that keeps coming up. And then we have the Sargassum problem. And I can go on and on and on water quality in general. What is the county doing? What is it not doing? What needs to be done?

Cindy Lerner :

So the county has been a dismal failure in overseeing and assuring that the consent decree that they entered into in 2014, with the federal government to clean up the water sewer system, and the infrastructure, they've been taking their sweet time. And in the meantime, pipes are bursting. weekly, monthly pipes are bursting throughout the system, that's got to be accelerated so that the repairs and upgrades have been done, then we've got septic to sewer that has to be addressed. But until we have the capacity from the sewer system to to accommodate the new septic tank conversions. So again, that's the first step is doing the infrastructure upgrades and making sure that we do it as quickly as possible. I went to the county commission budget meeting in 2019. And after listening to the bisq, Biscayne Bay Task Force meetings, which I attended monthly, I felt like I had to go with my hair on fire and and urge the commission. This is a matter of public safety public emergency to fix the system. And they haven't.

Thom Mozloom :

Well this is sort of par for the course for the brand and reputation of Miami Dade politics, where you have a lot of egos that sit around, but not a lot gets done. There's a lot of words, and some of them are spoken at high decibels. But when it comes down to actually doing the right thing, we seem to have a logjam. What do you bring to the table to make that go away?

Cindy Lerner :

I am looking forward to the opportunity with a new mayor and hence a new administration and half of a new commission with new vision and energy. And a let's get it done attitude which I will hope that this new commission will have. So what do I bring to the table? Eight years of leadership at local government as a mayor and as president of the Miami Dade League of Cities. So I have the perspective of county wide engagement and collaboration. And the my previous stint as a state representative in the legislature, which also provided me not only the relationships and the knowledge of how to work Tallahassee, but the ability to have that perspective as well. I see too many local officials that are very parochial, and they only worry about what's within the boundaries of who elected them. And we can't afford to operate that way.

Tony Winton :

Sure. This is environment, you've got traffic, very similar kind of, you know, inter governmental interrelationship problem, we only have a couple of minutes left. And I do want to just pivot just a bit if I could, Thom, to another issue that's come up, not just here in Miami, but nationally, we having a huge discussion about race in America and the problems that continue to persist decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continued problems in policing and they're consent decrees in South Florida as well. What is your position on having a civilian independent board that has subpoena power to bring in another layer of review to address some of the issues?

Cindy Lerner :

So I had attended any of the coalition meetings that the organizations that worked very hard the last couple of years to bring that initiative forward again, to the county commission, I was very much in favor of the final product that was brought to the commission voted on by the Commission and then vetoed by the mayor because of the subpoena. So being practical about getting something going to add to start the process again, I approve of the way the commission relented and moved it forward without the kind of subpoena powers I believe they need.

Tony Winton :

But it will come up again,

Cindy Lerner :

It will come up again. And I do believe a new commission will be able to include further opportunities to address how much investigative authority they need and will be able to pass them.

Thom Mozloom :

Alright. It's the closing argument 90 seconds. Tell us why we should vote for you.

Cindy Lerner :

Already?

Thom Mozloom :

I know that was a quick interview wasn't it?

Tony Winton :

It was a quick interview.

Cindy Lerner :

It was. okay. So I have the breadth of experience the support of all of the current elected officials in district seven. At the state level, our state senators or state legislators have endorsed me. I've got 25 other local officials who stand behind me with me by my side. Want to see me on the county commission. I've worked very hard for the past 18 months out in the community spending time learning as much as I can about every aspect of the district and needs and issues that our prior Commissioner quite frankly neglected for the past eight years. And I've had to explain why what a commissioner is supposed to do because people haven't seen their Commissioner for for many years. I am boots on the ground. I was as mayor, I will be as a commissioner. And I will not be bringing any other politics on to the commission board as my opponent would. Nobody wants city of Miami politics on the County Commission

Thom Mozloom :

I think you've got to play it.

Cindy Lerner :

[Limbo music plays] I wish we got there without playing the limbo music. We do that. That was a kind of a dig at your opponent.

Thom Mozloom :

Wow, I don't disagree with you. Yeah.

Cindy Lerner :

I heard quite a few digs

Tony Winton :

Right. Well,

Thom Mozloom :

oh, man,

Tony Winton :

it was the end of your closing argument. So you're to be commended for waiting as long as you did, I suppose. Thank thank you, Cindy Lerner for joining us on Anti Social.

Thom Mozloom :

We hope you'll come back.

Tony Winton :

We hope you come back. And to remind everyone the election is right around the corner the ballot. I think overseas ballots have already gone out. Yeah, right. Yeah. So there'll be showing up in mailboxes. So please, get informed. vote. It's your right and your town.

Dick Carelli :

All right. We'll be back.

Tony Winton :

And we are back on WSQF-LP Blink Radio Key Biscayne. 94.5 on your FM dial. I am Tony Winton.

Thom Mozloom :

And I am Thom Mozloom after a barnburner of an interview with Cindy Lerner. We now have our next candidate in the hot seat

Tony Winton :

And we're going from the county level down to the village level, right? .

Thom Mozloom :

That's correct. So, Reynaldo Figueredo, Yes, thank you for being here today. I don't know who you are. Yes. Tell us have to introduce yourself. Yes. Why are you here? And why are you running for village council?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

So first I'm grateful that you guys have me here. Give me this platform this chance to speak up and talk about myself and my ideas and what I want to do for this game. I'm I'm I was born in Venezuela but I've lived in the US for 27 years. I moved down to Florida in 2015 after 14 years in New York my I'm in finance been finance for the last 29 years and basically I with my wife and son My son was through the whole school process in the US in New York where you have to change high school from junior to high school and I said well why go through all the trouble within New York when we can if we're in the long run we want to move retire somewhere else is probably looking more like it's gonna be Florida let's move now.

Thom Mozloom :

So you retired without stopping working?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I'm not retiring. I think I'm young and my brain says I'm still young so I'm trying to trying to get the stretch last stretch of good life here instead of coming here with a with with my broken back and my leg my cane. I'm been playing rugby all my life. So my body's gonna start telling me everything hurts. That's coming soon.

Thom Mozloom :

So I'm starting to put some pieces together. First rugby and now politics.

Tony Winton :

You really like to be punished, apparently.

Thom Mozloom :

I see where this is going (laughter) .

Tony Winton :

So. Key Biscayne. We have 10 candidates running You are our seventh guest on the our six guests, right? No, we have we have we've had everybody except three. So you're number seven number, I was right the first time. Seven. What do you make of the fact that so many people are running for three seats, what's going on?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I think there's mayhem. I think there's there's, there's call it a political year or call it whatever you want. But I think the council, the confrontation that we live here today on the island at the Council level and, upset, also different groups on the island makes it such that that there's a lot of people who are not happy. And when people aren't happy their voices are heard. And the best way to get your voice heard is to raise your hand and said that maybe I can do something for this.

Thom Mozloom :

Is that you? Does that describe you?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Yes, that is exactly how I came here. I think I'm a I'm a COVID in a COVID moment in my in my room working on my computer and etc. I started to read all these online papers and listening to having more time to listen other stuff, started hearing all these issues about the bonds about the the stormwater, this left, right, that but which seems perfectly fine, things have to be done. But then you get all this fighting within the council and then no agreement. And and I don't know if it's lack of leadership, I don't know if it's too divided or what it is. But if those guys can't get it, get it together, we're no going nowhere. So I I'm

Tony Winton :

So is it fair to say that you think the number your number one issue is people have to we have to get whatever the decision is, we have to get going? Right? right. It's a pragmatic argument

Reynaldo Figueredo :

completely.

Tony Winton :

Okay,

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Clearly completely things gonna have to get done. I think I believe in execution and accountability. I believe in... I believe everyone's good. I believe everyone's good and has a good thought. No one would go to seek a post in a council of small, as you say, village, as you said, as we get down to the village, wanting to do wrong. I think we all want to do right, the thing is getting all those rights in the same direction. And and and working for a greater cause.

Thom Mozloom :

So that brings up the greater cause that Key Biscayne is facing right now probably the big dollar amount is on that resiliency bond. Right? Yes. Where do you stand on that? And why?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

And that's, I'm against the bond today. And I'm against the bond on...I'd say partly, no, I said fully, because the way it was presented, I think there was very poor communication for everyone. And and that has brought up a lot of issues on "Oh, it's a blank check. Oh, it's a it's money that we can't borrow because we don't own" and and and I think everyone has an argument. I believe that we do have to invest in the island. Practically in the way I've seen and what we've done in the past, I think it's it's it's it's a village, it's an island that we could we get, we've seen the property's values go from 2 billion to 8.6 billion right now, we've had a couple of three years ago coming down. And and I don't see that turning around anytime soon. But we have to keep that up. So that keeps on rising. And the more it raises, we can lower taxes, because the thing is if and I'd love to lower taxes, that's what I want to do. I want everyone to pay less taxes. Now. I can't do that. If I'm caught in a financial financial structure that is asking for more money, and then my property values are going down.

Tony Winton :

Right. But I want to clarify that you that the bond actually does not increase any debt, that it is a authorization. So if you were elected,

Reynaldo Figueredo :

that's what I said it was poorly set up certain unfortunately. Now the theme,

Tony Winton :

It's required a step by state law. So so that's I guess the question is, before you can even you can even consider using a general obligation bond, you have to ask the voters for permission

Reynaldo Figueredo :

True

Tony Winton :

Before you can even propose even dollar one of debt. So I guess the question is, why if you worked in the financial sector -- you just told us that -- why is someone who works in the financial sector not want to get the absolute lowest cost instrument possible for whatever borrowing might be needed? Why would you put a financial tool away from your disposal? Maybe it's a general obligation bond, maybe it's a revenue bond, maybe it's some other kind of note, whatever it is, you as a decision maker, if you were elected, why would you not want to have a full set of options? I guess I if I could ask you that question. I would I'd love to hear because you are in the financial sector.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Yes.

Tony Winton :

Why, why you would think that?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

And if if I had shovel ready projects today that we could break ground and start working and looking at the finance. I think it's just perfect moment to vote yes for that for for a general obligation bond. I don't see anything ready as of yet. We have a huge program. That for that need to be done in the island, we have undergrounding we have the receipt, we have the water, we have the storm water, we have the beach renourishment, there's there's a lot of projects. But there's not one single one that is already here it is sign off. Let's start tomorrow.

Thom Mozloom :

So But should you get there? Wouldn't you want to have the financing already in place?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Sure. But we're probably going to get there in a couple of years. So or in a year, I don't see coming in six months. And if you add on that, that we are, and here's the tough one. And this is definitely the one that pushed me to, to, to run for Council. No one knows where the economy's going. No one knows where the economy is going. We don't know what the effect of COVID is. But I am more inclined to say that it's going to be bad than good. So we're gonna have a couple of years, we're gonna have to start paying, as unemployment has, has has has come down, it'll probably go out, continue to get better. But there's gonna be a moment where the structural leave, we're gonna have

Tony Winton :

Just goint to remind you to talk into the microphone, because you're leaning back a little bit. So make sure people can hear you. Yeah. Okay. Go ahead.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

So so I think and that point, I don't know in my in my house, when it rains, you stay under the roof. You don't go out there and play with electricity. I think that we need to be very cautious today, on what we invest how we invested in what's coming next.

Thom Mozloom :

Does that spill over into the larger budgeting question? Right now the budgets are being set up by the by the village. There's talk about staffing, there's talk about the police force, there's talk about critical services, are you of the mind to reduce those budgets?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I'm of the mind of being very cautious on what we spend. And don't get me wrong. I I think one of the best things we have on the island is our own police force or our own firemen. I think the response times the cost of having them is much lower that cost in efficiencies much lower the way it's set up today than if we did other models, other counties do the what I sit down with the police department and say guys, well, maybe we need to concentrate a little bit more on certain areas where the public doesn't seem safe. Yes, that's I think where we have to go. Does that mean that we have to cut certain expenditures and raise others? I don't know. I don't know. We have to look at that we have to come to an agreement.

Tony Winton :

Well, let me let me try and put it a little sharper into perspective. The village manager just issued this past week, her revised budget that's going to be coming up for a vote in a few days, it'll be the final vote of the council, that the budget calls for a 1% decrease in taxes. It does trim the burden, if you will, on on people in the community. It does also calls for no staff reductions. There are some deferred projects, some kinds of things in terms of maintenance and other kinds of projects are being deferred. Would you do support that budget? Do you think when it comes up for Council, they should try to sharpen it some more. Look for some more savings? What do you think?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I think she I think we have to let her work. We have to try to do that. She's She's She's a professional, she has to do her position. And we have to allow the manager to continue to do her work.

Thom Mozloom :

That brings up the point of civility on the board where, you know, the as a council, you guys tend to get into these heated arguments. And it's it's a it's a sign of the political time.

Tony Winton :

Well, not him. He's not there yet. Right? We have to be fair, we'd have to wait and call him back back if hes successful correct.

Thom Mozloom :

But you know, you brought it up at the at the very beginning of your of this interview, you sort of talked about people on the council, you know, going back and forth, go back and forth and not getting anything done. What do you bring to the table to allow people to do their jobs and hold them accountable for when they may not do their jobs? so well?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Well, I mean, accountability is great when you when you when you have a salary, though. So if you have a salary and you you don't do the job, guess what? Next. So the I mean, the accountability for me there, it's plain and simple. You have a project you have you have to do something. Now, I do have to be sure at a council level that I provide you with the tools so that you can perform. If I'm in the council, where everyone is fighting against each other and discussing and having just trying to go against what everyone says no matter no matter what because the other one said it, that it brings up that position of the professional manager And having to be a political person also and spending her time his or her time doing work that she shouldn't be doing

Thom Mozloom :

We had a candidate for Council, sit in that chair and tell us that they that person was we wanted to look over all of the materials, rather than just take what the experts or what the what the manager had to offer. That he needed to review it for himself and make decisions for himself.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Yeah,

Thom Mozloom :

That sounds that sounds like the opposite of where you're coming.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

It's completely the opposite. Micromanagement. For me, I think that people work like that well. I don't work like that well. I like I like to place trust on people, people are in positions, because they've earned that position. If I, I have a seat on the council, I is because people believe in Me and I will do the most to help the people. Or to not to not to disappoint my person who voted for me. But that's the idea. I think trust is a (inaudible) and it's a gun. And I think you said it in one word. It's one of my points. And the campaign is about education, better education. And if you break that up, one of the points of civility, I think we need civility we need we did basic education we need the demographics have changed tremendously, and not only on where our geographical inclinations or wherever they come from, but also on people who used to, it was up occasionally, and now it's a residential. That changes the whole it's a whole different ballgame. It pulls a whole resources fromeverything else, sir.

Tony Winton :

It certainly has. It was an island that had a large Snowbird population. And all of those units are now filled with young families and they're going to schools and everything else. We have just a little bit of time left and the other one another big deicision that is currently pending along with the budget is, the collective bargaining with the unions police fire and general staff. We're asking all the candidates, the village of Key Biscayne currently its bargaining position is: offering them zero, just freeze basically, there would still be step increases for for people with time and service. But my understanding is, in terms of the overall agreement, it just would just be a zero. What do you think about that and and in general, the posture of the government and its relationship with its organized labor workforce,

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I think it's key for us to maintain the the the the labor or all those negotiations on the island on our level, I think we have to be we have to keep it keep it as small village. What comes out and the opinions on right now on what to do here there. It's a little bit early for me to go out there. But I think we have to stay within our village to complete our own problems now. And then to correct our own problems. What I do, and I and I want to throw this out here. I fear that the our biggest threat is I think the project is resiliency and, and I call it this, bike lanes, everything we do, we can resolve it ourselves. And we have the as as as residents of Key Biscayne, Council, whatever foundation, we have the means to do it by ourselves. What we don't have the means is to face our neighbors if we go divided, so if we are fractured Island, and we have to sit down on the table with Miami Dade or city of Miami or state the Florida State park and there's an issue pending Rickenbacker or bear cut called the bear cut bridge or, or anything Crandon Park, and we don't know what we want, and we're fighting amongst ourselves. There's no power there.

Tony Winton :

I think Abraham Lincoln said something like that. A house divided

Thom Mozloom :

House divided thing. Right?

Tony Winton :

Right.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

All right. And I'd like to throw this out. We've done we've done Key Biscayne has done great things. I'm I'm a vice president of something that came out out of Key Biscayne since 2016. And we're actually helping the homeless here and what right under your building we've we've taken about 243 people out of the streets we have 80 we have 9 houses we've gone on the 10th we have 74 people living homeless that what

Tony Winton :

Hermanos..

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Hermanos de la Calle.

Tony Winton :

Yes, right.

Thom Mozloom :

All right. Well, we'll talk after the show. I represent the Homeless Trust.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Oh, there we go.

Thom Mozloom :

So So there we go. We'll have a follow up show but but now

Tony Winton :

Now it's time

Thom Mozloom :

it's your closing argument. You have 90 seconds. Why should we vote for you?

Reynaldo Figueredo :

I think I bring I bring civility I bring fresh blood. I will it's in my character to make ends meet. I will be conservative. I there's I will spend what I have, not been what I don't have. That's in my personal life. So we'll try to unpack that on the people. But I think my biggest strength is that trying to get everything together and only by working together, we can make this island go forward and invest and lower taxes and have a better village,

Tony Winton :

Reynaldo Figueredo. Thank you for joining Anti-Social

Thom Mozloom :

on the show.

Reynaldo Figueredo :

Thank you guys.

Thom Mozloom :

And we will be back in just a minute.

Tony Winton :

And we are back on Anti-social. I'm Tony Winton.

Thom Mozloom :

And I'm Thom Mozloom. And we're on WSQF FM 94.5 on your dial Blink Radio Key Biscayne. Tony. That was a that was a barnburner of a show that went by pretty darn quickly.

Tony Winton :

It did go do go fast, pretty quickly. We had a national story, we had a county story, and weReyna had a local story.

Thom Mozloom :

We should do that all the time

Tony Winton :

I will see if we can make it work. I think that would be fantastic.

Thom Mozloom :

I will tell you, I thought I thought Cindy Lerner was by far the most critical of how things are currently going of any of the candidates that we've talked to up until this point, she not only laid out where the problems were, but exactly in detail what she would do to fix them. Now, whether I agree with her or not is irrelevant. But she was certainly the person who sat at the table and said, these are the problems. And this is how I'm going to fix them.

Tony Winton :

Right. She had she had a matched a message with an agenda and a concrete set of steps.

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, that's how candidates should run their campaigns. Well, you know, what, again, politics aside, the structure was really impressive. And Reynaldo, listen, he came ready.

Tony Winton :

Well, I mean, to the extent that, you know, we're talking about a complex issue, I heard him say that, in effect, and I'm paraphrasing here generally. That the the incivility, the gridlock has actually hurt the council's ability to persuade and make the case for what he agrees are important projects.

Thom Mozloom :

That's correct.

Tony Winton :

And he's willing to even do a general obligation bond, but not now. Because you basically that's his argument is, it's a trust argument. You guys need to go and let somebody else do it. You've poisoned the well, I can't trust you with this. Which is, which is an amazing argument coming from anybody running for any office anywhere. Is I'm running because I don't trust you. That was the rationale. Well, but it's but it's -- the funny thing is is that that's actually showing up in, in in in the existing council holders who are not up for election this year. Ignacio Segurola, a sitting member of council, basically made that argument in the Islander News, writing, essentially, don't trust us. Don't trust. Vote no on the bond, because you can't trust us.

Thom Mozloom :

It's amazing. And and this is a good time to remind ourselves, everybody of our first guest and the story of Justice Ginsburg, and her kindness and her graciousness, and her ability to be friends with her political opposite and still love

Tony Winton :

right and let's hear for it. Let's go back now to that and as we told our listeners, we go back to that national story. The the this is something that happened last night on the steps of the US Supreme Court building in Washington DC. [Sound of people singing] People mourning justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the steps of the Supreme Court laying you probably seen the photos, laying little votive candles, all kinds of cards and people just gathering to remember her service on the court. And now we have The unfortunate prospect I hate to say that it's going to it is it is going to be an incredibly contentious additional dimension to the national political conversation, which is going to have a ripple effect all the way down. I'm convinced of it on county races on lower races

Thom Mozloom :

Of course

Tony Winton :

and everything else.

Thom Mozloom :

Of course,

Tony Winton :

everything has changed in in. Well,

Thom Mozloom :

well, it is the October surprise, this is the October surprise, it just happened in September. Because nothing that the campaigns were doing before matter anymore. This is now going to be a campaign about supreme court justice. And everybody is playing it wrong. Both sides are playing this. Exactly the opposite as they should the Democrats should say," let's go. Let's get somebody confirmed as soon as possible. Take it off the ballot, take it off, take the Supreme Court Justice off the ballot." And when we win, we're going to expand to 11

Tony Winton :

or 15 im hearing some people say

Thom Mozloom :

or whatever, right? Yep. And and and we're gonna we're gonna re level the playing field. That's what the Democrats should be doing. But they're not they're saying no, no, no delay, delay, delay, delay delay. The Republicans are saying, Let's go now the republicans should be saying no, we're gonna wait till after the election, and this should be one of Donald Trump's campaign mantras is you're not voting for me.

Tony Winton :

Well, I mean, now we have what is appear going to be though the opposite. Yeah. You just said we're the the president this morning. We

Thom Mozloom :

live in upside down land.

Tony Winton :

Yes, the president this morning saying that he is going to put forward a nominee and then it should be acted quickly. And you know, that is, you know, again, brings up this continuing problem of, I guess the word is hypocrisy or consistency or whatever you want to new use this as a matter of history. Here's what the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said two years ago, when the decision was made not to vote on Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee was made earlier in the year.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY :

But the situation when we broke for the recess two weeks ago, was that there were 52 Republican senators who didn't think we needed either hearings, or a vote in committee. And today, two weeks later, we have 52. Republicans, who think we don't need either a hearing or a vote in committee. I think it's safe to say there will not be hearings or votes. I think it is also safe to say the next president, whoever that may be, is going to be the person who chooses the next Supreme Court justice.

Thom Mozloom :

Yeah, well, it doesn't get clearer than that does it?

Tony Winton :

No

Thom Mozloom :

Except it's clear as mud because all politics leads to mud. That's where we are.

Tony Winton :

I'm in favor of something until I'm against it.

Thom Mozloom :

Well, I mean, they're gonna argue that the rule was very specific about when the President and the senate are from are led by different parties. That's where that's going to break. And it's and the rest of us are going to scratch our head and go, why does that rule even exist? Right? What are we doing here? Um, I think the takeaway, though, is, as the knife fight begins, just everybody remember, you don't have to get involved in that. And you could be nice to each other, irrespective of politics, irrespective of what your ideals are, and the person you're talking to just be nice.

Tony Winton :

And that is actually my wife's motto, "be nice." And that's how I did that. And I, I should point out, we didn't even talk about the potential nominees. You know, we have two from we have one from South Florida, Barbara Lagoa.

Thom Mozloom :

Let's, let's do that next show. Let's leave next show and let people weigh in here. And let the unfold over the next week. And Tony, and I will read your comments Live on the Air.

Tony Winton :

All right, well, with that we are going to wrap up today's episode of anti social. I'm Tony Winton, I'm Thom Mozloom and be safe, everybody.

RBG - A Personal Story from Dick Carelli
Cindy Lerner, candidate for county commission
Reynaldo Figueredo , candidate for Village Council