Latest News From City Hall

At the First City Commission Meeting Last Month, the Commissioners:

Voted unanimously to extend the temporary permits for restaurants in the city to continue expanded outdoor seating and the use of oversized signage, until June 15 of this year. (Item sponsored by Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli).

Voted unanimously to establish a recycling program for all the commercial businesses and multi-family residences in the city, and to expand resources to deal with the disposal of cardboard in alleyways, now a problem due to increased holiday shipping and returns. Must be voted on again. (Item sponsored by Vice Mayor Vince Lago).

Listened to a presentation by clean water advocate Alberto Aran, who proposed a program to restore the population of native oysters as a way to restore clean waters to bayside Coral Gables. Aran suggested that dock owners propagate the oysters on ropes and pilings, noting that a single string of 100 oysters can filter (and clean) 5,000 gallons a day. (Item sponsored by Vice Mayor Vince Lago).

Listened to a presentation by Samuel Joseph on the Summer Family Literacy Festival, a book fair set to launch as a pilot program this summer. Joseph, a member of the city’s School Community Relations Committee, said the purpose is to “promote family literacy as a solution and alternative to the student’s summer slide” which has been accelerated by Covid. “Every child will leave with a book,” said Joseph. (Item sponsored by Vice Mayor Vince Lago).

Voted to urge the Bahamian government to revoke offshore oil drilling exploration licenses and permanently ban offshore drilling in Bahamian waters. (Item sponsored by Commissioner Pat Keon and Mayor Valdés-Fauli).

Listened to an update on the city’s storm water purification pilot program by Bob Backman, CEO of Abtech Industries. He explained how his firm’s “smart sponge” technology could filter out oil, grease, bacteria, heavy metals, and fertilizer chemicals. Last October the firm used a boom to capture runoff into the Gables waterway from the Riviera neighborhood. It was overwhelmed by solid trash but also showed that just this one source generated an annual dis-charge of 96 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel alone. (Item sponsored by Vice Mayor Vince Lago).