Saturday, December 5, 2009

Voters pick newcomers over incumbents - some cite committment to protect tree canopy as deciding factor; Miami-Dade, FL

Voters pick newcomers over incumbents - Northeast Miami-Dade -
Angela Celis, 42, and Clifton Hamilton, 51, village residents for 10 years, said they voted for Cooper and Ross because their platforms included promises to preserve the village's tree canopy.
Celis and Hamilton also said they were concerned about village spending in a tight economy.
``We want them to keep the costs reasonable and make pragmatic decisions,'' Hamilton said. ``We want them to preserve the trees. This is a bird sanctuary, so the environment needs to be intact and we need to keep it as natural as possible.''
This year's elections had a greater voter turnout with just over 33 percent than the 2007 election, in which 26 percent voted.
``I'm happy,'' said Cooper, 48, inside the Ed Burke Recreation Center, where the votes were cast and counted.``I'm actually grateful for all the volunteers that made this possible. This wouldn't had happened if they hadn't help with the campaign.''
Cooper is a professor and director of collections and digital services at St. Thomas University.
Ross, a paralegal, said she was excited to start her term on the commission.
``I'm very excited about getting to work with the other commissioners, focusing on making Biscayne Park a better place to be,'' said Ross, 50, minutes after the results were announced at the Recreation Center. ``Keep it the gem that we are.''

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