Three Jamaican-Americans seeking re-election to Miramar City Commission

History was created in Florida two years ago when Winston Barnes and George Pedlar were overwhelmingly elected to the Miramar city commission, joining Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman. This created a Jamaican-American majority on the five-member Miramar City Commission. Now all three are up and running for re-election for second terms, on Tuesday March 8, 2005.

Commissioner Winston F. Barnes, a well-known Caribbean personality and news director of WAVS radio, has been a resident of Miramar for the past 5-1/2 years. When asked, he cited two accomplishments of which he is particularly proud: first, a resolution for a Drug Remnant Test, which a prospective used car owner can request, that detects any traces of drugs in the vehicle that he or she is purchasing.

“The resolution was my idea; the problem was brought to my attention by a caller on my show. This is how government should work- from the bottom up, not from the top down” states Commissioner Barnes. The second accomplishment is actually a work in progress. Mr. Barnes opposed a resolution that was tabled for a pay rise for commissioners, which nonetheless passed. He decided to use his raise to start a scholarship fund that would help a high school student from the city of Miramar to go to college. “I hope to have all the details ironed out in time to be able to assist a student for the upcoming fall semester” he says.

Commissioner George Pedlar has been a resident of Miramar for the past 13 years. His concerns center around the management of the city’s rapid growth. The City of Miramar is the second-largest city in Broward County, and one of the fastest- growing. “Miramar is growing and has a diverse population. [While] this can lead to problems sometimes, we have been able to capitalize on this diversity, using the strengths and talents of each culture, each group, to make us stronger and less divided” Pedlar says.

Mr. Pedlar also stated that he wants the city to continue to work with small businesses as well as major corporations, to strengthen the city’s financial base, primarily in the hotel field. “I have a strong interest in the financial area. Revenue is the engine that drives a city” states Commissioner Pedlar.

Known as the “elder statesman”, of the three, with 4 years served on the commission, Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman has been a resident of Miramar for the past 10 years.

“I pushed for more minorities to be hired to the city’s fire department and police force to more closely reflect the ethnic make up of the city. Before, there was a disproportionate representation of ethnic diversity” stated Commissioner Salesman. He also instituted the MASH (Miramar Assisting Seniors in their Homes) and Small Business Programs. His goals for a second term are the same as when he started, he says: “To have a financially stable city, to provide the necessary modernized infrastructure– for example: sewers and beautification–, and development on the eastern side. These are some of my goals.”

The City of Miramar has become home to more Fortune 500 Companies in recent years than any other city in South Florida. They have recently built a new town center and anticipate major development such as the imminent construction of a new cultural arts center as well as a library and a downtown area to attract commercial and residential development.

It has grown from a sleepy bedroom community of 40,000, to over 85,000 residents and it is estimated that this growth will continue and top out at about 150, 000 — about the size of Fort Lauderdale today– in the next few years. Miramar is home to a significant number of Caribbean nationals, including Haitians. There is also a growing Hispanic population contributing to the city’s ethnic diversity.

All three of these men are experienced candidates with knowledge of the various issues concerning the city, and are prepared and committed to the health and growth of the City of Miramar and all its residents.

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