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Sun Times Feature Story


Aventura has only one seat open for its voters

By Larry Blustein
Aventura - For those who remember what it was like to grow up in this area - before it was a city - and before it was developed, have the respect for what this prestigious address means.

Ellen Kravitz was one of the first residents with her family back in 1970 - as this part of unincorporated Miami-Dade looked to build on the swamp land that sat between Biscayne Blvd. (U.S. 1) and the Intracoastal Waterway.

As development in northeast Miami-Dade began to take hold - with businesses and condos the first to take hold - many felt that this was an area that would take off - and with its proximity to so many area destinations - it was only a matter of time when things would truly explode.

“I always remember thinking that if the right people came in here and made this area a city and played on its location, the sky would be the limit,” Kravitz said. “This was the perfect location - and by the time they built Publix and the Aventura Mall, the direction was indeed plain to see.”

Wit the Founders Day event coming up on Nov. 13 to celebrate 21 years, dating back to 1995, which was the year the City of Aventura incorporated and became a new city within Miami-Dade County under its own local government.

From the hiring of Thomas E. Ribel in 1996 to be its first Police Chief to the City of Aventura Police Department acquiring the law enforcement duties for its new city from the Miami-Dade County Police Department in 1997, things have progressed.

But the difference over the years in the way this community has become elite and so prestigious is the way city government has worked. Top mayors and commissioners, from the beginning, were instrumental in shaping and molding this area. Being progressive and understanding that this was a destination and not a stopover was indeed the difference.

“I can tell you that for as long as I have been living here, and it’s 14 years now, I cannot say enough about what this City has done to elevate and continue to make it special,” Roy Marks explained. “I lived in a few other areas here in southern Florida that were not open and not transparent, always hiding things from the residents.”

It was because of the way the commission, which today includes Mayor Enid Weisman - and Commissioners Teri Holzberg (Seat 1), Denise Landman (Seat 2), Howard Weinberg (Seat 3), Robert Shelley (Seat 4), Dr. Linda Marks (Seat 5) and Marc Narotsky (Seat 6) - always remained progressive and looking out for what was best for all of Aventura.

The Nov. 8 municipal election will not change too much as voters are really looking at one seat that will be contested.

With Marks unopposed for Seat 1 - which had Holzberg stepping down; and Weinberg unopposed for for Seat 3, only the race for Seat 5 is what all will be watching. With Enbar Cohen and Gary Pyott withdrawing from the race, political newcomers Joshua Mandall and Gladys Mizrahi will be what voters are making a choice on - with the other vital issues on the ballot.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, Aventura celebrates its 21st anniversary of incorporation - with its annual Founders Day celebration, including the kick-off of the City’s seasonal Green Market. The celebration and market will take place from noon – 5 PM at Founders Park located at 3105 NE 190 Street.

When you come to help celebrate the City's 21st anniversary bash, you will see plenty. From stilt walkers, jugglers, activities, food, and the opening of the impressive Green Market, to a variety of outdoor and recreational activities.

Join in and participate in fun games; get creative at the interactive art and science stations, or unleash your fun, personal style in the Makeover Madness station. In addition, share the excitement with little ones at Toddler Town; relax under the dining tents while catching a game of football on HDTVs and feast on a bite from any of the fantastic food trucks. Become dazzled by the acts on the community stage featuring the Aventura STAR talent competition and many more surprises!