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If I Were Mayor
00000173-d94c-dc06-a17f-ddddb3f20000The Public Insight Network is all about listening to you. It relies on your personal experiences and expertise.Click here to sign up and tell us a little about yourself. Your knowledge informs the newsroom. We'll send you an occasional email asking if you have personal experience or expertise on a story we are covering. The information goes to our Public Insight Network analyst, Katie Lepri, who will look for coverage ideas as well as potential sources. You may then be contacted with further questions or for a formal interview. Any information you provide is confidential and is not used for marketing, fundraising or advertising purposes. Anything you tell us will only be published with your permission by the Miami Herald Media Company, which includes El Nuevo Herald and WLRN. Learn more about our confidentiality and privacy policy. Below, take a look at the stories network participants have helped inform.

If I Were Mayor: 'Miami Lakes Against The World!'

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Elaine Chen
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As part of our If I Were Mayor project, we asked Miami Lakes residents what they would do if they were in charge of their town.

Miami Lakes is holding a special election today to choose a new mayor after the suspension of Mayor Michael Pizzi. Pizzi was one of three mayors arrested last month on corruption charges.

Geoffrey Shideler is a publications coordinator for a scientific journal. He met me at the town’s Publix, which was across the street from a cow pasture. And across the street from the town hall?  Another cow pasture.

Shideler said Miami Lakes likes to retain some of its past as a dairy farm, which was owned and developed by the family of former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Partly in homage to that history, colorful cow sculptures dot the commercial center.

Resident Sean Schwinghammer spoke glowingly about his town, “What’s made the town different, why everyone’s always been an advocate, is this has always been a civic-minded community. It’s Miami Lakes against the world.”

Schwinghammer, a former office holder in Miami Lakes, is involved in health care issues.

Likening the town to "Mayberry," Schwinghammer added, "Some of us just want to make sure it’s kept at the same level that it was founded on and where it should be restored to."

Hear what Schwinghammer and Shideler said they would do if they were mayor:

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Tell us what you would do if you were mayor of your town by going to the Public Insight Network or tweet us with the hashtag #IfIWereMayor.