Two 'Williams' vie for Miami Gardens seat

admin | 1/25/2012, 7:30 a.m.

Miami Gardens Councilman David Williams, Jr., 57, a FAMU and Barry University graduate, was appointed to the city council in March 2011 but now faces a January 31st election, as mandated by the laws of the State of Florida. He is being challenged by Kevin C. Williams, 31, a single father and pastor of Kingdom Power Center Church of God in Christ, for the at-large seat five position. Despite numerous attempts to speak with the incumbent, we were unable to secure an interview. However, the challenger did share his platform with The Miami Times. I talk candidly and admit that I am not a politician I am a preacher in the business of serving and saving souls and Im running to save the City of Miami Gardens, Kevin Williams said. The current council, if I had to grade them, would get a D. I was part of the incorporation process back in 2003 and think it was the best thing for our community. Now we must plot a course for our future. As of August 2012, all of the members of the original council, including the mayor, will be gone. We must be clear about the direction we want to take. We have soaring unemployment at 17 percent, foreclosure rates close to 14 percent and based on the mayors numbers we have seen a staggering 33 percent increase in homicides and violent crimes. The citys answer to all of this: increase the taxes to a double-digit 11 percent. Crime is up because we have closed parks and pools none of them are fully-staffed. And we reassigned 11 police officers because of the budget. None of these decisions made sense to me. We had to cancel the King festival this year because we did not have the funds, yet we are going ahead with Jazz in the Gardens, despite a $2 million dollar deficit. Its only shown a profit one year and that was for only $100,000. Williams says crime among youth has risen, he believes, because they lack adequate after school and evening activities. And hes concerned with the large number of Blacks who have left Miami Gardens and the City of Miami and chosen not to return. Some say Miami Gardens has crime problems because of our diverse Caribbean population but thats not so, he said. The problem is with our Citys governance. By D. Kevin McNeir kmcneir@miamitimesonline.com