Best Political Miscalculation Miami 2001 - Coral Gables City Hall Annex
As the mayor of Coral Gables for the past eight years, Raul Valdes-Fauli treated the electorate as if they were serfs and he their lord and master. He was more than haughty. He was brazenly contemptuous of the public. Drunk with power, he did his best to turn the City Beautiful into the City Hideous by disregarding its history and tradition, throwing open the doors to one bloated eyesore of a development after another. But Valdes-Fauli and two other members of the city commission, Dorothy Thomson and Jim Barker, finally went too far. Last year they approved a $16.5 million construction project that included a 60,000-square-foot annex to the historic city hall. The plan also called for closing a portion of Biltmore Way. Their actions solidified public sentiment against them, and in April all three were voted out of office and replaced with a reform-minded slate of candidates that immediately halted construction on the new annex and promised to sharply regulate all future development.