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Souring on Sarnoff?

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If only Marc Sarnoff had decisively won the election for the Miami City Commission District 2 seat... The longtime Coconut Grove-based attorney had spent years building a reputation as a solid, fair-minded community activist who was well-liked as a person as well as a public citizen in his neighborhood in the Center Grove.

But Sarnoff's scarce lead after the November 7 election has forced him into a runoff with sitting commissioner Linda Haskins, and the charm of the once much-anticipated Sarnoff landslide is wearing thin, particularly after the candidate's unfortunate tour of his stomping grounds in...a fire engine. Right.

This past Sunday afternoon, while Grove residents escaped the maddeningly lowbrow Mad Hatter's "Art" (actually krafts-with-a-K) festival at Cocowalk by lolling in the fall sunlight with their canine companions at the dog park at Virginia Street and Shipping Avenue (across the street from Sarnoff's orange stucco minimansion), the unwelcome, piercing sound of a siren shattered the quiet. Indeed Sarnoff, along with BoBo, one of his apparently exceedingly agreeable Bernaise Mountain Dogs, and several campaign workers were trawling the 'hood, with Sarnoff urging people to go forth and vote via bullhorn, punctuated by claxon blasts and bell clanging.

"Remember to come out and vote on November 21," caterwauled the normally saturnine candidate. Spotting builder Rene Diaz along the route, Sarnoff gave Diaz a shout-out, to which Diaz responded with a head shake.

The dogs in the park — and their people — first startled by the siren, became agitated. Aside from the noise, Sarnoff's campaign has generated an unwanted abundance of traffic on the corner, including dog park parking drama when Sarnoff-sign hauling trucks take up all the spaces. — Jean Carey

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