MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Dan Gelber will get a third and final term as Miami Beach mayor after being re-elected with just over 62 percent of the vote. He celebrated his win Tuesday night at the Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive.
“We have a lot to do on the next few years,” Gelber said. “We have a lot of wonderful things we want to complete like parks and more art and culture.”
In a change from a similar ballot measure in a 2017 election, 57 percent of Miami Beach voters agreed to a 2 a.m. citywide alcohol cutoff, with certain exceptions. It was a non-binding straw poll.
Jean Marie Echemendia
Carlos Enrique Gutierrez
(232 / 232)
The 2 a.m. ballot was a major point in Gelber’s platform to reduce crime and chaos, and the perception of it.
“The voters today spoke very clearly and very resoundingly that they want a 2 a.m. rollback and they want this area to be a different kind of area,” he said. “I look forward to helping any of these bars evolve into a different kind of business model.”
But vocal opponents have argued crimes on Miami Beach happen at all hours, and the booze ban would send the local economy in a downward spiral.
Public policy group Citizens for a Safe Miami Beach said in an email that they “continue to oppose solutions that do nothing to solve crime, but will cost 4,100 local workers their jobs, increase property taxes, and cut tens of millions of dollars from city revenues.”
“As long as Miami Beach is here, entertainment will be here,” said David Wallack, owners of Mango’s Tropical Cafe. “It is what it is. I now look forward to working with the city and creating whatever good laws they should create to make ocean drive and south beach a much better place to be.”