By Sylvia Gurinsky
It hasn't been mentioned very much, but the urgency of the outcome of the special mayoral election in Miami-Dade County became more clear the day McClatchy announced the sale of the Miami Herald building.
That's because McClatchy sold it to a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad, a Malaysian company that operates hotels and casinos. There's a presumption that casinos will eventually take over not just that land, but a spot in the restored Fontainebleau Hotel.
Casinos have the potential to become a drain on Dade's quality of life. So does any easing of the Urban Development Boundary, which prevents developments that encroach on the Everglades. That's also been under discussion.
That's why it's important not only to listen to what candidates Carlos Gimenez and Julio Robaina have to say, but look out for the hidden messages. Those come through campaign contributions; the records can be accessed at
where you can click on "Mayor 2011" for Gimenez and Robaina's complete records of who has given.
Whoever wins will likely have a head-start on the 2012 election, and thus could have an impact on Miami-Dade for years to come. From the businesses the county has to the protection of its environment, the issues concern all residents. Voters cannot afford to sit this one out.