Steve Losner, who served on Homestead City Council from 2001-2007, gave careful thought before making the decision to become a candidate for mayor.
Why now? “I had been considering running for mayor for a while. In seeing some of the actions by the Council, I have concerns about decisions similar to what occurred in the 2001-2007 timeframe. That was during the previous building boom and I thought the pace and mix of development did not appropriately take the impact of traffic, among other factors, into account. Homestead is failing to reach its potential and we can do better. We’re in another boom and I feel like issues are not yet resolved.
I don’t want us to repeat the same mistakes.” The recent approval of more than 750 new homes is an example Losner cites of what should not happen. “These are for smaller units, on smaller lots, on more narrow streets.”
A related major concern is the appearance of the community. “I see deterioration in sections of Homestead west of Highway 1; of what seems to be less code enforcement in the way of trash being picked up and properties being maintained. There are good things happening downtown, but we need to look at the bigger picture. This is a point of quality of life for our residents, the perception of visitors, future homeowners, and future business owners.”
His goals? “We need to return to the basics of what makes a good community, what the City should be doing to ensure safety and quality of life for all residents. This was my position before and it hasn’t changed. We need to address plans for properties of the old City Hall, the baseball stadium, and what are referred to as the ‘shotgun houses’. We also need to be proactive with the potential impact of hundreds, if not thousands, of units being built close to our city limits. We can’t control that, but we can be aware it will affect us and consider what to do to prepare for it.”
In asking about priorities if elected, his response was immediate. “First, is to send a clear message of traffic as an issue. Underlying this is the rate of residential over-development. Next is Code Enforcement. We need to see if we have gaps in our codes and take care of those if we do. Not enforcing code can impact property values which ultimately affects the community as a whole. In many cases, values here for comparable homes are less than Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, and Pinecrest. Some of that is due to their closer proximity to job centers, but there is also the appearance of neighborhoods and corridors.”
Losner is the third generation of his family to live in Homestead. He is an attorney, and has been active member of the the Rotary Club of Homestead since 1993, among other community involvements.