Kenneth Bernstein, Bernard Einstein keep longtime seats on Golden Beach Town Council
Image via Golden Beach.

Kenneth Berstein Bernard Einstein GB
The status quo remains in Golden Beach, an affluent coastal town with fewer residents than some homeowners' associations.

Voters in tiny Golden Beach are keeping their legislative body’s composition unchanged, re-electing a pair of sitting officials over a competitive but ultimately unsuccessful challenger in a three-way race for two Town Council seats.

With the 961-resident town’s only precinct reporting all mail-in and in-person ballots, Council members Kenneth Bernstein and Bernard Einstein took 41% and 34% of the vote, respectively, to re-secure their seats for four more years.

Bernstein won 198 votes, according to the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. Einstein took 163.

Real estate lawyer and eight-year Golden Beach resident Terri Sonn placed third with 25% of the vote, equal to 121 cast ballots.

Bernstein’s larger share of the vote earned him the role of Vice Mayor, a position that rotates on an annual basis, per the town’s election rules.

The General Election for Council and Mayor occurs on the third Tuesday in February of each odd-numbered year, with two seats up for grabs in each election. The two people who win the most votes take seats on the Council, with the top vote earner taking the Vice Mayor title. Voters choose the Mayor separately.

Both Bernstein and Einstein won another four years on the Council — which, like the Mayor, has no term limits — alongside fellow members Judy Lusskin and Jaime Mendal. Mendal will step down as Vice Mayor into a Council member role.

Mayor Glenn Singer, a business investor and former accountant, coasted to a 10th two-year term after no one filed to run against him.

Bernstein and Einstein have served 40 years combined on the Golden Beach Council.

Bernstein, a lawyer who for more than two decades has served in high-ranking roles for Aventura-based builder and real estate manager Turnberry Associates, has sat on the panel since 2007. Einstein, a lawyer specializing in probate, business, personal injury, divorce and estates, first won election to the Town Council in 1999.

Altogether, more than 50% of the residents cast votes in Golden Beach, an affluent, exclusive and overwhelmingly White municipality along the Miami-Dade’s coast with a population smaller than many homeowners’ associations.

Golden Beach is the second-smallest municipality by population. Its footprint is less than half a square mile, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The town’s website contradicts that measurement, citing its footprint at 1.8 square miles.

Several celebrities and business executives have lived there, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, pop star Ricky Martin and actor Paul Newman. Homes there sell for tens of millions of dollars.

Its motto: “A Town Unlike Any Other.”

Bernstein’s re-election campaign leaned on his past accomplishments, including the completion of roughly $63 million in local capital projects, and a platform of lowering property taxes and the future development of a town gym and redevelopment of Tweddle Park. He also vowed to add more security cameras across the town.

Einstein, a former Golden Beach Mayor, similarly prioritized reducing taxes, upgrading the park, building the gym and expanding security camera coverage. He also highlighted town budget controls, environmental protections and hiring more police as needs he plans to address through 2027.

Sonn, meanwhile, said on her campaign website that she decided to run to bring “a new perspective and fresh ideas” to the Town Council, which only has one member — Mendal, who won office in 2017 — that hasn’t been there for more than a decade.

Her platform prioritized transparency, accessibility and safety.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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