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Town Commission

Daniel Dietch, Mayor


Term 2018-2020

Daniel Gielchinsky, Vice Mayor


Term 2018-2020

Barry Cohen, Commissioner


Term 2018-2020

Michael Karukin, Commissioner


Term 2018-2020

Tina Paul, Commissioner


Term 2018-2020

The Town of Surfside, Florida is a Commission-Manager form of government. Article II of the Town of Surfside Charter provides a detailed explanation of the associated rights, responsibilities and prohibitions governing the Commission.

The Legislative Department consists of the Mayor, Vice Mayor and three Town Commissioners. They are identified by name and title on the title page of this document. Collectively, the legislative body is responsible principally for setting the general policy direction of the town. The Town Commission makes four critically important appointments on behalf of the Town and provides oversight to those appointments. The appointments are: 1) the Town Attorney, 2) Town Board members, 3) the Town Manager, and 4) the Town’s external auditor.

The powers and responsibilities of the Town Commission designated in the Town Charter include, among others: 1) appointments, 2) establishing administrative departments through the adopted budget, 3) levying taxes and assessments, 4) authorizing bond issuance, 5) adopting and modifying the official Town map, 6) regulating development consistent with governing laws, 7) addressing neighborhood development, 8) granting public utility franchises, 9) providing for an employee pension plan, 10) monitoring administrative services through the Town Manager, 11) appointing interim Commissioners in the event of a vacancy of office, and 12) providing Town ceremonies.

  • Daniel Dietch, Mayor

    Phone: 305.861.4863

    I moved to Surfside with my family in 2000 and it was love at first sight. Having learned the importance of public service from my parents, I volunteered my time to Surfside in many capacities, including the Community Center Committee, the Planning and Zoning Board and the Design Review Board. I was first elected to the Office of Mayor in 2010 and I am now serving in my fifth term.

    By way of academic background, I have an undergraduate degree from Skidmore College in Geology and Anthropology, a graduate degree from Cornell University in Environmental Management and a graduate degree from the University of Miami in Business Administration. Professionally, I am an environmental consultant employed by SCS Engineers, an environmental consulting and contracting firm serving public and private clients. I am a proud graduate of the inaugural class of the Good Government Institute and I currently serve on the Executive Board of The CLEO Institute, the Executive Board of the Clean Energy Coast Corridor and the Advisory Board of the American Flood Coalition. I use both my academic and professional experience to help shape sensible policies that benefit Surfside in the near and longer-term.

    Surfside already has much to be proud of including our diverse recreation programs, our beautiful beaches and parks, a diverse downtown shopping district, caring residents and a staff dedicated to serving the Town and its residents. We are currently working on many initiatives, including building our capacity to manage the impacts of climate change, enhancing public safety, mitigating local and regional traffic impacts, improving our technology services and capitalizing on opportunities to improve municipal services and lower costs by collaborating with our neighboring communities.

    As we move forward, my commitment to you is to be open-minded, thorough, fair and honest. My priority is to solicit feedback, to listen to my constituents and the Town’s stakeholders and to act in the best interests of Surfside.

    I thank you for your confidence in me. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work to keep Surfside a great community to live, work, visit, raise a family and enjoy life.

  • Daniel Gielchinsky, Vice Mayor

    Phone: 305.861.4863

    Daniel Gielchinsky moved to Surfside in 2011 and started his family here. As a father of two young children and a community leader involved with various religious and civic institutions, Daniel is motivated to make Surfside become the best town that it can be for both residents and businesses alike.

    Daniel has served as the Vice-Chair of the Surfside Coastal Issues Committee and holds senior leadership positions with The Shul, Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Miami Beach Eruv Council and the Dade County Bar Association.

    An experienced and highly regarded attorney, Daniel has practiced land use and zoning law for over a dozen years, representing municipalities, developers and residents in connection with various development issues. That experience makes Daniel an invaluable asset to the Surfside Commission.

    Daniel has the vision and know-how to help make sure that Surfside offers the best living experience for its community, now and for years to come.

  • Barry Richard Cohen, Commissioner

    Phone: 305.861.4863

    Barry is a graduate of the University of Miami where received a business degree. He owned and operated a hospitality supplies business while in college. He later received his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in California and has been a practicing attorney for almost 30 years.

    He is a member of the Federal Trial Bar Association for the southern district of Florida and a member of the Florida Bar Association. His practice has focused on commercial litigation, real estate, transactions, personal injury and foreclosure defense.

    Barry is a corporate member of both the Dade and Broward Real Estate Investors Association where he frequently provides seminars to members.

    He served as the chairman and the vice chairman of the Surfside Planning and Zoning Board from 1988-199 and as a board member of the Miami Dade League of Cities.

    He was born and raised on Miami Beach where he attended elementary, junior and senior high school. He has been a Surfside resident since 1985 where he and his wife raised their 3 children and where he maintained a law office for 5 years.

    Barry looks forward to the opportunity to serve Surfside, provide excellent representation to its residents and take Surfside from good to great while maintaining its unique charm.

  • Michael Karukin, Commissioner

    Phone: 305.861.4863

    Michael Karukin has been involved in Surfside’s policy direction since 2008. In 2010, after serving on the Charter Review Board, he was elected to the Surfside Commission and re-elected in 2012 as Vice Mayor. He is very appreciative of the opportunity to serve another two years.

    Michael has worked as a clinical research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years. He is a Physician’s Assistant with Bachelor’s degrees in Physiological Psychology and Medicine from the University of Florida and has a Ph.D in Health Services Administration from Walden University.

    From 1982 to 1991, Michael was research director and clinician at one of the first private clinical trial study centers in South Florida, focusing on investigational drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, stroke and migraine headache. In 1991, he joined IVAX Corporation, a Miami based pharmaceutical company as a clinical research scientist. IVAX wasacquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals (the world largest generic drug company) in 2006. Michael is now Director of Patient Registries at Teva managing research projects in the area of medication safety.

    Michael grew up in Miami Beach. In 1999, he found his dream home in Surfside, his slice of paradise. There are not too many places that offer the peace, tranquility and security of a small town yet so close to what makes South Florida a great place to live, work and play. Surfside is a family friendly residential coastal community that offers great schools, great location, great people, and a great place to visit. We have a Town administration that is professional, responsive, and accessible to all residents and visitors. Open a business, buy a home, eat at one of our great restaurants, go shopping or stay on the beach to just relax. Welcome to Surfside.

  • Tina Paul, Commissioner

    Phone: 305.861.4863

    Tina Paul is a Miami Beach native who was raised in Surfside since birth. She graciously joins the Town Commission with a vibrant concern for our community. Her aesthetics were formed here surrounded by the ocean breeze, pastel color skies and art deco buildings.

    Tina graduated Miami Beach Senior High and Miami Dade College before she set her sights on furthering her studies at School of Visual Arts in New York City. There, she found a place among New York’s avant-garde creative innovators.

    Her interests have always included history, current events, civil justice, culture, music, arts and entertainment. Working as an independent professional photographer has allowed Tina access to enjoy an array of knowledge and diversity through each assignment. Over the years, Tina has developed strong contacts with prominent artists, authors, dj’s, fashionistas, publicists and paparazzi and has had the opportunity to observe politicians and world leaders up-close.

    In 2011, Tina and longtime partner Arhlene, came home to reside in Surfside and be with Tina’s parents daily, managing their household and care. It is through honor and respect for the values instilled upon Tina by her parents, Anne and Leo Paul that she is inspired to build upon their legacy.

    Tina is grateful for your confidence in her abilities to serve the Town of Surfiside.