Ceremony marks completion of SW 208th Street improvements

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Town officials, staff and residents gather for the ribbon cutting formally opening the improved street.

Members of the Cutler Bay Town Council and staff joined with residents on Thursday, Oct. 28, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a major roadway makeover on SW 208th Street between 87th and 92nd avenues.

Begun in early August, the project was launched at the request of residents living along 208th Street who complained about the existing road as developed by the county. The five-lane street was likened by some to an airport runway, and by others to a drag strip where speeders posed a danger to pedestrians, bicyclists and even cars attempting to cross it. Residents also said it affected the quality of life in the neighborhood.

Outgoing Mayor Paul Vrooman said he was glad to see the project completed on his watch because of the positive impact it made for residents and the way it came about with everyone working together to accomplish it.

“I really appreciate everything that the staff did on this, working with the citizens,” Vrooman 3,212 votes (44.22 percent) and also was elected without the need for a run-off. Erin O’Donnell, assistant to the town clerk, explained the day after the election about the other seats on the council.

“Peggy Bell was re-elected unopposed, and Ernie Sochin wasn’t up for re-election this year, but we have to appoint a vice mayor now,” O’Donnell said.

Mary Ann Mixon, when reached for comment on Nov. 3, was recuperating after an active campaign of meeting and greeting voters.

“I’m exhausted,” Mixon said. “I’ve been at the polls every day for the last two weeks. After the polls closed I breathed a sigh of relief and then when I went to a watch party and the early results were released and it showed me way ahead, it was at that point that I all of a sudden got nervous.

“It was really exciting. I’d never done anything like this before. It was a lot of work, but being positive and working hard paid off. I’m looking forward to the job ahead.”

MacDougall said he was glad that the elections were over with a clear win and that he could focus on the important matters of his new role as mayor.

“We can move forward now with the work at hand,” MacDougall said. “I’m going to be an active mayor, not just showing up for the council meetings, but taking an active role in the day-to- day business of our town government.

“I want to be sure that things continue to improve for our residents, and I hope that we can ease up a bit on some of the code enforcement issues. I’m looking forward to the next four years. I think they’re going to be good ones for the Town of Cutler Bay.”

The newly elected mayor and council members likely will be sworn in on Monday, Nov. 15, with the next regular monthly council meeting scheduled for Nov. 17.


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