“In 2004, the enemy came against me like a flood. I was handcuffed like a criminal and shackled like a slave. I felt like the Biblical character Joseph, while in the ‘pit’ of his life. I asked, Lord, what have I done to warrant this?” declared Opa-locka Mayor elect “Lady” Myra L. Taylor in a passionate acceptance speech during the Induction Ceremony where she and Vice Mayor elect Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson were sworn into office, on the second floor of the Opa-locka Municipal Complex, 780 Fisherman Street, Opa-locka, Florida 33054 on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM.
Plans for one of two induction ceremonies began shortly after absentee ballots, election night and early voting totals from nine precincts determined that Taylor would regain the Mayoral seat she held before tax problems lead to her arrest in 2004, and that Johnson, being top vote-getter in her race, would serve on the Commission as Vice Mayor for her third term in office. According to the November 4, 2010 Miami-Dade County Elections results, Taylor received 53.77 percent of the votes to former Mayor Joseph L. Kelley’s 46.23 percent, which marked the return of Taylor to the Mayor’s seat. Also returning to office is five-term Commissioner Timothy Holmes and Commissioner Gail Miller, who will occupy the seat Taylor vacated in order to run for Mayor. Holmes and Johnson held on to their seats with 35.59% and 38.39% of the votes, respectively. Miller was appointed to the Commission seat for a year after by Governor Crist, prior to the 2008 elections.
In a short, but high spirited “swearingin” ceremony, where the City of Opa-locka charter requires elected officials to recite the oath of office reaffirming their commitment to faithfully perform all duties before entering into office, Vice Mayor Elect Johnson was first to be sworn-in by Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, as Johnson’s Husband and grandson stood beside her.
Vice Mayor Johnson stated that she will continue to hold her office with “integrity, accountability, proven leadership and guidance.” She added, “I will love like I never been hurt before” and vowed to work with everyone. “However,” she continued, “I will not get connected to anyone, but Roy Johnson,” her husband, who she maintains is the best in the world. Johnson promised to continue to “champion for children, senior citizens, a clean City, the environment, and eating right.” She briefly spoke of growingup in Liberty City as a youth with a speech impediment who, she said, “…was healed in 1985 and never stuttered again.” Commissioner Johnson then ended with her signature closing, the first stanza from a poem written in 1919 by Edgar Albert Guest, titled “It Couldn’t Be Done.”
Mayor-elect Taylor was then sworn-in by The Honorable Mayor Julio Robiana of the City of Hialeah, as School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindigall held the Bible. “Muchas gracias, merci bacou and thank you,” Mayor Taylor expressed gratitude in Spanish, Creole and English during her acceptance speech to the residents. She stated, “I am humbled to accept your ‘vote of confidence’ as the Mayor of the Great City of Opa-locka.” In her appreciation, Taylor thanked “those that couldn’t vote for me, but prayed for me; those that didn’t vote for me, but thought about me; and most of all, to the quarterback and coach of the whole team, ‘my babies’ daddy,’” her husband, Bishop John H. Taylor. “After running and losing the Mayoral race in 2006, and later losing the race for State Representative, I had loss my steam and any desire to get back into public service, but my husband encouraged me to try it again,” stated Mayor Taylor. “So I kept the faith, God showedup and to my surprise, I became your Vice Mayor in 2008… and on November 2, 2010, I came back as Mayor “from the pit to the palace.”
“We have some difficult days ahead,” Taylor quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., while acknowledging, “Some people don’t want ‘better,’ so they will try to block or stop our progress.” She affirmed, “…as a team, our combined wisdom, knowledge and hard work will move our train to success, although, we might have to clean the engine, change the oil, straighten the tracks and change the windshield wipers to see clearer, but, we WILL move this train!” The Mayor assured attendees that her office and her ears will be open to colleagues, the community, the staff and all who will come with good honest suggestions and ideas, but if you are coming to me to gossip, spread rumors or spy on one another to gain favors, then perhaps you should work for the FBI,” she positioned.
Taking a page from her own situation, Mayor Taylor said she believes, “our city has the strength, the stamina and the endurance to overcome anything and anyone that will not promote growth and development.” She assures, “Jobs will be created, streets will be re-surfaced, sidewalks poured, buildings refaced and flooding reduced! We will make our vision plain, timely, targeted and transparent!” The Mayor asserts, “Other people will notice and use their resources and influence to help us.” With confidence she declared, “Our dignity will be restored, our morale will be raised, ALL fear will be gone and when people say the name ‘Opa-locka,’ our heads will rise with a smile!” Taylor then concluded, “Ask me how I know all of this…” as the audience responded, she proudly exclaimed, “Because I am the Mayor!”
The second induction ceremony to “swear-in” Commissioners Timothy Holmes and Gail Miller was scheduled for Monday, November 15, 2010 at 7:00 PM in the same location. Commissioner Rose Tydus is the fifth Commission member, whose term expires in November, 2012.