Commissioner Joe A. Martinez was elected by his colleagues on Nov. 16 to serve for two years as chair of the Miami-Dade County Commission. The term begins on Jan. 1, 2011.
As chair, Martinez will preside over the meetings of the county commission, Miami-Dade’s legislative branch. Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson will be the vice chair.
In 2004, Commissioner Martinez was the first Hispanic in the 60 years of Miami-Dade County government to serve as a county commission chair and he also is the first commissioner to have been elected twice by his peers as the chair.
Commissioner Martinez was first elected to represent the residents of District 11 in October 2000 and was re-elected by a wide margin for his third term in August 2008. His commission district is mostly comprised of West Dade’s unincorporated areas, which includes portions of Kendall.
Under the current leadership of chair Dennis C. Moss, Martinez was appointed as vice chair of the Budget, Planning and Sustainability Committee. This committee oversees the county’s financial affairs, planning functions, and sustainability efforts, including smart growth and the proper utilization of natural resources. He also serves as a member of other committees, including Government Operations, and Housing and Community Development.
During the tenure of the previous chair, Bruno A. Barreiro, Martinez was appointed to chair the Budget and Finance Committee and sat on the Governmental Operations and Environment, and the Airport and Tourism Committees.
In November 2002, when Commissioner Barbara Carey-Schuler was elected as commission chair, she appointed Martinez as the chair of the Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Transportation Committee and Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Beginning June 2001 through September 2002, Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas appointed Martinez as the chair of the Health and Public Safety Committee and he also served as a member of the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee and the Unincorporated Municipal Services Area Committee.
Commissioner Martinez began his public service career in 1984 as an officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department. He worked his way up through the ranks, serving as a detective with the General Investigations Unit from 1988 to 1992, and subsequently was promoted to Sergeant, Master Sergeant and Lieutenant.
A native of Miami, Commissioner Martinez holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies in Public Administration from Barry University in Miami Shores. He is married to Ana Martinez and has five children and one granddaughter.