Warren Buffet once said, “We live in an uncertain world. What is certain is that the United States will go forward over time.”
The same holds true for Miami-Dade County. Even in the midst of an economic downturn, our community is moving forward. Our goal has been to hold critical services together at a time when people need them most, and make strategic investments critical to our future success.
There are signs we are on the road to recovery. Private sector employment is picking up, as are retail sales. Tourism, our No. 1 industry, is strong and trade at our airport and seaport is increasing. To stay competitive and continue improving the lives of all our residents, we are investing in tomorrow, creating jobs today, and positioning Miami-Dade to emerge from the economic downturn better and stronger.
Some of our investments are still years away from being realized, but others are taking root. Miami International Airport is a changed place. A once outdated airport now boasts two new terminals, new retail shops and a sky train. Our seaport is undergoing its own metamorphosis with a new tunnel and restored rail service, and plans to allow some of the world’s largest cargo ships to enter our port. The importance of the seaport and the airport to jobs and our local economy cannot be overstated.
The much talked about Marlins Ballpark has employed more than 2,700 people since construction began. Another 370 local workers are helping to build the first major Metrorail extension in more than two decades, which will connect Downtown Miami with our airport.
Stopping down these projects or even slowing them solves nothing. We must continually look for ways to further spur the economy, create jobs and modernize our economy. Our investments bring visitors to our community, and they are vital to the people who call South Florida home.
Along with public safety, social services, culture and recreation, improving infrastructure is one of the most important roles of local government. And I’m proud to tell you, your community is moving forward.