Two years ago, when I was elected by my colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners, I set priorities that aimed at improving the quality of life for all residents of Miami-Dade County. Those priorities included improving our public transportation system thru the development and implementation of the SMART Plan, planning and construction of a new civil probate courthouse, rehabilitation and finding efficiencies within our detention facilities, making our community more resilient to climate change, and keeping our neighborhoods safer from senseless gun violence.
I am proud to report that your Board of County Commissioners has taken bold steps towards addressing all of these goals and much more. Below you will find some key legislation that has been adopted by your County Commission and the Mayor during my term as Chairman from 2017-2018.
- Created a Transportation Infrastructure Improvement District that will generate $1.8 billion over 30 years for transportation improvements.
- Rededicated nearly $1 billion in funding towards the original promises of the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP).
- Prioritized the north and south corridors of the SMART Plan for development and construction of new transportation options for our residents.
- Allocated a total of approximately $8 billion over 40 years for transportation infrastructure, creating a long term strategy for the future of mobility within our county.
- Launched 11 SMART Plan demonstration projects that will help enhance current and future transit service throughout Miami-Dade County.
CIVIL COURTHOUSE AND DETENTION FACILITIES:
- Directed the Mayor to prepare and release a request for proposals for a new civil courthouse and a more efficient detention facility through public private partnerships to deliver more savings to taxpayers.
- Allocated funding for the upkeep of existing detention facilities.
- Launched the Annual Chairman’s Resiliency Conference alongside the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
- Entered into a joint participation agreement with FPL to install one million solar panels as well as electric vehicle charging stations in Miami-Dade County. In addition, FPL will partner with Miami-Dade County in developing a reuse wastewater facility to end the County Water and Sewer Department’s ocean outfall practice and restore the Turkey Point Cooling Canal System to a healthy environmental state.
- Created a qualified pool of vendors of energy, water, and wastewater efficiency contracts to reduce consumption at county facilities.
- Established reduced level goals for consumption of gasoline and diesel fuels for county fleet vehicles.
- Created funding source for the deployment of artificial reefs in Biscayne Bay.
- Supported a collaborative initiative between City of Miami and Miami- Dade Police Departments called “Operation Blue and Brown” that increased patrolling and community policing strategies in Liberty City.
- Approved the installation of the Shot Spotter infrastructure that assists law enforcement detect gun shots in real time.
- Supported community organizations that provide support and community assistance to neighborhoods affected by gun violence.
OTHER IMPORTANT INITIATIVES:
- Urged the United States Congress to adopt legislation requiring Holocaust era insurance companies to oblige their commitments to life insurance policies.
- Set controls and regulations for vacation rental platforms such as AirBnB and HomeAway that exist within our neighborhoods and communities.
- Established an Opioid Addiction Task Force to adopt best practices and national standards through the work of Miami Dade Police and Fire Rescue to curtail the opioid epidemic and overdose that are facing residents as well as first responders in our community.
- Established a Miami-Dade County Film Incentive Program to promote and support economic development by the promoting our vibrant film industry.
- Purchased the former Florida East Coast railway corridor to develop the linear park to as “Ludlam Trail” and broke ground on the first phase of construction for The Underline linear park underneath the Metrorail.
From the start of my Chairmanship I made it a priority to help members of our community fulfill their potential through support and empowerment. The Chairman’s Office directly funded the efforts of the Circle of Brotherhood to enhance relations between the community and law enforcement. Furthermore, my office collaborated with Chapman Partnership Homeless Shelter by serving meals during the year and coordinating toy collections for the families served by the shelter.
I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their dedication and passion on all pieces of legislation that have been presented in the past two years. I am certain that the work done by the Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners will leave a positive impact on our community for years to come.
It’s been my pleasure to serve you as your Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and I join the rest of the Commission in welcoming the newly elected Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson and Vice-Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa for their terms starting in 2019.