Mayor Cid stresses need for committed candidates while speaking at Chamber lunch

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 0 Comments

Mayor Cid stresses need for committed candidates while speaking at Chamber lunch

This year, the Miami Lakes Town Council and residents will make perhaps the biggest decisions for the town’s future, choosing a new town manager and a field of candidates to fill four council seats. 

But Mayor Manny Cid is hoping they share the same vision as most constituents in an effort to enhance their quality of living.

Cid said an unified council and Town Manager Alex Rey’s legislative abilities to accomplish the goals and objectives for Miami Lakes’ Strategic and Master plans in 2017 should serve as a model for the future.

Rey is retiring in 2019 following a 30-plus-year government career to take advantage of the DROP program, and the town has begun the search for his replacement.

A committee of residents will select a group of candidates for the mayor and council members to consider for the job, but Cid said he’s not voting for someone who’s not already a resident or not willing to move to Miami Lakes.

“The next town manager should live in Miami Lakes and share the same experience as residents like traffic, parks and eating in the town’s restaurants,” Cid said, who was the guest speaker at the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce January membership luncheon, where he highlighted the town’s priorities for 2018. “That person should have a vested interest in Miami Lakes. That individual should share our vision and live through it as well.”

Cid said the expertise of achieving the goals and objectives of both plans is a requisite for the next top non-elected official.

“How will you help us achieve these goals?” Cid asked. 

With four council seats up for grabs in August and November, Cid cautioned residents to vote for candidates with the best interest of the town instead of engaging in politics.  

Marilyn Ruano, who Cid appointed to replace former council member Tony Lama until the county’s August election, is running to retain her  seat, while Joshua Dieguez, who was a member of the Miami Lakes Charter Review Committee, Carlos O. Alvarez, Jeffrey Rodriguez and former council member Robert Meador are running for three open seats due to term limits in November.

Cid praised Ruano for making a fast transition from a community activist to council member.

“She was an activist for 10 years and now she’s working for 32,000 residents as a public servant,” Cid said. “I really have to commend her for making that transition.”

Mitigating the traffic congestion is among Miami Lakes’ top priorities for 2018.

The town will experience more mobility for N.W. 59 Avenue and N.W. 79 Court after the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization’s governing board approved $2 million for the project, which includes new sidewalks, safe pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, pedestrian scaled lighting, and accessible pedestrian signals along N.W. 59 Avenue between N.W. 154 and 176 streets.

In addition, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) decided to include $1.5 million for the N.W. 87 Avenue extension to I-75 and the Gratigny Expressway in its transportation improvement plans.

Cid said the ground breaking for the project should begin sometime this year.

Another traffic enhancement project, adding a lane near the Windmill Gate community on N.W. 67 Avenue to connect to the Palmetto Expressway, should reduce traffic gridlock by 50 percent.

The mayor said solutions are in place to improve mobility throughout the town but funding is a major road block.

Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez, who organized the first Traffic Summit with FDOT and county officials, said he was surprised when he discovered the agencies hardly spoke to each other over the traffic conditions.

“It was shocking how they don’t talk to each other,” Rodriguez said at the Chamber event. “But we are pushing and pushing it through. Let’s see how it works.”

For a lighter solution for traffic relief, Miami Lakes has partnered with SPIN, a bicycle-sharing company that operates a station-less system, which residents use a mobile app for reservations, and launched Freebee, a golf cart-like mini bus to transport residents around town.

Cid said Miami Lakes is focusing on completing the master plan for Miami Lakes Optimist Park in an effort to win back residents, who use the parks and recreation facilities in Doral, Weston and Pembroke Pines.

The town initially proposed borrowing the money but many residents shot down the idea.

While the town is seeking other options, Cid indicated it’s a do or die issue since the competition is stealing “our kids away.”

“These are our competitors and if we don’t develop the park we will be left far behind,” Cid said. “We must bring back our kids. It’s now or never.”

  One resident was concerned over code enforcement, indicating it’s not as strong as it used to be since people are illegally parking their trucks and their properties are unkempt.

“It’s effecting our property values,” he said.

Cid said the town’s amnesty program, which allows residents to bring their properties up to code for less or nothing, should address most of code enforcement concerns.

On the other hand, he said residents, who have liens on their homes due to code violations, would rather resolve the issue when they sell their homes.

“We are here to keep the town beautiful, not to make money,” Cid said.


Please login or register to post comments.