Carlos Alvarez, Jeffrey Rodriguez are new members of Town Council

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 0 Comments

Carlos Alvarez, Jeffrey Rodriguez are new members of Town Council

With two open seats to be filled on the Miami Lakes Town Council, area voters elected a pair of political neophytes over two hopefuls who previously ran for political office.

Attorney Jeffrey Rodriguez and charter school principal Carlos O. Alvarez won Seat 2 and Seat 6, respectively, during last week’s November 6 midterm elections, which saw the closet races in history for the U.S. Senate and Florida governor that appeared to be heading to a mandatory recount.

With 55 percent (6,105) of the votes, Rodriguez defeated Xiomara Pazos, who gained 45 percent (4,979).

Pazos, owner of a non-emergency transportation company, unsuccessfully ran in 2014 and 2016 against Councilmember Ceasar Mestre and Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez, respectively.

Alvarez defeated retired government administrator Esther Colon, as he mustered 63 percent (7,188) of the votes, while his opponent collected 36 percent (4,085).

Colon unsuccessfully ran two years ago against Councilmember Luis Collazo.

Rodriguez, 35, replaces Tim Daubert who was term-limited, and Alvarez, 41, takes over for Mestre, who’s eight-year term also came to an end.

Councilmmember-elect Joshua Dieguez automatically won Seat 4 on the Town Council in August when he ran unopposed, as the attorney is replacing Vice Mayor Frank Mingo, who vacated his seat to run for State Representative.

Rodriguez and Alvarez reportedly were Mayor Manny Cid’s slate of candidates, as he campaigned for them, as well as Collazo, Mestre, Daubert, and Rodriguez, who visited the polls during early voting and on election day to show their support.

The new council members will be sworn into office at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 27 at Miami Lakes Town Hall.

Rodriguez said he’s extremely happy over his victory and is ready to go to work.

“I'm happy with the hard work we put in and I’m proud of my family and friends who volunteered to get us where we are,” said Rodriguez. “It was great for everybody, the volunteers and supporters, and a lot of fun and an emotional night. We were very happy.”

Rodriguez said he’s focused on the issues that got him elected including a better response time for fire rescue, placing speed bumps in residential areas to reduce speeding, blasting, traffic congestion and maintaining the town’s parks.

“Those are the issues we need to focus on,” he said.

Alvarez said the encouragement from his wife, Hazel Alvarez, family and friends helped him prevail to victory.

He said they believed he was the best candidate to keep Miami Lakes moving in the right direction.

“I just continued to believe in myself and showing my work ethics by connecting with residents, knocking door-to-door, attending council meetings and having the drive and dedication,” he said.

Alvarez compared his victory to crossing the finish line in a race with all of his supporters, including his wife and Cid, rooting for him.

“The margin of victory was a testament of all the hard work they put in that helped motivate me,” he said.

Alvarez said his wife was the backbone for his campaign, as she sacrificed herself to help her husband get elected.

“She embraced it and was able to balance her career as a manager, wife and mother to our kids while getting involved in my campaign, especially during early voting,” he said. “Big hats off to her because she overcame the challenges and it paid off.”

Alvarez said he’s ready to be a passionate leader and tackling the major issues such as traffic, blasting and school safety.

Pazos, 61, and Colon, 65, could not be reached for comments by press time.

Fundraising could have played a role in the town’s election results.

Alvarez raised $30,475 for his campaign, Rodriguez with $29,625, Colon drew $10,802, and Pazos had $1,180 in the bank.

In a prepared statement, Cid congratulated all the candidates for running clean campaigns, and the town is ready to move forward with the new council members.

“The election results solidify that our town is heading in the right direction," stated Cid. “With several departing council members, newly elected Councilmember Alvarez brings much needed leadership to the Town Council as he's a proven leader being a nationally recognized high school principal. As a town that outsources many of our services via contracts, Councilmember-elect Jeffrey Rodriguez is considered a top contract law attorney who will bring a wealth of contractural experience and negotiating skills that's needed at Town Hall.”

Cid said Dieguez brings proven leadership to the dais.

“Councilmember-elect Dieguez, who was born and raised in Miami Lakes, brings a wealth of experience from managing several council campaigns to serving as chair of the Miami Lakes Neighborhood Improvement Committee and the town’s Charter Review Commission,” Cid said.

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