Miami Lakes council members take oath during swearing-in

Thursday, December 6, 2018 0 Comments

Miami Lakes council members take oath during swearing-in
Three new Miami Lakes town council members and an incumbent lawmaker were sworn into political office to commence serving their new terms, and they each promised to keep the city on track like their predecessors.
Councilmember Marilyn Ruano, who was appointed to the council two years ago, and Councilmembers Josh Dieguez, Jeffrey Rodriguez and Carlos A. Alvarez took their oath of office while flanked by their family members and supporters during an emotional ceremony last week at Miami Lakes Town Hall.
Ruano and Diéguez ran opposed while Rodriguez and Alvarez defeated Xiomara Pazos and Esther Colon, respectively, during last month’s midterm elections.
The new council members join Ruano, Mayor Manny Cid, new Vice Mayor Nelson Rodriguez and Councilmember Luis Collazo, whose first biggest task is picking a new town manager to run the day-to-day operations.
Rodriguez and Alvarez were part of Cid’s slate of candidates, as he campaigned for them during early voting and on election day.
Cid appointed Ruano to fill the seat former Councilmember Tony Lama vacated when he accepted a job offer on the West Coast.
Rodriguez takes over for Tim Daubert, who was term-limited and Alvarez takes over for Ceasar Mestre, who’s term also ended this year.
Dieguez replaces Frank Mingo, who vacated his seat to run for state representative.
The new council members gave their word of honor to resume the tasks their predecessors commenced to enhance the quality of life for residents including traffic, blasting, public safety and parks and recreation.
Rodriguez, an attorney, paid homage to Daubert, Mingo, Mestre and Lama for playing a pivotal role in the town.
“We should be greatful for their time and dedication to our community,” he said.
Rodriguez also thanked his family and residents for electing him to Miami Lakes’ town council.
“I thank residents who supported me and believed in me throughout my campaign,” he said. “I could not have done it without you.”
Planning to take on his new responsibilities, Rodriguez reflected on his college days as an athlete to search for inspiration.
“My college baseball coach’s motto was: Learn from yesterday, live for today and prepare for tomorrow,” Rodriguez said. “That motto stuck with me and I encourage my teammates to join me and abiding by that motto as we go forward.”
Rodriguez added: “Miami Lakes, it is not perfect and there are many improvements that need to me made. As a councilmember, I make you the promise we will restlessly chase perfection and in that process we will catch excellence.”
Ruano, an accountant, said running unopposed was a privilege and an incredible honor for residents who believe in her.
“I take my inspiration from elected officials who served in the past,” she said. “That’s where I draw my inspiration and what inspired me to run.”
Ruano thanked Cid for appointing her to the council and encouraging her to run.
“It’s a great part of my journey,” she said. “I will always have residents’ best interest before my own.”
Dieguez, an attorney, said he has some big shoes to fill by replacing Mingo, who he said is like a family member and mentor.
“Frank, I hope you are watching and I hope I make your proud,” he said.
Dieguez thanked his family and supporters for encouraging him to seek political office.
“At the end of the day, without their support, I would not be able to do this,” he said.
Dieguez said he’s ready to tackle the issues to make Miami Lakes a better place to live.
“I hold the most important position in the system of government in the United States,” he said. “The issues of traffic, development and code compliance all fall on our shoulders.”
Alvarez, the principal of a charter school, said he plans to live by his school’s motto: Honor, Respect and Loyalty, while serving Miami Lakes.
“I am excited and any one who knows Carlos Alvarez knows I welcome and embrace challenges,” he said. “I love to solve problems. We will look at the issues of blasting, traffic and improving public safety.”
Election of vice mayor
Nelson Rodriguez was elected the new vice mayor by a 5-2 margin after the mayor expressed his reason for picking the Coral Gables firefighter and encouraged his colleagues to follow his lead.
Cid said Rodriguez previously served as vice mayor but only for a brief period when council members picked Mingo since he was leaving to run for higher office.
“He was part of the council that went through a lot and his family had to go through as well,” he said. “He showed leadership during those times and it’s well worth it and a great example for the rest of the council.”
But Dieguez and Ruano both voted for Collazo.
Rodriguez, who voted for himself, accepted the vice mayor role and vowed to resume the work and dedication the previous council set out to do.
“We do dedicate our time away from work and our families to tackle the problems in Miami Lakes,” he said. “We went through some tough times and we all picked up the slack. I hope the new council brings a new light of peace.”

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