Executive may oppose Ruano for council

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Miami Lakes Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano has drawn an opponent in the town’s 2020 election.
Political newcomer Raymond Garcia filed paperwork on May 4 to challenge Ruano for her District 3 seat, according to town records.
But Ruano, who was mulling a run for mayor in February, hasn’t opened a campaign account for either seat.
“I have every intention of continuing to serve my community and I plan to run for office this coming November,” Ruano said May 18.
She would not elaborate further on her plans.
An accountant, Ruano was appointed in 2017 and ran unopposed the following year. She is a Miami Lakes resident since 1997.
Garcia, 47, said he thought Ruano was seeking the mayor’s chair on the dais and he decided to run for the council seat she currently holds.
Garcia said he will make a decision on whether to stay in the race once Ruano announces her plans.
“I would love to continue my campaign, because I want to be involved in the town’s government,” said Garcia, a health insurance manager. “I love what the mayor and councilmembers are doing for the town, and I want to be a part of it as much as possible.”
Garcia has lived in Miami Lakes for five years and is a volunteer.
“As a current member of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee, my main focus is to help leave the world and the town better then we found it for future generations, by helping achieve our resident’s goals and needs, especially in these extraordinary times,” Garcia said.
Born in New Jersey, Garcia said he was raised in Hialeah and graduated from Hialeah Senior High School.
He said he earned an
Associate of Arts degree in Business and Administration from Miami Dade College.
He previously worked in Hialeah Gardens from 2001 to 2004 as the parks and recreation director.
A single father of four boys, Garcia said he volunteered as a coach at the Optimist Club of Miami Lakes, where his sons played sports.
While serving on the town council, Ruano said she has spearheaded creation of the
Special Needs Advisory Board and proposed the Blasting Advisory Committee.
Ruano said she worked with town staff to host a tree canopy protection workshop and helped open a resource office for veterans inside Town Hall.
“And,” she said, “it is always my priority to maintain low tax levels in Miami Lakes.”
Ruano said she listens to taxpayers.
“I promise to be their voice on the council, putting their interests before my own,” she said. “This is the most rewarding part of public service.”
In other town races, Mayor Manny Cid and political novice Antonio Fernandez, who’s seeking District 2, were running unopposed as of May 26.
Former Councilman Tim Daubert ended his campaign last year for District 2, citing health concerns.
Councilman Luis Collazo has yet to open up a campaign account but said he plans to run in the election.
“Looking ahead as I prepare to launch my campaign for another term,” Collazo said, “I want to continue being an advocate for keeping our taxes and fees low.”
He also said he wants to continue to fight attempts to open the bridges at Northwest 154th Street and Northwest 170th Street.
“And I want to continue preserving the character of the town I have lived in for 41 years,” said Collazo, 46, a health care executive.
Cid has raised $69,590 for his campaign and Fernandez, who owns an internet technology company, has $9,600 in the bank.
Councilman Jeffrey
Rodriguez, Realtor Eduardo Blanco, chair of the Miami Lakes Economic Development Committee and former Councilwoman Mary Collins are among Cid’s campaign donors.
Cid beat Collins for her council seat in 2012.
Rodriguez and Ruano have donated to Fernandez’s campaign.
The qualifying period for town council candidates begins July 27.

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