It was a teenage date with his wife-to-be that first introduced John Paul Yanes to Miami Lakes.
“My first date with my now wife was here at the movie theater,” said Yanes, 33.
He has returned to town to serve residents as the special projects manager and oversees its six Neighborhood Service Districts.
He will also be responsible for the security guards and works with the school crossing guards.
“I am the direct point of contact with anything related to the guard houses,” Yanes said.
About 2,400 property owners within Neighborhood Service Districts pay non-ad valorem taxes to the town in exchange for maintenance of streetlights, security guards and capital improvements, according to the town website. The districts have their own boards and maintaining lakes is included for two of them.
“I try to take a certain part of my day to go visit the different neighborhood service districts to see how things are going and the different guard houses,” Yanes said.
Jeremy Bajdaun, director of Parks and Recreation, introduced Yanes to residents and the council during the May 9 town meeting.
Yanes will earn $72,000 in the job. He lives in the Westchester section of Miami-Dade County where he and his wife Darling are raising their daughter Zoey.
He responds to emails and phone calls from residents about their districts and is their main point of contact in town government.
His responsibilities also include administrative work for the Parks and Recreation division.
And he will implement and coordinate the town’s emergency preparedness program with emergency responders and community leaders, work that includes conducting preparedness exercises, he said.
Prior to applying for the job, Yanes said he had heard good things about the town from friends who live in the area.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for me to showcase the skills I have developed through my time at the University of Florida and my last couple of years getting my [master’s in business administration],” Yanes said.
Yanes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sports management, with a minor in business administration, from the University of Florida.
In May, Barry University awarded him two graduate degrees: In sport, exercise and performance psychology and in business administration.
Yanes previously was a registered behavioral technician. He previously worked for a year as the operations manager at Alper JCC Miami.
Yanes also spent four years as a registered behavioral technician at Crystal Minds New Beginning, a behavioral therapy center for kids.
“I thought this was the right opportunity for me to show everything I have learned in the last couple of years,” Yanes said about his new position. “[I hope] to grow and advance my career and I hope to be at the Town of Miami Lakes for a long time.”