Cid nominates attorney, town volunteer to fill council seat

Government By Linda Trischitta, Editor Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid is going to nominate attorney Mariam D. Yanes, chair of the town’s Planning and Zoning Board, to replace former Vice Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who resigned during a council meeting on Nov. 14.

“There were a lot of qualified committee members,” Cid said Wednesday of the volunteers he considered for the council seat  who also serve on a dozen boards and committees in town. “What is unique about her is she is empathetic. The Planning and Zoning Board has chosen her [multiple] times to be their chair, and there are incredible individuals on the Planning and Zoning Board. It bodes extremely well for her.”

Yanes, 41, is a partner at MKRS Law in Coral Gables who litigates on behalf of employers and insurers in worker’s compensation cases.

“I was humbled by it but excited,” Yanes said. “I’m confident I can use the tools I that have and the experiences I have to do good for the town and its residents.”

Yanes said she has served on the Planning and Zoning Board since 2018 and was twice appointed chair, in 2022 and 2023.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and her juris doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law.

Yanes lives in town with her husband Javier Yanes, a firefighter/paramedic for the City of Miami; their son Dylan, 11, who attends Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, and daughter Isabella, 8, enrolled at Miami Lakes K-8 Center.

As for her goals if she wins appointment to the council, Yanes said, “One of the main things that I would like to see happen, and I know it’s a challenge, would be the Zip Code. By virtue of having a different Zip Code [specific to Miami Lakes], it impacts car insurance and the residents directly in their pockets. If I could give some benefit back to the town by virtue of the Zip Code, that would be one of my main goals.”

Yanes said she would be willing to travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress for Miami Lakes to get its own postal code.

She added that she loves living in the town where she has resided for most of her life.

“If you know what it is to live in Miami Lakes, you don’t want to leave,” Yanes said. “The community, the people, there is so much to Miami Lakes but it still feels united and quaint.”

Born in Hialeah, Yanes attended Miami Lakes Elementary School, Dade Christian and Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School.

“Everybody knows everybody,” she said. “I can go to the store and see parents of friends I had in Kindergarten.”

“She’s the real deal, and she’s not going to be running for election,” Cid said.

Alvarez resigned, citing family commitments and the demands of his career in education. Cid said he will ask for a special call meeting to be held Nov. 27 to seek the council’s approval of Yanes. If that happens she would serve until the next county election, Nov. 5, 2024.  If the council doesn’t approve her, a special election would be held within the next three months to fill the seat.