Swearing-in ceremony for Town Council -- Collazo is Vice Mayor

Government By David L. Snelling, Reporter Wednesday, December 2, 2020

     Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid called for unity on the town council following a contentious 2020 election, when he and councilmembers split their endorsements between four candidates, including an incumbent.

     Voters returned Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano, 44, to the dais and elected newcomer Tony Fernandez, 35, to represent Seat 1.

     Cid, 37, and Councilman Luis Collazo, 47, did not have challengers by the qualifying deadline.

     They won their seats by default and did not have to face voters on Nov. 3.

     The council chose Collazo as vice mayor.

    The newly elected or reelected officials will serve four-year terms.

     Cid had appointed Ruano to serve on the council in 2017. This election, Cid endorsed Ruano’s opponent, Raymond Garcia, a former town volunteer and health insurance executive.

     It was a close race, and Ruano won by just 183 votes.

     Cid also endorsed Fernandez, owner of an internet technology services firm and former chair of the town’s Youth Activities Task Force.

     Fernandez defeated Nayib Hassan. Hassan was a volunteer for the town’s Veterans Committee and is a defense attorney.

     Councilmen Jeffrey Rodriguez, 37, and Carlos Alvarez, 43, endorsed Garcia and Fernandez, while Collazo and Councilman Joshua Dieguez, 31, endorsed Ruano and Fernandez.

     “Election season is over,” Cid said during the council’s swearing ceremony on November 17 at Town Hall. “We all have to unite as a community.”

     After she was sworn in, Ruano said, “… although there were many forces working against this great community in this election season, in the end the truth prevailed as it always does,” Ruano said.

     She pledged to continue to ask difficult questions during her next term.

     Collazo thanked Miami Lakers “who trusted him to continue to serve them.”

      He also said officials need to “use our ears more less than our mouths” to make better legislation for the town.

     Cid said the ages of the councilmembers was important and reflected a new generation taking power.

    Former Mayor Wayne Slaton attended the ceremony.      

     Cid called him “a force of good,” and also praised Garcia for asking his backers to support Ruano.

     “The best days are ahead for the Town of Miami Lakes,” Cid said.

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