Facing no opponents, Hialeah Gardens’ mayor and two council members were automatically re-elected this month for another four years.
Mayor Yioset De La Cruz and two council members, Rolando “Roly” Piña and Jorge Gutierrez, will officially be sworn in at a March 5 ceremony.
“I’m very excited I get e to serve with them four more years. They are great councilman and dear friends,” De La Cruz said. “I’m very grateful to the people of Hialeah Gardens.”
De La Cruz was elected in a special election in 2000 and a regularly scheduled election 2001. He won unopposed in 2005, and in 2009 won with 91 percent of the votes against Anthony Pilla, a former Hialeah Gardens police officer.
For his next term, De La Cruz plans to focus the 700,000 acres of land that the city annexed from Miami-Dade County.
“My priority is to develop that land,” De La Cruz said. “To bring more entertainment, like restaurants, and movie theaters and industry.”
Piña appointed Gutierrez to the Hialeah Gardens Planning and Zoning Board in 2002, and six months later he was elected chairman of the board. Gutierrez has been in the City Council since 2003.
“It’s a wonderful feeling, especially if you have been elected unopposed,” Gutierrez said. “It’s as if the city is telling you that they are happy with the job you’re doing, and nobody is opposing you because they think they can do a better job.”
Gutierrez said he plans to speak with the residents to learn what they need.
Piña was elected in 2001 and was re-elected unopposed every election since then,. He is now the vice chairman for the City Council.
“Nothing would be possible without the guidance of the members of the council, the employees that work for the city and the mayor,” Piña said.
The city council will vote for the positions of chairman, vice chairman and finance chairman on March 5. But Maria Joffee, city clerk, said it is likely the three positions will stay the same.
The City Council has five seats. The other three members are Jorge Merida, who is the finance chairman, Luciano "Lucky" Garcia, who is
the chairman, and Elmo Urra.