As the president prepared for the State of the Union, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez gave his “State of the County” Tuesday and like President Trump, he touted prosperity, resiliency and a brighter future — and maybe even fewer traffic jams.
“I’m happy to report that our unemployment rate is down to 4.5 percent from 5.5 percent in December 2016. Our crime rates are low. We are attracting new businesses… and we are investing in our infrastructure. In summary, my fellow Miamians, the state of Miami-Dade County is strong,” the mayor said at his annual event at the Dade County Auditorium.
Let’s just hope the Amazon HQ2 selection team is listening. Speaking of Amazon, the mayor told the packed house he believes the Miami area has a chance to win Amazon’s search for a new HQ2 headquarters. “I always knew we were a strong contender and I continue to be optimistic...,” Gimenez said.
It’s all for Miami-Dade’s future, the mayor said. Resiliency to mother nature’s hits is front and center. Hurricane Irma tested the county’s response, the mayor said. The county managed the evacuation of 660,000 of our residents, despite some hiccups.
At the state of the county, the mayor unveiled a joint plan between the county and FPL to share the cost of building a wastewater treatment facility at the county’s south district station. Treated wastewater would then be used to clean up the troubled cooling canal system at Turkey Point’s nuclear reactors. Good plan, mayor, but cost are still to be determined.
The county hired 144 new police officers last year and will add 65 more this year. Efforts are being made to address the opioid epidemic.We welcomed 5.3 million cruise passengers last year and there is booming cargo business at PortMiami.
The mayor also mentioned improvements to the every day life of the county’s 2.7 million residents. That means largely traffic fixes. Mayor says he’ll push for the extension of 836 West to give relieve to Kendall residents who spend hours commuting — but not encroach on the Urban Development Boundary; move along the six corridor SMART plan, complete the synchronizing of traffic lights, continue adding new Metrorail cars, add more rail, more rapid buses.
What else? Oh, and David Beckham finally got his soccer stadium. Good job, mayor.
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