I am happy to announce that Miami-Dade County was able to reach agreements with five of the County’s unions that will save taxpayers approximately $26 million in healthcare costs. Week in Review: Sept. 29, 2014 - Oct. 03,2014

Even in the best of times, crafting a multibillion dollar budget can be a challenging and contentious exercise. I am happy to announce that Miami-Dade County was able to reach agreements with five of the County’s bargaining units that will save taxpayers approximately $26 million. Nearly 15,000 Miami-Dade County employees will now have the option to choose the SELECT Health Plan. Additionally cost of living adjustments (COLAs) will be tied to future County financial growth. I want to thank the leadership of our labor partners for coming to the table and negotiating these agreements with us.  This signals a new chapter in our relations with labor, and a new level of cooperation on the issues that affect us all. It is critical that labor and management work together. I also want to thank the Board of Commissioners for approving these agreements with our labor partners and for working with us to place Miami-Dade County on a path toward fiscal sustainability.

October 3, 2014

Dr. John Holdren

Given that Miami-Dade County lies just a few feet above sea level, climate change policy and planning in South Florida is a leader in establishing national policy and planning on the issue. During the Sixth Annual Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit this week, I shared my perspectives on how climate change is influencing the County’s thinking on urban, regional, transportation and economic planning, since rising sea levels are linked to rising insurance rates and other costs. I announced that I will be convening a group of business, financial and insurance leaders to begin dialogue on how to effectively incorporate consideration of sea level rise into our infrastructure planning. In addition, the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact — which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties — and the Florida Climate Institute signed an important agreement to collaborate more closely using academic resources and research and to implement the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan. We had the privilege of welcoming White House environmental advisers Dr. John Holdren and Mike Boots who attended the summit and discussed federal efforts in support of our work.


This week, I met with the members of the Boating Safety Task Force to assess where we are now and where we want to be in the coming weeks. Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne are already onboard for an unprecedented interagency agreement that will allow cross utilization of more resources. We are looking to have a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue fire boat in the water in time for Columbus Day weekend, and to build on the enforcement activities of this past Labor Day Weekend. By next fiscal year we hope to add two more fire boats to cover the north, middle, and southern sections of the County. Working together is an idea I have thought about since I was Chief of the Miami Fire Department. All agencies should be working together to prevent tragedies, and be prepared to respond in the event that rescue operations are necessary. Together, we will make our waterways safer for all our residents and visitors to enjoy.


This was an exciting week at Miami International Airport, our County’s top economic engine. On Tuesday, Denver-based domestic low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines announced a strong lineup of new flights from MIA. hspace=This was an exciting week at Miami International Airport, Miami-Dade’s top economic engine. On Tuesday, Denver-based domestic low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines announced a strong lineup of new flights from MIA. Beginning in December, Frontier will offer daily flights to Chicago, Denver, New York City and Philadelphia. The budget-friendly carrier will offer a total of 38 weekly departures from MIA, giving our residents and visitors even more travel options. Also this week on Thursday, MIA hub carrier American Airlines launched brand new daily flights to Cap-Haitien, Haiti. We were honored to have had Haitian President Michel Martelly and Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime at MIA to celebrate the new international service. American Airlines capped off the week by announcing four new domestic routes from MIA, which will begin next March: Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Together, MIA’s newest carrier and these new destinations are further connecting our community to the world and boosting our local economy in the process.


During the Future of Libraries forum hosted by the Knight Foundation and Miami Foundation, I along with librarians from communities like Chattanooga, local librarians and community leaders explored a fundamental and very important question: How can we leverage libraries to build more knowledgeable communities?During the Future of Libraries forum hosted by the Knight Foundation and Miami Foundation, I along with local librarians and community leaders explored a fundamental and very important question: How can we leverage libraries to build more knowledgeable communities? Our libraries are adapting to a world where books are giving way to tablets and chalkboards are being replaced by digital smart boards. This “community conversation” drew on the experiences of those who have successfully modernized libraries in their communities, and ensured that they have remained relevant and important community hubs in a digital world. Check out the video archive of the event.


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