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Mayor's Week in Review

Week in Review 01.23.2015

Transportation Summit: Planning for our future

This week I was one of the keynote speakers for the Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust's 2015 Transportation Summit. The purpose of the summit was to generate ideas to offer more and better mobility options for the 2.6 million residents of Miami-Dade County in the near future. Over the past 10 years, we've seen tremendous growth throughout our County, but in particular, in our urban areas resulting in more traffic and, consequently, a greater need for more transportation options. Although we have already taken big steps in providing better connections and more reliable service for our transit riders, we are committed to finding ways to improve and expand our public infrastructure and public transportation system. 

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Enterprise Florida Board made a great choice in hiring Bill Johnson as CEO. Bill has been a public servant in Miami-Dade County for nearly 35 years. He has led key departments in the fourth largest municipal government in the country, which included a post as director of PortMiami during the approval and construction process of the PortMiami tunnel, and most recently leading the Water and Sewer Department. Although Bill's departure is a loss for Miami-Dade County, it is a win for Florida. Congratulations to Bill. We look forward to working with him and Enterprise Florida. Bill will be replaced by the current director of the Internal Services Department, Lester Sola. I have great confidence in Lester's ability to lead the Water and Sewer Department as it begins the largest public infrastructure system modernization in County history.

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Children are some of our society's greatest assets. They represent the hope and promise that paves the way toward our future. At Wednesday's County Commission meeting, I announced December's Shining Scholars, who were honored in the areas of scholarship, leadership and overall excellence. Additionally, they share a passion for community service. These students are a shining example of Miami-Dade County's bright future and an inspiration to us all. Congratulations are in order for Mr. Ti'Andre Bellinger, a senior at Miami Jackson Senior High School, who received the Emerging Leader Award; Miss Viangely Asencio, a junior at Coral Gables Senior High School, recognized as the Unstoppable Scholar; and Miss Waleskis Giraud, a senior at the School for Advanced Studies, recipient of the Pursuer of Excellence Award.

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On Thursday, I had the pleasure to join the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the American Airlines hub in Miami. American Airlines has been instrumental in strengthening our position as a global leader in international trade and commerce. Miami-Dade County is the world class community that it is because of companies like American Airlines. They are one of the County's largest employers and represent 70 percent of all traffic at Miami International Airport. American Airlines is part of our family and we wouldn't have it any other way. On behalf of the 2.6 million residents here in Miami-Dade County, I want to say thank you for your commitment to our community and for choosing MIA.

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I had the honor to join Rep. Frederica Wilson, other fellow elected officials and community leaders for the annual Martin Luther King Scholarship breakfast on Monday. As we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who changed the course of our nation's history, 84 Wilson Scholars from 17 different high schools received this year's 5000 Role Models Scholarship for their diligence and commitment for doing what's right. For over 20 years now, 5000 Role Models has been providing mentorships and awarding worthy young men with academic scholarships.

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