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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-newsletter

Dear residents,

October marks the beginning of a new fiscal year in Miami-Dade County and the end of a long and difficult budget process. Hundreds of you took part in our budget hearings during the month of September and fought for the services and programs you felt were most important in our community. I thank those of you who attended and spoke on behalf of many worthy causes.

In the end, the County Commission approved rolling back property taxes to the millage rates from FY 2009 - 2010, bringing many residents savings.  Still, less revenue in property taxes meant that many services had to be eliminated or reduced. My colleagues and I analyzed the proposed budget extensively and were able to find the funding to reinstate several programs that received immense support from the community:

  • Fire boat services, which were slated to be eliminated, were reinstated at a reduced service level. They will be manned by nearby fire stations. 
  • Juvenile Services' Boot Camp will remain open and help rehabilitate young offenders. 
  • The Mom and Pop program will continue to fund small businesses for another year, although with a smaller budget than the previous fiscal year. 
  • Court Care and Ocean Rescue were also saved from drastic cuts.

All the final decisions made on the budget for FY 2011-2012 can be found online at the County's budget website.

Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

September 2011
Commissioner Diaz pushes for stricter penalties against human and sex trafficking in Florida
During a County Commission meeting on September 20, the Board passed an item sponsored by Commissioner Diaz urging the Florida Legislature to adopt stricter penalties against human and sex trafficking, following a similar law passed by the Georgia General Assembly. The new Georgia law, SB 200, signed into law this past May, imposes a 25-year minimum prison sentence for those convicted of using coercion to traffic someone under the age of 18; imposes a minimum 5-year prison sentence on those who pay for sex with a person 16 to 18 years of age; and delivers a minimum 10-year prison sentence on those who pay for sex with a child under the age of 16.  The law went into effect July 1, 2011. SB 200 also provides protections to children and adults engaged in prostitution by allowing them to avoid prosecution on prostitution charges if they cooperate with prosecutors and can prove that they were coerced into such activity through physical abuse, destruction of immigration documents, drug use or financial harm. 

Commissioner Diaz is asking Florida legislators to back a similar law to strike a balance between prosecuting criminals and protecting minors and adults forced into the sex trade. The U.S. Department of State estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across national borders annually. Florida is ranked as one of the top three states in the nation for human trafficking cases. More>>

Commissioner Diaz backs Caylee's Law

After the national controversy regarding the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony and subsequent trial, many Americans were upset that the missing child was not reported to authorities for a month.  In response, some Florida legislators have proposed legislation dubbed 'Caylee's Law,' which would require parents and guardians to report a missing child to police in a timely manner. Parents who fail to do this will be charged with a felony. Commissioner Diaz fully supports this item and has sponsored legislation urging the Florida Legislature to pass it. More>>

Annual Bike Run benefits children with cancer

On September 3, Commissioner Diaz took to the highway on his motorcycle and joined other riders as they cruised from Peterson's Harley to Sun Life Stadium, all for a good cause to benefit pediatric cancer patients. The  4th Annual Kids and Families Run had a little of everything for the entire family. The event started with pre-game party featuring a performance by The Dirty Pearls, an exciting baseball game between the Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies, and a post-game concert with Wyclef Jean. The event was sponsored by Commissioner Diaz, Florida Marlins, Comcast and Peterson's Harley Davidson.

Miami-Dade County pays tribute during 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Commissioner Diaz attended several events to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives on that tragic day. On September 7, Commissioner Diaz attended the unveiling of a piece of steel from the World Trade Center that will be memorialized at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Headquarters. MDFR's Florida Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, who were present at Ground Zero, spoke about their experiences in 2001.

In 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began authorizing the release of artifacts from the WTC collapse to various agencies with the condition that they will be displayed in a memorial. MDFR received two pieces of steel. The second piece of steel will be placed at MDFR's 'Heroes of September 11th' Fire Station #3. Station #3 is located at 3311 SW 82 Avenue. It was dedicated in June 2002 to the 343 FDNY firefighters that perished on September 11, 2001.

Commissioner Diaz sponsors P.A.R.K. Project to honor 9/11 victims

To commemorate the lives lost during 9/11, Commissioner Diaz joined the City of Doral and P.A.R.K. (Perform Acts of Random Kindness) project at the 5K Freedom Run and Park Festival. The event took place on September 10 at JC Bermudez Park. Participants ran, jogged, or walked alongside military personnel, veterans and first responders in appreciation for their sacrifices and commitment to public service. The proceeds from the South Florida 5K Freedom Run P.A.R.K. festival will benefit military organizations.

At the event, Commissioner Diaz presented a proclamation to Patriot Guard Riders, whose mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family and show their sincere respect, while shielding the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestors in a peaceful manner. For more information on the P.A.R.K. project, please visit www.PARKProject.org. Information on Patriot Guard Riders is available at www.patriotguard.org.


Commissioner Diaz speaks at the Annual Asian Business Conference & Networking Reception

On September 7, Commissioner Diaz attended the Annual Business Conference & Networking Reception, where he spoke about the important role Asia plays in Miami-Dade County's economic growth. The event also hosted a Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fundraiser dinner with the Honorable Japanese Consul General Eichii Kawahara. The Commissioner took a moment and expressed his sympathy to General Kawahara and explained that Miami-Dade County supports his country in their recovery efforts and that Japan will be back 100 percent in no time. The event was held at the Marriott Doral Golf Resort and Spa in the City of Doral. 

September is "National Preparedness Month"

At the County Commission meeting on September 1, Commissioner Diaz and his colleagues presented a proclamation to the Department of Emergency Management declaring September as National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month encourages all citizens and businesses to develop their own emergency preparedness plan and to work together toward creating a more prepared society.

More information is available at Emergency Management's website.

District 12 Projects Underway

Commissioner Diaz announces the following public works projects taking place in District 12 to ensure a better and safer community for all residents:

NW 58th Street and NW 87th Avenue - Generator Enclosure
Work under this contract consists of furnishing all supervision, labor, materials, equipment, tools and performing all operations required to construct the work in accordance with the contract documents.  The construction includes but is not limited to the building, cast in place concrete, site preparation (including excavation and related earthwork), the relocation of underground utilities pipes, reinforced concrete walls, foundations and architectural components and the relocation of the existing generator. No mainline road closings are foreseen, therefore no alternate route is necessary. Construction is anticipated to be completed by September 30, 2011.

NW 97th Avenue from NW 41st Street to NW 45th Lane and NW 97th Avenue and NW 33rd Street
This project will to improve the drainage in the area which has been documented by flooding in this vicinity.  This work includes the construction and installation of drainage structures, exfiltration drains, miscellaneous drainage improvements, grading, sodding and miscellaneous roadway restoration including curb and gutter, and sidewalks as needed. Construction is anticipated to be completed by February 28, 2012.  No mainline road closings are foreseen, therefore no alternate route is necessary.

NW 138th Street Bridge over the Miami River Canal from NW 113 Avenue to Okeechobee Road
The scope of work consists of, but not limited to, furnishing all supervision, labor, materials, equipment, tools.  The project consists of replacing the existing bridge with a new and wider bridge; turn lane improvements and replacing existing signal at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and NW 138 Street. Work also includes a striped median with a center left turn lane, sidewalks, a continuous storm drainage system, roadway lighting, signalization, pavement markings and signage. Construction is anticipated to be completed by April 30, 2012. Mainline Closure: The bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction.  Detour: Motorists are advised to seek alternate route or follow posted maintenance of traffic (MOT) signs or detour route.

What you should know before hiring a professional mover

Did you know that The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department (CSD) regulates moving companies that operate in Miami-Dade?  This means that if you're moving from Miami-Dade County to another part of Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties, or if you're coming from Broward or Palm Beach counties to Miami-Dade, your move is covered by the Miami-Dade County Moving Ordinance.  However, if you're leaving South Florida, or coming from out of state, then your move is not regulated by Miami-Dade's Moving Ordinance. If you're planning a household move, the following tips may help eliminate some of the uncertainties associated with hiring a mover. This way, you can have time to concentrate on more important things, like packing.

Choosing a mover - It is important to note that moving vehicles must display the moving company's name, physical address, telephone number and moving registration number on both sides of the truck.  In addition, the moving registration number must also be displayed in all advertising, including the yellow page listings, and on all estimate and contract forms.  Furthermore, each moving truck must display a CSD decal indicating the business license expiration date. 

Before you hire a mover make sure that the business is registered with CSD by calling 305-375-3677. For more information on this issue, please visit the Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department website at www.miamidade.gov/csd.

Traffic advisory on construction of Miami-Dade Transit's AirportLink Metrorail extension

Miami-Dade Transit is currently constructing the AirportLink. The following night time road closures of NW 38 Court are necessary in order to perform this activity. Look for directional signs on the road.
Between Monday, September 19, 2011 and Monday, October 10, 2011 all eastbound and westbound lanes on NW 38 Court, between NW 25 Street and NW 39 Avenue, will be sporadically closed from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. the following morning. Limited access to businesses will be provided during this time. No through traffic will be permitted. Suggested alternate routes:

NW 26 Street Eastbound Traffic: Motorists traveling east on NW 26 Street will be directed to turn right on NW 39 Avenue and continue south to access NW 25 Street.

NW 39 Avenue Southbound Traffic: Motorists traveling south on NW 39 Avenue will be directed to continue on NW 39 Avenue to access NW 25 Street.

NW 25 Street Eastbound and Westbound Traffic: Motorists traveling on either direction on NW 25 Street will be directed to NW 39 Avenue.

Florida Gas Transmission Hydrotest will effect areas in District 12

On October 27 from midnight to 4 a.m., the Florida Gas Transmission Company will test 11.2 miles of natural gas pipeline using water. The pipeline is underneath roadways in Miami-Dade County. The following roadways will be closed to traffic and pedestrians the night of the test, the areas include the following: Along Milam Dairy Road/NW 72nd Avenue from NW 65th Street to W. Flagler Street, also W. Flagler Street from Milam Dairy Road/NW 72nd Avenue to SW 87th Avenue/Galloway Road and also along SW 87th Avenue/Galloway Road from W. Flagler Street to SW 88th Street/N. Kendall Drive. If the test does not pass the first night, a second night of testing will be necessary. For more information about the test, please contact Terry Coleman at 1-800-381-1477 or you can visit their website at www.fgthydrotest.com.

SR 836/Dolphin Expressway closures

On November 30, 2009, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six in partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) began a reconstruction project of the State Road (S.R.) 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and S.R. 836 (Dolphin Expressway) Interchange. Now that construction has begun, there will be many upcoming lane and ramp closures on the Dolphin Expressway. Starting in November 2011, there will be a major closure that will impact the westbound traffic flow on the 836 (Dolphin Expressway). FDOT will be removing the ramp used by westbound 836 traffic that travels southbound onto the 826 (Palmetto Expressway). Drivers wanting to go southbound on the Palmetto Expressway will still have the second ramp that is located at the north side of the 836 which loops and takes them onto the Palmetto. This also happens to be the side (north side of 836) that drivers take to go northbound onto the Palmetto; obviously this will cause major traffic in the area, so if you can seek alternative routes, please do so.  The closure will take approximately one year. For more information about construction-related activities, please contact Oscar Gonzalez at 786-280-0983 or via e-mail at ogonzalez@mrgmiami.com. General information can be found at www.826-836.com. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive, or log on to www.fl511.com for real-time traffic and lane closure information.

Need assistance paying your utility bills?

The Miami-Dade Community Action Agency's (CAA) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently assisting eligible residents with payment of their gas or electric bills.  The program assists individuals who are experiencing an increase in their energy bill due to the weather as well as individuals with final notices or those who have had their services disconnected.  Applications for LIHEAP are available Monday through Friday at CAA Service Centers like the Hialeah Service Center, 300 E. First Avenue, or the Sweetwater Service Center, 250 SW 114 Avenue. For a complete list of all the CAA Service Centers or to download the application, please visit the CAA's website or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.

Contact us

Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First Street, Suite 320
Miami, FL 33128

District Office
8345 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33126


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