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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

Happy holidays to each and every one of you! It is my hope that you spend the last days of 2011 making wonderful memories with your loved ones and starting off the new year on the right foot.

December and New Year's are always a busy time of year. Miami-Dade County has developed a Holiday Survival Guide to help you plan family activities, give shopping tips, promote safety, and assist you with creating a plan of action for 2012.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great 2012!


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz

December 2011
Commissioner Diaz sponsors legislation for Miami-Dade WASD customers with high water bills

After receiving some complaints from residents about high water leaks not caused by leaks or any recognizable issue, Commissioner Diaz sponsored legislation which was presented at the December 6th County Commission meeting requesting the director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer (WASD) have the discretion to issue a one-time billing adjustment to WASD customers where extreme circumstances merit an adjustment and the bill basically cannot provide an explanation for the excessive charges. If you have a question regarding this ordinance, please call WASD’s Customer Service Section at 305-665-7477 or 305-665-7488. More>>

Commissioner Diaz travels to Washington to meet with Florida representatives Adobe Acrobat Logo

Commissioner Diaz traveled to Washington, D.C. on December 13th and 14th to attend a meeting for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) – Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, of which Commissioner Diaz is one of several appointed members who make recommendations to the USTR and Obama Administration from the perspective of local governments.
Commissioner Diaz also held a series of official meetings over the course of two days, with Sens. Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio; Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera; Panama’s Ambassador, His Excellency Mario E. Jaramillo; Deputy Assistant Sec. of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy Robert L. Gordon, III; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Dr. Frank O. Mora; the White House Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, David Agnew and staff working on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Joining Forces” military families initiative.
In his meetings, Commissioner Diaz advocated on behalf of the County’s efforts to host the Miami International Aerospace Show (MIAS) and made a strong argument to the White House regarding MIAS serving the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces” initiative. Commissioner Diaz also sought to continue the County’s productive working relationship with the nation of Panama and to ensure swift and seamless implementation of the recently approved Free Trade Agreements for Panama and Colombia in his meetings with USTR officials and Panama’s Ambassador. 
Commissioner Diaz also discussed his County resolution which advocates for the strengthening of laws against human and sex trafficking, which was passed by the County Commission last September. 
Finally, Commissioner Diaz pushed members of the congressional delegation to continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, to identify ways to ensure an adequate disbursement of first responder and emergency management funds to local governments, in addition to making the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami UASI a Tier 1 UASI entity. 

Mom & Pop applications coming to District 12 in January 2012

Small business owners in District 12 are encouraged to apply for the annual Mom & Pop Small Business Grant Program. The application process will open in January. For more information about the program, please contact Commissioner Diaz’s office at 305-599-1200. The Mom and Pop Small Business Grant program helps by providing financial and technical assistance to local small businesses.

Seniors meet their favorite novela stars and singers at Annual Holiday Luncheon
On December 7th, about 1,000 seniors got their dance shoes on and hit the floor at Commissioner Diaz’s annual holiday luncheon for seniors in District 12. Some danced with the commissioner, while others danced and mingled with Latin soap opera stars. The seniors also had a lot of fun taking pictures with the Latin soap opera stars as well received free giveaways from the Miami Marlins. Some lucky seniors who won raffle items walked away with gift baskets, microwaves and television sets. The event was held at the DoubleTree Hotel. The Miami Marlins and Flagler Development served as sponsors this year. More>>
Miami Children's Hospital patients receive special visit from Santa Jose "Pepe" Diaz
Commissioner Diaz, dressed as Santa Claus, spread holiday cheer and distributed gifts to pediatric cancer patients at the Division of Hematology-Oncology’s Cancer Center at Miami Children's Hospital. The commissioner visited the children and gave them a variety of toys. The Kids and Families Foundation also donated 80 toys, as well as gift cards, for the patients.

In anticipation of the holiday season, the children enjoyed singing, dancing, watching performances, playing games, and spending quality time with their families.  This holiday party takes place yearly in collaboration with Miami Pediatric Hematology Oncology Associates and is made possible by various sponsors and volunteers within the community. More>>

Santa Jose "Pepe" Diaz flies to Sweetwater!
Santa Claus put his sleigh aside and arrived in the City of Sweetwater in a helicopter. Commissioner Diaz, dressed as Santa, landed at Ronseli Park on December 17th. Sweetwater residents were invited to meet and take pictures with Santa. Santa also distributed toys to the 800 children at the annual holiday event. More>>
Santa Claus brings joy to patients at UM's Department of Pediatrics

Commissioner Diaz dressed as Santa Claus for patients of the University of Miami's (UM) Department of Pediatrics at the UM Mailman Center for Child Development and Debbie School . He greeted each child and distributed over 150 gift bags that included baby play mobiles, science kits, models cars and planes, play house tents, ball pits, digital MP3 players, hand held video cameras, arts & crafts kits, super hero games, leap frog computer programs, dolls, toy strollers.

Participants also enjoyed the music of DJ Karoke, arts and crafts, face painting, storytelling and much more. More>>

Commissioner Diaz attends promotional ceremony for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department

As the Chairman of the Public Safety & Healthcare Administration Committee, Commissioner Diaz attended the November 30th promotional ceremony for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. The following people were promoted at the event: Fernando Fernandez, Alan R. Cominsky, Reginald Richardson, John Arias, Edward Erickson, Millard Jenkins II., Ricardo Centeno, Javier Crespo, Michael Ebra, Michael Eng, Stephen Kent, Gary Melton, Manuel Rodriguez, Ricardo Stephens,m Richard Rossell, Jose Alfaro, Matthew Hellriegel, Augustin Hondares and Fahin Mortazavi. The event was held at the Metro Dade Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1403 Union Hall.

Congratulations to the MDFR staff promoted!

Looking for a job? Miami-Dade Transit seeks part-time Bus Operators

Miami-Dade Transit is seeking applicants for the position of part-time Bus Operator. The department will be accepting applications online, www.miamidade.gov/jobs, starting December 9, 2011 through January 3, 2012. Those who are selected can earn as they learn. Bus Operator trainees earn $14.71 per hour, and continue gaining experience as part-time Bus Operators. Miami-Dade County benefits will be explained to applicants during orientation. Bus Operators are also eligible to apply for other positions within Miami-Dade Transit – offering them career advancement within the largest transit department in Florida and 14th largest in the United States.

To be selected, applicants must successfully pass a background screening and physical exam, and must have the following: 

  • A high school diploma or a General Education Diploma (GED)
  • Photo identification, such as a Florida driver’s license
  • Proof of having passed the General Knowledge, Air-Brake and Passenger Transport test sections of the Commercial Driver License (CDL) exam

Those interested in applying for a Bus Operator position can obtain more information by calling the Miami-Dade County Job Information Hot Line (305) 375-JOBS (5627), or by visiting a South Florida Workforce One-Stop Career Center. Those without Internet access at home can visit any Miami-Dade County library, where they can use a computer with Internet access to log on to www.miamidade.gov/jobs  to apply online.

Holiday schedule for trash collection

Customers of the Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management Department (PWWMD) should note that because Christmas Day, December 25, falls on a Sunday this year, the holiday will be observed by Miami-Dade County government on the following day, Monday, December 26, 2011.  Garbage and recycling collection services and disposal operations will observe the following holiday schedule:

Curbside Garbage and Trash Collection Service
There will be NO collection of garbage or trash on Monday, December 26, 2011.  Miami-Dade waste collection customers who are serviced on Mondays are asked NOT to place their green waste carts at the curb that day.  Garbage collection for these customers will take place on their next regularly scheduled collection day, Thursday, December 29, 2011. Customers are reminded to place their green waste carts at the curb by 7 a.m. on their collection day.  Please note garbage collection on December 29, 2011 may take place later than customers are used to; residents are asked to be patient as all garbage will be picked up December 29, 2011. For more information on the Department’s Christmas Day holiday service schedule, call 3-1-1 or visit www.miamidade.gov/dswm

Don't forget to recycle during the holidays!

The holiday season can be an enjoyable but busy time for many Miami-Dade County residents.  Nevertheless, it’s always important to recycle – especially during the holidays. Customers of the PWWM can recycle a wide variety of leftover holiday items. 

Cardboard gift boxes, and packing boxes from toys, computers and television sets are some of the more obvious items.  But Miami-Dade’s recycling program will also take those glossy catalogs, sales flyers and magazines residents no longer need, as well as non-foil gift wrapping paper and holiday cards. Residents entertaining at home for the holidays are also reminded that they can place a number of used food and beverage containers into their blue Miami-Dade recycling carts.  Glass bottles; narrow-necked plastic bottles and containers (such as soda bottles); aseptic (gable-top) milk and juice cartons; aluminum drink cans; and metal food cans are all recyclable under the County’s program.

Miami-Dade County provides curbside recycling service to more than 350,000 single-family households in the unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County as well as all residences in 21 participating municipalities: Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, El Portal, Florida City, Medley, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, Sweetwater, West Miami and Virginia Gardens.  In 2011, the County's single-stream recycling program won two awards: a 2011 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties and a ''Recycling and Waste Reduction Award for Outstanding County or City Program (Urban)'' from Recycle Florida Today. For more information on Miami-Dade County's recycling program, visit the website at www.miamidade.gov/pwwm or call 3-1-1. 

Nighttime closures of eastbound closures of SR 836 until December 23

All eastbound traffic on SR 836/Dolphin Expressway will be detoured to southbound SR 826 through Friday, December 23 (excluding Saturdays) between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. to allow for the removal of the Milam Dairy Road Bridge. Double westbound lane closures will also be necessary at times from NW 72 Avenue to SR 826. The closures will allow the contractor to remove portions of the Milam Dairy Road Bridge over the eastbound SR 836 lanes.

If weather or any other unforeseen conditions affect the closures, they will be scheduled on the next available night. For more information about the SR 826/SR 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project, please contact Construction Public Information Specialist Oscar Gonzalez at 786-280-0983 or Project Engineer Francis Chin at 305-388-5450 or go to www.826-836.com. Drivers are encouraged to call 511 before they drive or log on to www.fl511.com to get real-time traffic and lane closure information. FDOT reminds drivers that wearing a safety belt is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Please drive cautiously in work zones.

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.

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 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 closing 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 replace 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.

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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