Chairman Diaz reflects on the Surfside tragedy
MIAMI-DADE – This Friday, we will commemorate the first anniversary of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, a tragedy that changed our community and showed the solidarity of our Miami-Dade County residents. I witnessed firsthand the devastation and sadness the collapse of this condominium left behind, while helping to lead the rescue efforts on-site. It was uplifting to see how our community put its differences aside and worked together to support those affected by the collapse.
During the last Board of County Commissioners meeting held on June 14, 2022, we approved a resolution, sponsored by my colleague Commissioner Sally Heyman, to declare June 24, 2022, and each June 24 thereafter, as Champlain Towers South-Surfside Remembrance Day in Miami-Dade County. This is an important day for our County to remember the 98 lives lost in this tragedy and to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent similar tragedies.
Last January, I sponsored an ordinance requiring that building officials notify the Office of Emergency Management when residential displacements occur due to the vacating of a structure. Last December, I recognized the Miami-Dade County police and fire departments for their efforts during the Surfside tragedy.
Our work doesn’t stop there. Last fall, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and I hosted a series of meetings with our state and federal partners, along with local industry experts, to craft legislation strengthening our building inspections. We saw the results of these meetings at our June 1 BCC meeting with the passing of an ordinance, sponsored by Commissioner René García, revising our building recertification process. This ordinance, along with other legislation passed by both our Board and the state, helps to ensure that this tragedy never happens again.