I attended the 2011 State of the County Address which was hosted by Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez on February 16, 2011. Chairman Joe Martinez, members of the board of County Commissioners, Miami Dade residents and other elected officials were present. The Mayor Carlos Alvarez addressed and commented on how difficult it has been for the Miami Dade community and around the globe in the past 12 months and that his focus has always been to hold services together at a time when people need them the most, and at the same time, adjust to new economic realities while making strategic investments critical to our future success.
He pointed out the unemployment rate being still too high and shared important capital improvement projects in neighborhood hoods throughout the county, expediting close to $1 billion dollars in projects, and in doing so, how it has created and maintained thousands of jobs. These are private jobs: Metrorail Expansion, The Port Tunnel and the new Ballpark.
County Manager George Burgess spoke about public safety and pointed out the violent deaths of Officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth. He addressed damages that global recession has made and comment on how it can be measured in missed meals and lost homes, measured in skipped doctor’s appointments. Non-profit organizations are providing a safety net for some of the most vulnerable members in the community. He pointed out Farm Share fed a record 450,000 hungry families. He continued on with keeping Jackson Health System viable. The challenge is to bring all of the stakeholders together, and do what needs to get done.
Miami International Airport will open state-of-the-art baggage handling system and federal inspection area capable of serving 3,600 international passengers per hour, crossing the final two milestones at the North Terminal. The airport and seaport are the county’s two most important economic engines and their importance to our local economy cannot be overstated.