A County Commissioner is selected by district to a 13-member Board of County Commissioners The Commissioners meet in committees and as a full body that sets policy, passes legislation and votes on the budget. Commissioner has a 4-year term; term limits – 2 consecutive terms. Non-partisan, single –district elections.
All candidates were asked the following questions:
- Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
- What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Michael Castro
COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Xavier L. Suarez
I am the incumbent seeking re-election. My passion is public service and helping our county prosper. Miami-Dade County is one of the poorest in the country, with a limited and unaffordable transportation system, high unemployment rate and stagnant wages, and an affordable housing crisis. As Chairman of the Economic and Prosperity Committee of the Board of County Commissioners it is my duty to ensure that these needs are addressed and that all residents have the opportunity to prosperity.
I am an attorney and, for the last 5 years, have been serving as County Commissioner of District 7, a member of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, and a member of the Baylink Executive Policy Committee. I understand the challenges our community faces and have worked diligently to improve quality of life for all in our County.
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
Creating more affordable housing units
Miami-Dade County is one of the least affordable areas to live in the country. As Chairman of the Economic Prosperity Committee, mitigating the affordable housing crisis is a central part of my mandate. I was co-sponsor for a resolution to establish a policy that at least $10 million of General Fund revenue be allocated each year to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and I have gone on record advocating for up to $50 million.
Economic development in low/middle income communities
I authored the Community Benefits Agreement ordinance for the county, getting it passed on first reading after Sunshine meeting with Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. The CBA ordinance gives negotiations legal standing, creating a mutually beneficial framework for developers and the community to allow for fair and equitable development. Benefits may include hiring a percentage of workers locally, environmental mitigation, social services, new grocery stores, and trust funds. Doing so helps build relationships between developers and local small businesses, promoting a more equitable people-centered development. I will also continue to support an amendment to increase the Living Wage Ordinance to $15 per hour for county contractors and their sub-contractors.
Comprehensive transit system
In 2015 I presented to our legislative delegation my ‘25/5 plan’, to extract 25% of all revenues generated by tolls and auto tag renewals for use in mass transportation. We desperately need an East-West extension, one to the North along NW 27th Avenue, and another further south along the South Dade Busway to Florida City. Bikers and pedestrians should also be an integral part of the planning and construction of mass transit. As such, 5% of revenue would be dedicated to the “Complete Streets” program and include bike and pedestrian trails for a more walkable, livable community.
For the 2015 county budget hearing, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and I advocated for a $500,000 line item to address climate change; ultimately, $300,000 was allocated. It is incumbent upon policymakers to: (1) continue measuring and evaluating sea-level rise for at least the next ten years; and (2) while those measurements are being made and other climate change data are being obtained, prepare to make adjustments to the building codes if it is found that the accelerated rates are a permanent feature of our geology and weather. Saltwater intrusion must be separately and aggressively tackled by emphasizing the importance of continued monitoring and wellfield management.
Xavier L. Suarez
Miami-Dade County Commission District 7
COMMISSION DISTRICT 9 – Earl Beaver
Education. Tilden Tech High, Police & Security K9 Academy (Certificate), Miami Dade College AA Degree, UF University (Completed Dietary Management Program)
Occupation and employer: Food Nutrition Director, Brookwood, At Signature Health
Earl Beaver will not be beholden to any developer or special-interest group! I have already rejected interests group's money and will continue to do so. My campaign is self- funded and I am the only candidate for Miami Dade County Commissioner who can say that. The moment a candidate takes such money from outside business sources, all their good deeds could slowly move away from the needs of the community.
As a symbol of Earl’s dedication, he has already closed his business (restaurant management business) so he would be more available for the citizens of the 9th district of Miami Dade. There is nothing more important to him professional, then working for the citizens of the 9th district. Mr. Earl Beaver has over 25 years of successful leadership and management experience which afforded him the opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of young people: job training, life coaching, resume writing, organizing computer drives for kids, feeding the homeless, organizing small business expos and heading volunteering projects for companies. Earl Beaver educational training, work experience and inner passion have prepared me to be an effective commissioner who will work for the people, not interest groups..
What are the top three challenges facing the county? What ideas do you have for resolving or dealing with these challenges?
1. No real job programs in the 9th district:
I would provide transitional jobs and training for disadvantaged youth and adults who need temporary, wage-based employment as a stepping stone to develop work skills and enter the regular labor market.
2. No small business resources 9th district:
I will open a small business administration center
Assist new and small businesses with product development, budgeting, marketing and business plan.
It is not all about giving grant money to the small business person (Mom & Pop Program), the focus needs to be teaching them how to run a business.
3. Family and Community must improve: Neighborhoods and Community
I will sponsor more fairs, neighborhood celebrations, and multi-cultural community
events to bring families together and build stronger ties among neighbors. Also through regular meetings between the police departments, school board, and school superintendent that focus on shared priorities, activities and the development of joint plans of action. Invite all to be involved to ease tension and build trust and community, by helping the community of the 9th district and Police bond and becoming an example to the nation!.
I love South Florida and am asking for an opportunity, to be your County Commissioner of the 9th district, to help make our community a place where families can feel safe, grow a career and build community! My Mission in life is to inspire others to learn more . . . dream more . . . and become more!
Work telephone: 305-746-5513
COMMISSION DISTRICT 9 - Dennis C. Moss
COMMISSION DISTRICT 11 - Felix M. Lorenzo
COMMISSION DISTRICT 11 - Joe A. Martinez