TRENDING TOPIC FOR TUESDAY, MAY 16TH: Happy Wednesday! We leave you with an update on Miami-Dade transportation projects from County Commission Chair Esteban Bovo.
MIAMI-DADE UPDATE: Humberto Cortina spoke with Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Esteban Bovo about county transportation projects on “Al Ritmo de Miami” on Radio Mambi 710 AM.
Cortina first focused on transportation projects in Miami-Dade and asked Bovo wabout the source for funding. Bovo said, “one of the sources we use comes from the half-cent initiative that the constituents voted for years ago, which was originally supposed to be to expand the Metrorail. Now, to be honest and fair, we know that those funds were mishandled in the past. In the last three or four years we have been focused on using these funds appropriately. Many of my colleagues in the Board of County Commissioners have been strong voices when it comes to this issue. We are all united in this fight to make sure that the half-cent goes to the new transportation plans, and is not invested into salaries or used to fund the day-to-day operational costs, instead of what the voters agreed on to go to for new programs and new developments. We know that this collects about $200 million dollars a year, and there is a percentage that goes to the cities so that they can use it for their transportation projects and opportunities.” He continued, “we are looking for other ways to get these funds without having to ask taxpayers for more money. MDX has a surplus every year, and now they have Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commission Vice Chair Audrey Edmonson on the board to be able to analyze their transportation plans and see if they can help with funds for the SMART Plan.” Bovo explained that the administration of these funds would have to go through the Transportation Planning Organization, formally known as the Metropolitan Planning Organization or MPO. He said, “most people didn’t know what the MPO was, and now that it is called TPO people have a clear sense that it has to do with transportation. I am the chairman of that organization, all 13 commissioners are part of, in addition to other representatives from Miami, Miami Gardens, Homestead, Hialeah, someone from the state and from the School Board. Between all of these people we determine how the funds are going to get distributed.”
Taddeo explained why there was a special election for Frank Artiles’ District 40 seat. She said, “unfortunately this seat was left vacant after some inappropriate comments were made, and it was awful. However, it did allow us to show that our community is much better than that. I am really honored that I had the chance to come together with pastors and other members of our community to say that those kinds of racist comments are unacceptable. Those same groups of people that joined me have also gotten together today to support my candidacy. It is incredible for me, because I didn’t expect to have these pastors come together with their community to show their support for me in this race at a press conference.” Pardo asked about the demographics in the district, and mentioned she thought it is even between Democrats and Republicans. Taddeo said, “yes, it is more or less even, but it is slightly more democratic-leaning. In the presidential election, Hillary Clinton took the district by more than 20 points. The western part of the district is more left-leaning.” She continued, “when the lines were redrawn, it became mostly a Hispanic district.” Regarding the dates for the special election, Taddeo stated, “it is just around the corner. The primary is on July 25th.” She concluded, “I have always been the kind of person that wants to bring communities together and I have never thought that any community is more important than the other. It is very important to stay united during times like these. Right now stability is important, because of everything that has been going on at the national level and we need people that are going to represent us and work together.”