Working together to make our community a better place

Miami-Dade County leaders, county department staff, executives of the Miami Marriott Dadeland and Datran Center, as well as other key community leaders are to be commended for teaming up as strategic partners to solve a problem.

I contacted District 7 County Commissioner Xavier Suarez to express concerns that I and many others had about the Dadeland South Metrorail station.

There have been many rider and neighborhood complaints regarding the security and cleanliness of the station. There also has been an ongoing issue of chronic homelessness affecting that station and others.

Commissioner Suarez spearheaded the effort to resolve these concerns. The first thing he did was put together a meeting with Miami Marriott Dadeland executives Mildred Riscigno and Mercedes Etcheberry, Deputy County Mayor Alina Hudak, director of Miami-Dade Transit Ysela Llort, chief of infrastructure engineering and maintenance Robert McClellan, deputy director of operations Hugh Chen and Hilda Fernandez, executive director of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.

Commissioner Suarez worked directly with transit director Llort about the cleaning, lighting and security issues and dissolutions, including revisiting security contracts for the stations as well as establishing better levels of monitoring the 15 station overpasses countywide. Plans for improvements are now underway. Suarez also sent a letter to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Nov. 7 asking for his support and vigilance in addressing the need for constant maintenance and cleaning of all Metrorail stations and overpasses.

Through the strategic partnership, the management of the Dadeland Marriott has helped address some of the maintenance and paint issues at the Dadeland South station, which is a wonderful start to solving an ongoing problem. Ms. Fernandez of the Homeless Trust is working to find ways to assist destitute individuals who seek shelter in the stations.

I want to commend Commissioner Suarez and the other county leaders, as well as the Miami Marriott Dadeland and the Homeless Trust for promptly working together to help solve a problem affecting commuting residents, tourists and the community as a whole. They have also set the wheels in motion for the ongoing wider effort ahead.

This kind of teamwork speaks well for all of those involved and is a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone simply works together for the common good.

Thanks and bravo everyone!

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Grant can be reached at grant@communitynewspapers.com


1 Comment for “Working together to make our community a better place”

  1. Live Free

    MICHAEL POTTINGER, PETER CARTER, BERRY YOUNG, et al.,Plaintiffs,
    v.
    CITY OF MIAMI, Defendant. CASE NO. 88-2406-CIV-ATKINS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA 810 F. Supp. 1551 (1992) November 16, 1992, Filed
    Plaintiffs (“plaintiffs” or “class members”) filed this action in December of 1988 on behalf of themselves and approximately 6,000 other homeless people living in the [*1554] City of Miami. Plaintiffs’ complaint alleges that the City of Miami (“defendant” or “City”) has a custom, practice and policy of arresting, harassing and otherwise interfering with homeless people for engaging in basic activities of daily life-including sleeping and eating-in the public places where they are forced to live. Plaintiffs further claim that the City has arrested thousands of homeless people for such life-sustaining conduct under various City of Miami ordinances and Florida Statutes. In addition, plaintiffs assert that the city routinely seizes and destroys their property and has failed to follow its own inventory procedures regarding the seized personal property of homeless arrestees and homeless persons in general.

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