Dear Neighbor,
It is a Joy to Serve You!

This past November, I celebrated my third anniversary as your City of Miami Beach Commissioner!

Accountability and leadership are crucial in our complex City: read on below to see the changes that I have helped bring about to make our City ever better!

I have no intention of letting up in 2019, so please stay in touch with me to share your ideas and experiences as we move Miami Beach forward together. I also want to thank Mayor Gelber and my Commission colleagues. Without their leadership and support we wouldn't have so much to celebrate as we look forward to the future.

The happiest of holidays to you and your families.  
Here's to 2019!

Sincerely,  

Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán
johnaleman@miamibeachfl.gov
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Accomplishment Highlights
NEW PARKS!
tennis center north beach
The Miami Beach Tennis Center at North Shore Park had a major upgrade including a new pro shop, LED lighting, and fencing... plus the cafe opens in 2019!
Muss Park re-opened with a 4,000 sq. ft. LEED gold-certified pavilion. The park includes a handicap-accessible picnic area and playground.
Allison Park saw the installation of Sabrina's Playground, the first fully ADA accessible park of its kind in our City.
PLUS...
  • Belle Isle Park inaugurated a new playground and shade structure in February 2018

  • North Shore Open Space Park changed its name to North Beach Oceanside Park and added canine agility equipment to its dog run areas

  • Spanning nearly 5,000 sq. ft., the City’s first Skate Park opened on 82nd Street and Collins Avenue

  • Work will begin on the NEW 6-acre Convention Center Park in January!

And WE APPROVED THREE ADDITIONAL NEW PARKS :
A new three-acre public park along West Avenue will be delivered in phases over the next few years. The park will connect to the public Baywalk and be funded by the developer of 500 Alton.
A recreational park will be integrated into the design of a new Civic Center, which will be built on 72nd Street and Collins Avenue using GO Bond funding. Other amenities may include an aquatic center, library, fitness gym and track!
A new G.O. Bond funded Community Park will be built on the site of the former Par 3 golf course, to include a lake, open meadows tennis courts, playground and water features.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH
To protect quality of life in residential areas, I sponsored important legislation that:
  • Zoned sober houses & detox centers out of residential neighborhoods
  • Zoned cannabis dispensaries out of residential buildings
I also was proud to:
  • Initiate a Human Trafficking sting leading to the closure of 4 massage parlors
  • Approve the specialized City Prosecutor to keep criminals in jail and off our streets.
  • Fund a new Captain +17 additional police officers, and added park rangers
  • Funded police, behavioral health specialists, nurses and clinics in all our public schools
  • Champion replacement of the outdated radio system used by our first responders
  • Support the Mobile PrEP Clinic efforts to share life-saving medication
  • Enable the Parent Patrol crossing guard certification at our schools.
  • Fund new kitchen facilities at our fire stations
  • Sponsor the Colgate Healthy Smiles program to provide free dental care to kids
  • Approve 50-year lease at Council Towers North/South to ensure senior high quality of life
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Town Center North Beach
Re-crafted the North Beach Town Center District with increased density and a development overlay which will revitalize North Beach and bring new business to the area. The plan includes wide sidewalks and tree canopy to promote walkability, and outlines a 70th St pedestrian paseo.
500 alton pedestrian bridge
Approved zoning and a development agreement for a 44-story residential tower at 500 Alton Road . In exchange, the City gets a park and completed baywalk, paid by the developer. A public pedestrian bridge over 5th Street will link South of 5th to Sunset Harbor.
Championed ballot approval of the new Convention Center Hotel . To be constructed without any public subsidy, the attached hotel will bring in millions of new revenue that will pay for our city's most urgent priorities of transportation, flooding and education.
PLUS...
  • Sponsored zoning enabling a new North Beach hotel to be built at 7140 Collins
  • Streamlined the process for North Beach sidewalk cafes to open quickly
  • Sponsored small business training to help local operators thrive
EDUCATION
  • Provided internships at City Hall for 4 Miami Beach Senior High students
  • Resolved chronic Nautilus Middle School parking lot flooding, plus added Polo Park water fountain, fence & designated it a No Smoking Zone
  • Re-enforced regulations prohibiting the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors
  • Piloted City School Bus routes to reduce traffic at peak times
  • Provided decommissioned City computers for use in Miami Beach schools
  • Created a grant to fund the Culinary Arts program at Miami Beach Senior High
  • Created Digital Citizen Bootcamp: a FREE coding class for Miami Beach residents
  • Funded additional Arts Education at Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center
  • Initiated avatar based e-training for bystanders of cyber-bullying
  • Sponsored free practice/play time for city student golf teams at our municipal courses
  • Landscaped the North Beach Elementary parent pickup area
  • Served on the City's Quality Education Committee
Smoke Free Near Schools
Free Digital Education
FIU Growlight Mentoring
ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY & RESILIENCY
Resident-Focused Resiliency Preparedness

  • Reaffirmed our City's commitment to design and implement a robust stormwater system and created a solution for homeowners of very low-lying homes to have the City install stormwater infalls on private property at no cost to the homeowner.

  • Waived permit fees for homeowners needing to harmonize during road elevation projects, and grandfathered in existing green space minimums to help minimize disruption.

  • Sponsored the Committee that successfully improved our score on the Community Rating System of the National Flood Insurance Program via activities that reduce flood risk, bringing estimated resident insurance savings to $8.3 million annually.
stormwater resiliency
PLUS...
  • Required all City Land Use Boards to evaluate sea level rise criteria for new projects
  • Required super-majority vote of Commission to lessen any of our resiliency criteria
  • Created incentives for green, blue and white roofs & other "green" building requirements
  • Supported the re-evaluation of our stormwater infrastructure program, leading to the Urban Land Institute's Technical Assistance Panel and West Avenue Accelerator projects
  • Fought for below grade parking criteria so that as the City begins to raise roads, below grade parking risk remains on the developer
  • Sponsored the City's Green Procurement Policy
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
  • Reduced City's millage rate to lowest in City history
  • Reduced City's parking fund subsidy from $8 million to $2 million to reduce general fund dependency on declining revenue source
  • Sponsored legislation to close the "Commissioner Loophole" which allowed private developers to avoid paying Land Use board application fees by obtaining a Commissioner sponsor
  • Improved fiscal controls over city-sponsored events and approval criteria for outside entity funding and grant requests
TRANSPORTATION & PARKING
  • Expanded FREE citywide Miami Beach trolley system, improved accessibility and added new routes and stops
  • Funded high tech transit technologies which will result in transit time reduction
  • Approved modern bus shelters with time of arrival and other high tech capabilities
  • Sponsored a coming-soon Bus Rapid Transit pilot over the Julia Tuttle Causeway to encourage workers get out of their cars and onto mass transit
  • Painted over 8 miles of green bike lanes
  • Implemented 2 free on-street bicycle repair stations and 6 free long-term bike storage facilities that include bicycle repair stations
  • Supported final completion of the beachwalk and baywalk which will be fully funded through the GO Bond
  • Sponsored a new parking lot along Hawthorne Avenue and other area parking reconfigurations to alleviate parking stresses in North Beach
  • Approved the Collins Park parking garage
HISTORIC PRESERVATION
  • Created two new Local Historic Districts in North Beach
  • Sponsored the Neighborhood Conservation District to ensure all new construction in the historic districts and surrounding areas have compatible designs
  • Sponsored a new parking structure to alleviate parking woes in the South Beach historic district and focused on regulations for parking garages in North Beach
  • Inspired by the Silver Jackets program, I sponsored the creation of a Guide that will help owners of historic buildings to make them more resilient... it will be published this coming fall
ARTS AND CULTURE
  • Created the City of Miami Beach Youth Music Festival to provide performance opportunities for aspiring youth musicians. Check out www.miamibeach.rocks and see what's in store for our 3rd annual festival on 3/9/19!

  • Fostered the National Salute to America's Heroes Air & Sea Show during Memorial Day Weekend

  • Supported the closure of Rue Vendome for cultural and artistic activation, and ensured the Normandy Square Art Fair successfully launched last month

  • Created zoning changes to allow the Faena Tree of Life to be a permanent art installation
OPEN GOVERNMENT
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
  • Created zoning changes for Affordable Housing to enable the Housing Authority to develop 5 lots in North Beach

  • Spearheaded Miami Beach's Conversion Therapy ban, leading the way for other cities that followed around the state

  • Expanded the City's Human Rights Legislation Ordinance

  • Sponsored annual city-wide Senior Health Expos and monthly food distribution events, partnering with South Florida Seniors in Action, at each of the senior buildings in our City

  • Continued to fight against senior food insecurity by supporting funding for senior lunch programs at Stella Maris and UNIDAD Senior Center

  • Voted to support the Sabrina Cohen Foundation's efforts to create the only Disability Wellness Center in the City
#TeamAleman!
My Commission Aide Cilia Maria Ruiz-Paz is an angel on Earth! I thank her for all her hard work throughout the years!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our community, and from my family to yours,
Happy New Year!
John E. Alemán | City of Miami Beach Commissioner | 786-459-7111 | johnaleman@miamibeachfl.gov