By Anne Michael-Anthony
A City of Doral Council Meeting was held at City Hall on Monday, March 18, 2013, at 6:00 PM. The meeting lasted about five hours and fifty minutes. The meeting had an agenda so packed that we are going to give a brief synopsis of the meeting.
City Attorney, Jimmy Morales will be leaving the City of Doral
After the call to order, roll call, pledge of allegiance, invocation and order of business, the meeting started with the Mayor and Councilmembers recognizing City Attorney Jimmy Morales who will be leaving his current position as City Manager of Miami Beach. Mr. Morales has been with the City of Doral since 2009, and the Mayor and Council voiced their good wishes and stated that he will be missed.
Later on in the meeting it was also announced that the Assistant City Manager, Mark Taxis would also being leaving the City of Doral and taking a position with Mr. Morales at Miami Beach.
Mr. Joe Jimenez who works along side with Mr. Morales will be staying for the next couple of months during the transition period. A new City Attorney has not been yet appointed.
Vice Mayor Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera
Mayor Boria consults with council and nominates Bettina Rodriguez Auguilera as Vice Mayor. After a heated exchange and debate, the council members vote 3 to 2 in favor, and Doral has a new Vice Mayor, Vice Mayor Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera. It should be pointed out that Sandra Ruiz only loses her title as Vice Mayor, and is still a Council Member.
Mayor Boria and the City Council paid special honor to Women’s History Month by honoring Doralian Women Leaders in the economic, social, and human development sectors of the City.
These are women whom have set a trend and established themselves in the community by “Transcending Boundaries – Creating Brilliance.”
There were two categories, Doralian Women Leaders (women 26 years of age and over); and, Doralian Women Youth Leaders (women 25 years of age and under) and four areas of impact – the Arts, Business, Communication, and Community.
Nominations were accepted from March 1, 2013 – March 8, 2013, and the winners were announced at the March 18th Council Meeting. They were as follows:
Elizabeth (Lizz) Wiegandt, Business
Gloria Burns, Communication
Carolina Sivoli, Community
There was a tie in the Art Category with Mariela Romero and Maria Bilbao.
In the twenty-five years of age and under the winner was Emily Bello-Pardo.
Special recognition was paid to Andrea Castillo.
The Mayor and Council presented the winners with a proclamation and all nominees received a certificate. This was the first year that this event has been held and it’s Vice Mayor Rodriguez Aguilera’s initiative.
Doral is a Multi-Cultural and Multi-lingual City
A resolution put forth by Mayor Boria has official made the City of Doral a Multi-Cultural an Multi-Lingual City. Whether a resolution is needed to state this or not is unclear. Everyone knows that we speak many languages not just in the City of Doral but throughout Florida and the United States.
Doral is already a multicultural and multi-lingual city, the need for a resolution stating same seems redundant. But nonetheless Resolution No. 13-25 passes, and hence, Spanish and English will “co-exist successfully; and the Mayor and Council hereby acknowledge that the City of Doral’s official most used and main unifying language is English while also acknowledging Spanish as the second official most used and spoken language in the City of Doral.” Operative word is “OFFICIAL”.
Councilwoman Ruiz requests for the word “Official” to be taken off the resolution. “It’s always been a controversial issue and certainly what we want is to unite the community. Having Spanish as the second most used language without the word Official”. The word “Official” will change the implication of this resolution. Councilwoman Fraga and Councilwoman Ruiz both vote to remove the word “official” off the resolution. Mayor Boria, Vice Mayor Rodriguez Aguielera, and Councilwoman Rodriguez vote to keep it.
Will this will bring implications for the City of Doral and will cost additional monies as documents will need translations and what documents exactly are to be translated? Although, the Mayor reiterates that there will be no additional translations and that meetings and business will be conducted in English, Vice Mayor Rodriguez Aguilera states that the Economic Development and Cultural communications will be in both English and Spanish.
Councilwoman Fraga points out that since the inception of the new Director of Communications “all press releases are already being sent out in both English and Spanish.”
Special observation on this topic, the overall pulse of the City of Doral is that although many citizens speak Spanish as a second language they don’t agree with making it an “official” language. What the intent of this resolution is unclear to the community and what the implications may be are even less clear.
The council meeting adjourned at approximately 11:50 pm.