MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – New Miami Beach Commissioners Alex Fernandez and Kristen Rosen Gonzalez were sworn into office on Monday at City Hall.
During the same ceremony, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who voters re-elected in November, was also sworn into office for his third term. Rosen Gonzalez served on the commission from 2015 to 2018.
The political changes arrived just in time for Art Basel 2021, an event they all support. They also all agree the city needs to welcome more cultural events like this.
“This is the type of positive activity we need in Miami Beach to grow as a city and to elevate our economic activity and contribute to our city,” Fernandez said after the ceremony.
He added the police department needs more resources and a real-time crime center and there also need to be improvements on “smart planning” to improve quality of life and “elevate” the city. Rosen Gonzalez reiterated her campaign message on law enforcement.
“I want to make sure that we hold our police chief accountable. I want to start to enforce our laws. I want to make sure our laws, once we do arrest people, are actually prosecuted in Miami-Dade County and people serve jail time,” she said.
Rosen Gonzalez and Fernandez have yet to opine on the regulation of alcohol sales in the entertainment district that Gelber feels so strongly about.
“Clearly our residents want a different kind of reimagined South Beach. They don’t want this to be a party-only area. They want it to be a mixed-use, live-work-play area, so we’re going to have to roll back certainly in some of these areas and in other areas as well,” Gelber said after the ceremony.
Gelber said it’s going to be up to the commission to make sure that the dynamic changes. The commission will meet on Dec. 8.