FYI Miami: March 15, 2018
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POLICE PRESENCE: In the aftermath of the mass school shooting in Broward County, Miami city commissioners have discussed ways to provide more protection in schools throughout the city. A request was made of new Police Chief Jorge Colina to calculate the cost of adding uniformed police officers to the schools. At the commission’s March 8 meeting, he estimated the cost to put full-time officers inside every publicly funded school at $22 million the first year and $15 million a year thereafter. The estimate covers 123 new officers, equipment and benefits. Pensions weren’t included. But the chief said he would not want the added responsibility of police officers inside the schools. Commissioners have asked the city manager’s office and police department to consider reactivating the police reserves to get volunteers in the schools, along with perhaps part-time police officers. Chief Colina said he planned to meet with school district officials and Miami-Dade County police on the matter.
HOTELS ON THE RISE: Miami-Dade’s hotel occupancy rate was second-highest in the nation among major markets in January, rising 6% to an 81.3% occupancy, according to STR, a national travel data service. Revenue per available room was third in the nation at $189.01, a 14.3% gain from $165.31 in January 2017. The average daily room rate was also third in the nation at $232.42, up 7.8% from $215.63 a year earlier. As room supply contracted a hair to 54,816 total rooms from 54,873 the prior year, the number of room-nights sold rose 6% to 1,381,863 for the month.
OVER-WORKED: While discussing federal and state funding for transportation at the county’s Chairman’s Policy Council meeting last week, Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. joked that he is “withering away” from working so hard on the subject. “I was 6 foot 5 with blond hair and blue eyes when I first got here,” Mr. Bovo said, adding, “soon, you won’t be able to see me on the top of this dais.” Though the work is wearing him down, Mr. Bovo will continue to “bang away,” he said. “I am committed to this and we are not going to surrender.”
WOMEN’S DAY: Last Thursday, Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr. thanked all of the women present at the Miami-Dade County Chairman’s Policy Council meeting for their hard work on international women’s day. “Every day is women’s day,” Mr. Bovo said, “or at least that’s the way it is at my house,” he joked. Before asking Assistant County Attorney Annery Pulgar Alfonso for help beginning the meeting, Mr. Bovo noted she was “another strong woman here today,” telling Commissioner Dennis Moss they were “surrounded.”