Gov. DeSantis appoints 3 to Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization
Image via AP

Ron DeSantis
A 4th Governor-appointed member representing the county’s unincorporated area remains outstanding.

The transportation planning board of Florida’s most populous county has three new members.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed West Miami Mayor Eric Diaz-Padron, School Board member Roberto Alonso and investment banker Rodolfo Pages to the 24-member Governing Board of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).

All are Republicans.

A Friday press note from the Governor’s Office announcing the appointments errantly referred to the agency as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, a shortened version of a title it has not gone by for years.

Diaz-Padron, a lawyer and consultant in private life who has served as an elected official in West Miami since 2019, will presumably replace Medley Mayor Roberto Martell as the DeSantis’ appointed municipal representative.

Alonso, a real estate executive who last year won election to the Miami-Dade School Board with DeSantis’ support, will fill the seat former School Board Chair Perla Hantman vacated last year after announcing that she would not seek re-election.

Pages, meanwhile, was one of the people DeSantis appointed four years ago to the Greater Miami Expressway Agency (GMX), a state replacement of the local Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) governing five tollways exclusively within the county.

The state and county have since been ensnared in a legal and legislative battle over which of the two holds power over the roads, which include the Airport Expressway (112), Dolphin Expressway (836), Don Shula Expressway (874), Gratigny Parkway (924) and Snapper Creek Expressway (878).

Pages will take the seat reserved for an “Expressway Authority” member the Governor is responsible for filling.

One more Governor-appointed member of the Board, who must be a non-elected official residing in Miami-Dade’s unincorporated area, remains outstanding.

The Miami-Dade TPO is a powerful body responsible for approving all policy matters, plans, programs, budgets, agreements, contracts, rules and operating structures concerning transportation in the county. Its current Chair is Hialeah Mayor Esteban “Steve” Bovo, a former Miami-Dade Commissioner and prior TPO and County Commission Chair who for years has been a leading voice in local transportation matters. Miami-Dade Commission Chair Oliver Gilbert III, the immediate past TPO Chair, is now the Board’s Vice Chair.

Other members include all 12 other Miami-Dade Commissioners and the Mayors of Doral, Homestead, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens and North Miami.

The TPO Governing Board’s next meeting is scheduled for July 20.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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