Sometimes, I feel that I have lived a thousand years, and sometimes, when I'm walking down the streets of Sweetwater, talking to a friend, a neighbor or sharing some Cuban coffee with a citizen, my heart fills with pride and passion, and I feel that this is the very first day of my life.
In 1973, I moved my family to Sweetwater, during a time when the city was developing. At once, I fell in love with a city that needed care and nurturing.
I became involved with Accion Civica headed by Jose Montiel with the goal of finding funds earmarked to the development of parks, sports programs and assisting the needs of the elderly; in 1983 The Society for Humaneness, commended me: "Thank you very much for your cooperation, on behalf of all of those you have helped with your valuable endeavors." Another civic organization that I belonged to was the Community Development Program that brought funds from the County. I became the founder and the second Vice-President of the Lions Club. I searched for people from the community who needed vision care, glasses and optometrist assistance.
I applied with the City for the position of Maintenance Director; thus, in 1978, Jorge Valdez, the first Cuban Mayor in the USA, appointed me. The City was in great need or restoration; hence, my zeal was to fix the infrastructure. Everyday of my 15 year tenure, I worked hard to make a better life for my children and all the children of this great City.
During this time, I worked closely with the Civil Defense, an organization dedicated to ensuring safety in the event of a natural disaster. In 1992, after the devastation of Hurricane Andrew, I worked tirelessly until the City was clear of dangerous debris; I received a resolution by the Mayor and Council of the City of Sweetwater, stating, "for his swift actions and meritorious service after Hurricane Andrew" (No. 2138). Sweetwater was the first city in the County to be cleared from Andrew's wrath.
In the month of May 1995, I was elected by the good people of Sweetwater to be a public servant in the form of City Commissioner. I have always voted against raising property taxes. I have always supported the expansion of sports programs and have been a proud contributor to the success of Mildred Pepper.
In order to update my professional knowledge, I attended a conference on "Board Member Basics" at Florida International University, School of Public Affairs I received certification and I brought back to the city many innovations.
Other accolades include: Recognition from the organization Fifty-Five Years & Up, Inc., "in recognition for your service and contributions to a better quality of life of senior citizens"… Mayor Alexander A. Penelas, "I take great pleasure in presenting this certificate of appreciation to you in recognition of your valuable contribution to our community"…American Cancer Society, "In appreciation of your tireless effort in making Celebrity Baggers such a huge success. "…
Today, I feel healthier than ever; the best of me is yet to come for the vision that I have for the City of Sweetwater will never cease in my endeavors to make our small town a decent place to live.