Miami-Dade County, Florida

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Template:Infobox U.S. County Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of the 2000 U.S. census, the population was 2,253,362, making it the most populated county in the state. Its county seat is Miami, located in the northeastern part.

Miami-Dade County is one of three counties that comprise the South Florida metropolitan area.

Contents

History

Dade County was created in 1836. It was named for Major Francis L. Dade, a soldier killed in 1835 in the Second Seminole War, at what has since been named the Dade Battlefield. The name was changed to Miami-Dade County on July 22, 1997 after being approved by voters.

The second-costliest natural disaster to occur in the United States was the disastrous Hurricane Andrew, which hit this county early Monday morning on August 24, 1992. It struck the central part of the county from due east, south of Miami and very near Homestead, Kendall, and Cutler Ridge (now the Town of Cutler Bay). Damages numbered over 25 billion dollars in the county alone, and recovery has taken years in these areas where the destruction was greatest.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,297 km2 (2,431 mi2). 5,040 km2 (1,946 mi2) of it is land and 1,257 km2 (485 mi2) of it (19.96%) is water. most of which is Biscayne Bay.

The bay is divided from the Atlantic Ocean by the many barrier isles along the coast, one of which is where well-known Miami Beach is located, along with the South Beach Art Deco district. Geologically, it is part of the Florida Keys, which are accessible only through Miami-Dade County, but which are otherwise part of neighboring Monroe County.

Miami is the only metropolitan area in the United States that borders two national parks. Biscayne National Park is located east of the mainland, in Biscayne Bay, and the western third of Miami-Dade County lies within Everglades National Park.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 2,253,362 people, 776,774 households, and 548,402 families residing in the county. The population density was 447/km2 (1,158/mi2). There were 852,278 housing units at an average density of 169/km2 (438/mi2). The racial makeup of the county was 69.70% White, 29.29% Black or African American (a large part of which are of Caribbean descent), 0.19% Native American, 1.41% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.58% from other races, and 3.79% from two or more races. 55.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic whites make up 13.67% of the population. 50% of the county residents were born outside the United States, while 67% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.

In languages, Miami-Dade is unusual among U.S. counties because the mother tongue of the majority of the population is not English. As of the census of 2000, Spanish was the first language of 59.2% of the population, English, 32.1%, Haitian Creole, 4.1% and other languages, less than 1% each.Template:Fact

There were 776,774 households out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.35.

The age distribution is 24.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,966, and the median income for a family was $40,260. Males had a median income of $30,120 versus $24,686 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,497. There were 14.5% of families and 18.0% of the population living below the poverty line , including 22.9% of under eighteens and 18.9% of those over 64.

Law and government

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democrat
2004 46.6% 361,095 52.9% 409,732
2000 46.3% 289,574 52.6% 328,867
1996 37.9% 209,740 57.3% 317,555
1992 43.2% 235,313 46.7% 254,609
1988 55.3% 270,937 44.3% 216,970
1984 59.2% 144,281 40.8% 223,863
1980 50.7% 265,888 40.2% 210,868
1976 40.5% 211,148 58.1% 303,047
1972 58.9% 256,529 40.8% 177,693
1968 37.0% 135,222 48.4% 176,689
1964 36.0% 117,480 64.0% 208,941
1960 42.3% 134,506 57.7% 183,114

Miami-Dade County has operated under a unique metropolitan system of government, a "two-tier federation," since 1957. This was made possible when Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1956 that allowed the people of Dade County (as it was known then) to enact a home rule charter. Prior to this year, home rule did not exist in Florida, and counties were only able to exercise those powers specifically granted to them under the state constitution and state law. Local laws could only be enacted by a special act of the Legislature.

Federation, not total consolidation

Unlike a consolidated city-county, where the city and county governments merge into a single entity, these two entities remain separate. Instead there are two "tiers", or levels, of government: city and county. There are 35 municipalites in the county, the City of Miami being the largest.

Cities are the "lower tier" of local government, providing police and fire protection, zoning and code enforcement, and other typical city services within their jurisdiction. These services are paid for by city taxes. The County is the "upper tier", and it provides services of a metropolitan nature, such as emergency management, airport and seaport operations, public housing and health care services, transportation, environmental services, solid waste disposal etc. These are funded by county taxes, which are assessed on all incorporated and unincorporated areas.

Of the county's 2.2 million total residents (as of 2000), approximately 52% live in unincorporated areas, the majority of which are heavily urbanized. These residents are part of the Unincorporated Municipal Services Area (UMSA). For these residents, the County fills the role of both lower- and upper-tier government, the County Commission acting as their lower-tier municipal representative body. Residents within UMSA pay an UMSA tax, equivalent to a city tax, which is used to provide County residents with equivalent city services (police, fire, zoning, water and sewer, etc.). Residents of incorporated areas do not pay UMSA tax.

Structure of county government

The Executive Mayor of Miami-Dade County is elected countywide to serve a four-year term. The Mayor is not a member of the County Commission. The Mayor appoints a County Manager, with approval and consent of the Board of County Commissioners, to oversee the operations of the County Departments. The Mayor has veto power over the Commission.

The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative body, consisting of 13 members elected from single-member districts. Members are elected to serve four-year terms, and elections of members are staggered. The Board chooses a Chairperson, who presides over the Commission, as well as appoints the members of its legislative committees. The Board has a wide array of powers to enact legislation, create departments, and regulate businesses operating within the County. It also has the power to override the Mayor's veto with a two-thirds vote.

The election of Commissioners from single member districts came to be in 1992 after a small but vocal group challenged the at large election system in the courts, arguing that the present system did not allow for the election of African American commissioners, despite the fact that Commissioner Barbara Carey Shuler had been elected several times. The court, under the ruling of Judge Graham, created the single member district election system. To many in the community, this was the first giant step towards a parochial system of representation, resulting in a general loss of interest on issues of regional importance and focusing instead on neighborhood issues.

Reorganization of constitutional officers

Florida's Constitution provides for four elected officials to oversee executive and administrative functions for each county (called "Constitutional Officers"): Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector. Each of these offices were reorganized and became subordinate County Departments. Today these positions are appointed by and report to the County Manager.

The most visible distinction between Miami-Dade and other Florida counties is the title of its law enforcement agency. It is the only county in Florida that does not have an elected sheriff, or an agency titled "Sheriff's Office." Instead the equivalent agency is known as the Miami-Dade Police Department, and its leader is known as the Metropolitan Sheriff and Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Independent judiciary and school district

The judicial offices of Clerk of the Circuit Court, State Attorney, and Public Defender are still branches of State government and are therefore independently elected and not part of County government.

In Florida, each county is also a school district. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, is operated by an independently-elected School Board. A professional Superintendent of Schools manages the day-to-day operations of the district, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the School Board.

Cities, towns, villages, unincorporated communities, and public high schools

Image:Towns of Miami-Dade County Florida 800px.png

Incorporated

  1. City of Miami Gardens
  2. City of Aventura
  3. Town of Golden Beach
  4. City of Sunny Isles Beach
  5. City of North Miami Beach
  6. City of North Miami
  7. Village of Bal Harbour
  8. Town of Bay Harbor Islands
  9. Village of Indian Creek
  10. Town of Surfside
  11. Village of Biscayne Park
  12. Village of Miami Shores
  13. Village of El Portal
  14. Village of North Bay Village
  15. City of Opa-locka
  16. Town of Miami Lakes
  17. City of Hialeah
  18. City of Hialeah Gardens
  19. Town of Medley
  20. City of Doral
  21. City of Miami Springs
  22. Village of Virginia Gardens
  23. City of Sweetwater
  24. City of Miami
  25. City of Miami Beach
  26. Village of Key Biscayne
  27. City of West Miami
  28. City of Coral Gables
  29. City of South Miami
  30. Village of Pinecrest
  31. Village of Palmetto Bay
  32. City of Cutler Bay
  33. City of Homestead
  34. City of Florida City
  35. City of Islandia
 

City districts and neighborhoods (and recently annexed census-designated places)

Unincorporated areas and census-designated places

Public high schools

See Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Transportation

Street grid

A street grid stretches from downtown Miami throughout the county.

North-south Avenues
Number Name Notes
East 6th State Road 915
(0) Miami Avenue
West 2nd State Road 7 (U.S. Route 441)
West 7th State Road 7 (U.S. Route 441)
West 12th State Road 933
West 27th State Road 9 and State Road 817
West 42nd LeJeune Avenue State Road 953
West 47th State Road 847
West 57th Red Road State Road 959 and State Road 823
West 67th Ludlam Road
West 72nd Milam Dairy Road State Road 969
West 77th parallels the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826)
West 87th State Road 973
West 107th State Road 985
West 112th Allapattah Road State Road 989
West 117th parallels the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (State Road 821)
West 137th State Road 825
West 177th Krome Avenue State Road 997
 
East-west Streets
Number Name Notes
South 186th-200th Quail Roost Drive State Road 994
South 152nd Coral Reef Drive State Road 992
South 111th-112nd Killian Drive State Road 990
South 88th North Kendall Drive State Road 94
South 72nd Sunset Drive State Road 986
South 56th Miller Drive
South 40th Bird Road State Road 976
South 24th Coral Way State Road 972
South 8th (Calle Ocho) Tamiami Trail State Road 90 (U.S. Route 41)
(0) Flagler Street State Road 968
North 36th State Road 25 (U.S. Route 27) and State Road 948
North 54th Hialeah Drive State Road 944
North 79th State Road 934
North 103rd State Road 932
North 125th State Road 922
North 119th State Road 924
North 135th State Road 916
North 167th Palmetto Expressway State Road 826
North 182nd Miami Gardens Drive State Road 860
North 215th County Line Road State Road 852

External links

Image:Miami-Dade-County-Logo.jpg

Government links

County Departments and Agencies

Special districts

Judicial branch

Tourism

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Capital: Tallahassee
Largest cities: Cape Coral | Clearwater | Coral Springs | Fort Lauderdale | Gainesville | Hialeah | Hollywood | Jacksonville | Lakeland | Miami | Miami Gardens | Miramar | North Miami | Orlando | Pembroke Pines | Plantation | Pompano Beach | Port St. Lucie | St. Petersburg | Sunrise | Tallahassee | Tampa | West Palm Beach </font>
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es:Condado de Miami-Dade (Florida) fr:Comté de Miami-Dade no:Miami-Dade County pt:Condado de Miami-Dade