Miami-Dade County turned up the pomp and circumstance Friday for the installation ceremony for new Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa and Vice-Chairwoman Lynda Bell.
Gov. Rick Scott made a pit stop, praising the city and county -- "everyone" wants to be here, he said -- and the two Republican women. He referred to Bell as Sosa's "sidekick."
"I have daughters, so I like that women are running the place," he said. Then, the Republican joked about his upcoming reelection: "Not necessarily in 2014, though."
Sosa was later sworn in by longtime friend Sen. Marco Rubio, who was a West Miami commissioner when Sosa was the small city's mayor. Mayor Carlos Gimenez later quipped that he would ask Sosa, who is seen as the mayor's ally, for advice on how to get the governor and a U.S. senator to attend future events at County Hall. Bell was sworn in by County Judge Gladys Perez.
Bell, a former Homestead mayor who was elected to the commission in 2010, thanked Sosa for nominating her to the vice-chair post. "Leadership is the ultimate in servanthood," she said.
Sosa, a county commissioner since 2001, pledged to hold commission meetings in different parts of the county, and to communicate better with the mayor's administration. She praised county employees and said one of her top priorities will be supporting a new convention center on Miami Beach.
"I am ready and proud to lead our board, and also to be the very first Hispanic-American female to do so," said Sosa, a former schoolteacher.
At one point, she asked the mayor and commissioners to stand beside her at the podium and hold hands. They joined her -- but refrained from the hand-holding.