On November 20, 2008, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners elected 15-year veteran Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9, as its 2009-2010 Chairman. He was inducted on December 18, 2008 in an official ceremony hosted by the outgoing Chairman. The role became effective on January 1, 2009. Miami-Dade has 13 commissioners elected in non-partisan, single-district elections who serve four-year staggered terms, with elections scheduled every two years, with no term limits. On every election cycle, a new Chair and Vice-Chair are chosen to serve for two years. Commissioner José "Pepe" Diaz was elected Vice-Chairman.
His 2008 election as Commission Chairman coincides with the beginning of his fifth consecutive term representing District 9. His commission district is geographically the largest and most diverse in the county.
Commissioner Moss is known, respected, and admired for making promises and keeping them. He was initially elected to the Board of County Commissioners shortly after Hurricane Andrew, the second worst natural disaster in the history of the United States; Commissioner Moss immediately focused his efforts on the recovery of South Miami-Dade. His tireless efforts resulted in a comprehensive plan to rebuild distressed and declining areas affected by Hurricane Andrew. Named in recognition of Commissioner Moss, The Moss Plan was approved on September 7, 1993 by the Board of County Commissioners.
Some of his accomplishments include: saving Homestead Airforce Base and bringing to South Dade a public hospital, a cultural center, a winery, an extension of busway to Florida City in addition to a proposed Metrozoo theme park. Commissioner Moss was also instrumental in the creation of Team Metro, 311, and awarding more than 250 yearly grants to "Mom & Pop" businesses.
Commissioner Moss chairs the Zoo Oversight Board that oversees Miami Metro Zoo and the Community Image Advisory Board, whose mission is to improve the maintenance and aesthetics of our major roadways and transportation facilities. He is also a member of the South Florida Regional Planning Council which identifies long-term challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Florida and assists the region's leaders in developing and implementing creative strategies that result in more prosperous and equitable communities, a healthier and cleaner environment, and a more vibrant economy.
Commissioner Moss has served in the past as the honorary Chair of the Bahamas Sister Cities program, and Chairman of the Governmental Structure Task Force, which focused on helping the County identify efficient and effective government. Under the late Governor Lawton Chiles, Commissioner Moss was appointed to the Land Use and Water Planning Task Force.
A lifelong resident of District 9, Commissioner Moss has been actively involved in community affairs and has been appointed to serve on many boards, including the Community Action Agency, the South Dade Alliance for Black Neighborhood Development, and the Metro-Miami Action Plan Trust. For more than 25 years, Commissioner Moss has served as the Executive Director of the Richmond Perrine Optimist Club, where his agency provides programs for delinquent and at-risk youth, and disadvantaged families.
Commissioner Moss is a 1974 graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Economics. He is married to Margaret Hawkins-Moss and has three children.