Miami’s Community Newspapers heartily endorses Carlos A. Gimenez for re-election in his run for re-election as the county’s highest-ranking elected official and chief administrator, Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
With nearly 40 years of public service experience, Gimenez has been masterful in his leadership and management of Miami-County County, an organization of 26,000 employees and an annual budget of about $7 billion. He has a clearly-defined governing philosophy based on transparency, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility.
In his first year as Mayor, he championed and secured approval from the Board of County Commissioners for the largest tax cut in county history. That year, county property taxes were reduced 12 percent. Gimenez has continued to hold the line on tax increases and to date, the average homeowner has each saved close to $1,000 in property taxes in the past four years – while collectively, Miami-Dade tax payers have saved nearly $1 billion.
He has also focused on creating a fair regulatory environment that served to stimulate job creation, expand international trade, and attract businesses and industries to diversify Miami-Dade County’s economy. He advocates for county residents of all ages, especially senior citizens and youth.
Prior to first being elected Mayor in 2011 and again in 2012 to a four-year term, Gimenez served on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for seven years. He was first elected in 2004 and subsequently re-elected for a second term without opposition in 2008. As District-7 Commissioner, he represented Miami, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, South Miami, and Pinecrest, as well as unincorporated areas. He also served as Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and Chairman of the Regional Transportation Committee which oversaw Miami-Dade County’s transportation systems.
From May 2000 to January 2003, Gimenez was Manager of the City of Miami and was credited with helping restore financial stability and integrity to that organization. He was responsible for an annual budget of $500 million and a 4,000-employee workforce. During his tenure as manager, the city’s bond rating went from “junk” to investment grade – and the tax rate dropped to its lowest level in 50 years.
Prior to his appointment as City Manager, Gimenez spent 25 years with the Miami Fire-Rescue Department, the last nine as chief. He is widely credited with modernizing the department and overseeing the largest reorganization in its history.
He is a former member of the International City Managers Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, the Florida Fire Chiefs, and the Fire Officers Association of Miami-Dade. Gimenez also served on the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Committee and as the Chair of its Legal Issues Subcommittee.
Born in Havana in 1954, his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1960 in the wake of the Cuban Revolutions. He is married to Lourdes Portela, and has three children. An alumnus of Christopher Columbus High School, Gimenez received his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration. He also attended Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
Gimenez possesses strength of character, integrity, and determination that is needed to continue positioning our region as a global leader in international trade, technology, transportation, agriculture, and tourism, and cultural diversity. He has an unquestioned record of honesty and integrity combined with the managerial and political experience needed to lead this community. He encourages and listens to different points of view and prides himself on putting professionalism ahead of politics.
Miami-Dade County will be well served by allowing Mayor Gimenez to continue in his role as Mayor of Miami-Dade County. We wholeheartedly endorse Carlos A. Gimenez for re-election.