For the fourth consecutive year, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez will bring his annual countywide update and answer Kendall concerns during a Kendall Federation of Homeowners Association meeting.
His appearance on Monday, Jan. 11, open free to the public, has been a regular occurrence since his election in 2012 following a special election that saw him take the office he has now held for five years. The session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Civic Pavilion, 8625 SW 124 Ave. in the Kendall Village Center.
“The KFHA is looking forward to hosting Mayor Gimenez for an early ‘State of the County’ presentation,” said KFHA president Michael Rosenberg. “Please feel free to bring your questions and concerns to this meeting.
“Local government controls so much of our lives; therefore, please attend to make sure your voices are heard,” he urged.
Public safety, always expected to raise questions, has special emphasis in 2016 following District 11 Commissioner Juan Zapata’s recent push to have Gimenez appoint up to 32 police positions to the newly named West (formerly Hammocks) District that covers West Kendall. Extra policing throughout Miami-Dade was made possible due to a boost in county revenues and a special grant to add 125 staff positions to the MDPD force in fiscal 2015-16.
Often rumored as a potential future candidate for Gimenez’s job as Mayor, Zapata has stirred controversy throughout West Kendall with his campaign to rename the area west of SW 137th Avenue between Bird Road and Quail Roost Drive as the county’s “West End.”
While his opening remarks usually have lasted for only 10 to 15 minutes in past appearances, Gimenez willingly stays at the dais for nearly an hour afterwards to field a lively and occasionally accusative assortment of questions, delegating an aide to get a precise answer for a technical or disputed query from an irate resident.
Prior to becoming the county mayor, Gimenez frequently addressed KFHA audiences during seven years as commissioner for District 7 representing a substantial area of East Kendall and as county manager for three years, prior to succeeding Katy Sorenson on the commission.
Gimenez and his family moved to the U. S. in November 1960 where he graduated from Columbus High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University. Married to Lourdes Portela, the couple has three children — Carlos, Julio, and Lourdes — and six grandchildren.