Carmen Olazabal is running for the Coral Gables City Commission in the Apr. 9 election.
Olazabal moved to South Florida 10 years ago from Boston to find a new home for a growing family. She lives in Coral Gables with her husband and daughter. She has a BS in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MS in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She has served as Operations Manager for the Building Department in the City of Miami Beach, Building and Zoning Director for the City of Coral Gables, Assistant City Manager for the City of Coral Gables and Interim City Manager. She is currently president of 4City Consulting.
If elected, what would you do in the first 100 days?
“In the past months, I listened to citizens articulate our current challenges and have used that feedback to develop a vision. In the first 100 days, I will work with the commission and city manager to incorporate that vision into the budget. In the spring, the city develops the budget, and we can include initiatives that enhance our neighborhoods by fostering exceptional public safety services, sidewalk connectivity, and traffic calming. I would also like to expand our recreational opportunities, which are the bedrock of our healthy active life style in the Gables.”
What motivated you to run for office?
“For the last 10 years, I have worked in public service, making communities better and impacting people’s lives. Our community has high standards, and we should work on enhancing neighborhoods, managing traffic, and ensuring that new development is appropriate for a sustainable, historic city. Citizens want great customer service, informed decisions from city officials, and fiscal responsibility and transparency. I am running because I feel a strong sense of duty to improve our community, and to leave to our children a Coral Gables that we can all be proud of.”
Why do you think you would be the best candidate for the position?
“My unique experience as an MIT engineer, Harvard MBA and public servant in local government, including serving as the Assistant City Manager and Interim City Manager for Coral Gables, stands in contrast to the experience of the other candidates. I have the background to identify wasteful spending, and to evaluate whether our resources are being effectively managed. Also, I understand that good government listens to the community, and we need to choose candidates that are not funded by special interests but rather are independent and dedicated to the community.”
Olazabal’s campaign website is www.carmen4coralgables.com/about-carmen.