It is hard to believe that seven years have passed since my run for Miami- Dade Mayor in 2004. Let me again thank all of you that supported me in that effort. Sometimes I wonder what we might have been able to accomplish these last seven years.
This month we collectively have an opportunity to select a new County Mayor to lead us into the future. I have looked carefully at the two candidates, and I congratulate each of them for sticking their neck out. Public service is not easy, and the process of getting elected can be very difficult even for the most seasoned of candidates. But in this field, one candidate stands out as the clear choice for our next Miami- Dade County Mayor: Carlos Gimenez.
I say that for several reasons. First, unlike those that say that they will only vote for newcomers, I think experience is a critical factor in running a complicated county government that has a larger budget than sixteen states. Carlos has run a large Class I fire department, served as City Manager for the City of Miami during some difficult times during which he guided them back into stability, and served honorably as County Commissioner from District 7 (serving from 2004 – 2011), usually being on the right side of many of the issues that now trouble the residents of this County. He is a known commodity and possesses the maturity and wisdom to take the reins of the County at this time.
Secondly, Carlos speaks his own mind and is not afraid to take difficult positions on issues. He showed that several times during his tenure on the County Commission on such issues as the baseball stadium, taxes and the growth of the bureaucracy. The next strong Mayor of the County is going to have to make difficult decisions that will not always be popular. We need a person that will govern not by seeing which way the wind is blowing, but rather by doing what is best for the community. Carlos has demonstrated that trait during his public service career and I am confident he will continue to do so as mayor.
Third, during his public service career, Carlos has never been affiliated with any scandal or impropriety. We all tire of reading headlines about politicians with questionable ethics, and explanations about their finances that just don’t hold water. We need a Mayor that can focus on the job of fixing the problems that afflict County Hall without the distractions that such scandals bring, and a Mayor that we can truly trust to promote the public interest.
During this short campaign season, there will be many efforts to distract the voters and distort the truth. Please make sure you educate yourself about the candidates and don’t just be swayed by a pleasant smile or some catchy slogan. The power to change government is entirely within our hands. Please make sure you vote, and when you do, please vote for Carlos Gimenez. I think he represents the best opportunity we have to elect quality leadership and solid administration for the County government and our community at large.
Attorney Jimmy Morales was first elected to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners in October 1996 representing District 7. Mr. Morales was reelected to serve a second term in 2000. He ran for mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2004 however Carlos Alvarez won that seat.