Saturday, June 25, 2011

Carlos Gimenez...the right stuff

This week's Miami Herald editorial endorsing Carlos Gimenez for mayor contained an apology of sorts.
"His vote against the Marlins stadium deal is a case in point. We disagreed with him then, but details that emerged later about the stadium’s construction deal show Mr. Gimenez was right."
It's not the first time the Herald has had to apologize to Gimenez.

Gimenez was appointed as Miami's city manager in 2000, after Donald Warshaw was ousted from the job.

The Herald wasted no time in opposing Gimenez's appointment...not once, but twice.

"Miami needs a professional," the Herald editorialized on May 10.

The Miami Herald - May 10, 2000
Author: Herald Staff

The city of Miami needs a professional city manager. What it has in just-designated manager Carlos Gimenez is an amiable and capable veteran fire chief, chosen out of convenience - or spite - by Mayor Joe Carollo.

If commissioners take the easy way out and approve his appointment, they stand to hobble further this wounded city for political expedience. If, however, they have one second's concern about Miami's health and stature, they will hold Mr. Carollo to his intent, stated last week, to conduct a national search for a manager - while Chief Gimenez holds the reins temporarily.

This beleaguered city has made impressive strides under City Manager Don Warshaw. It has recovered from near-bankruptcy, but still is fragile and is seen by many as a laughing stock. It needs an administrative chief who instantly commands respect - not one who, like Chief Gimenez, may or may not earn it.
Eight days later, the Herald kept up the drumbeat. "Reject Gimenez," the paper said.

The Miami Herald - May 18, 2000
Author: Herald Staff

The city of Miami is too complex, its financial condition too fragile to be saddled with an inexperienced city manager who already shows disturbing signs of being too eager to please a vindictive mayor. City commissioners, therefore, should reject Mayor Joe Carollo's appointment of Carlos Gimenez today.

Miami has special needs that require an experienced hand at the helm. Although Mr. Gimenez has several years' experience as the city's fire chief, he is woefully inexperienced in municipal operations.


Mr. Gimenez may be a fine administrative bridge, but no more. Let him serve as an interim manager until an experienced professional is found to take Miami to world-class status.
Carlos Gimenez would prove them wrong. Less then 5 months later, the Herald had to eat a little crow.

The Miami Herald - October 2, 2000
Author: Herald Staff

When Miami Mayor Joe Carollo recommended that Fire Chief Carlos Gimenez take over as city manager in the wake of the post-Elian raid and firing of Donald Warshaw, we disagreed. We urged that Mr. Gimenez serve as an ``administrative bridge'' while a broader search went on for ``an experienced professional.''

We were wrong to underestimate Mr. Gimenez and to compare him unfavorably to his predecessor. To the contrary. Since taking over, Mr. Gimenez quietly and effectively has directed the city's bureaucracy through a tumultuous time. He has recruited first-rate people into key jobs - among them, Robert Nachlinger as finance director, a man who helped bring the city out of bankruptcy and who is respected in the bond markets.

And the manager last week won approval for a budget that slashed property taxes - a spur to investment. Most important, he deftly has balanced the often sharply competing interests of Mayor Carollo and the commissioners.

We're glad to note the track record he's developing.
I believe the readers of Random Pixels can make up their own minds.

However, I wanted to point out a few things that may have been lost in all the campaign noise.

Gimenez's more than 35 years of service in this town without even so much as a hint of scandal is remarkable. That, combined with a consistent record of sticking up for the taxpayers, seals the deal for me. This really isn't a fair fight.

Hopefully, the voters will send Robaina back to Hialeah.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing the history of the Herald and Gimenez's role as manager. I did not remember that they initially opposed him. It is also ironic that they were initially singing the praises of Donald Warshaw who just a year later would plead guilty to embezzling from a city program.


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