By Jim DeFede

MIAMI – (CBS4) – In one of his final acts as mayor, Carlos Alvarez made history Wednesday, appointing the first woman ever to serve as county manager. And although the appointment may only last the 60 to 75 days it will take for a new mayor to be elected and name their own county administrator, the ascension of Alina Hudak was nevertheless seen as a significant moment for Miami Dade County.

Alina Hudak accepted the appointment as county manager after her longtime boss and mentor, George Burgess resigned in the aftermath of Tuesday’s recall election that will send Alvarez packing by the end of the week.

“This is a difficult and emotional day for all of us who love county government and for all of us who care for and respect county government,” Hudak said. “I appreciate and really thank the manager and the mayor for their faith in my abilities. In the United States of America, we transition government with dignity and grace and elegance and I fully expect to be the person that together with the team of incredible professionals that run this government day in and day out will do that over the next 75 some days.”

Following the press conference, Hudak admitted it was a bittersweet moment for her and one she did not expect.

Hudak began her career in Miami-Dade County in 1984 as a management trainee and rose through the ranks becoming an assistant county manager in 1998. She is praised for her calm and professional demeanor.

As an assistant county manager, Hudak has overseen some of the most complex and challenging departments in the county including the Miami Dade Police Department, Fire Rescue, and Corrections.

She will now take on the task of running a county larger than the state of Rhode Island with a population of more than 2.5 million people and a budget of more than $7.4 billion.

The married mother of two daughters spoke in her first high-profile press conference Wednesday and pledged to continue “delivering excellence every single day.”

Hudak served as director of the county’s general services administration department overseeing 800 employees. She has served on the United Way’s board of directors and is a past member of the Junior League of Miami’s Community Council.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Miami Alumni Association, according the Miami-Dade County’s website.

Hudak received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Miami.

Hudak is a former employee for the Miami-Dade police department, and her husband Ed is on the Coral Gables police force. Hudak’s daughter Kristina was recently featured on CBS4 for hosting a birthday party fundraiser for the two slain officers’ families.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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