MIAMI ( – Newly-elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will take office after the election is certified by the canvassing board, but he’s wasting no time getting to work.

“We are going to be tightening our belt,” Gimenez said Wednesday. “There is a new sheriff, although I’m a firefighter in town. And it’s not going to be the same old, same old. The culture of the county is going to change.”

He entered county hall Wednesday afternoon for the first time as the mayor-elect.

“It it is supposed to be a holiday weekend but it’s not going to be a holiday weekend but for some of the county employees because I’m going to work and we need to get this budget done,” Gimenez said.

The time crunch of the budget is going to be tight. Gimenez has 16 days to put his first budget together. The county faces a shortfall of $400 million and Gimenez promised he would cut taxes, which makes balancing the budget that much more difficult.

“The last thing I want to do is to fire people, but we are going to have to reduce the size of this government,” Gimenez said. “We are going to have to cover this deficient (sic).”

While many celebrate the election of Gimenez to succeed former Mayor Carlos Alvarez, it came with a steep price. In the end, the recall and election could cost up to $17 million, and some say it wasn’t worth the cost.

“I think they should have kept Carlos Alvarez. He was doing a good job,” one voter told CBS4’s David Sutta.

Gimenez though said he plans to lead by example.

“I’m going to cut the salary and benefits of the mayor by 50 percent,” Gimenez said. “I’m not going to have a car allowance. I’m not going to have two SUV’s. I’m not going to have people driving me around.”

And with just 14 months until Gimenez faces another election, the mayor-elect told CBS4 that the plan is to focus on the budget and restore the confidence of Miami-Dade taxpayers.

“The only way you can do that is by telling the truth, being transparent, and that’s going to take a bit of time. But I hope to begin the process,” Gimenez said.

Wednesday afternoon, Gimenez told the county manager she will be moving out of her office. In the past, the county manager’s office played the role of gatekeeper in Miami-Dade government. Gimenez said that’s his job now.

Comments (5)
  1. madwoman says:

    Just threw up in my mouth a little… guess the lesser of two evils? Geez… I’m jumping with excitement **rolls eyes with sarcasm**

  2. Xomat says:

    Yay unemployment line for me. Thanks tax payers!!

  3. Jessica says:

    10% of people came out to vote….wow…..the county came out to throw out Alvarez……a lot more than 10% but then they don’t come out to vote…..but they sure know how to cry and whine….there is work….but they just don’t go out to get them…..they rather keep collecting unemployment, open a bottle of beer, sit on their front porches, and smile on how they continue to give the finger to unions and continue stripping pay and benefits to HARD WORKING public servants…i.e, fire and police…..i’ll remember this next time you push 911 and it’s me going to your cry for help……i think i might just do the same…..give you the finger while I roll by with a smile on my face……

    1. concerned-citizen says:

      Jessica, you provide for an interesting point of discussion. I am actually shocked that more people don’t bring up the topic of collective bargaining groups. However, I’m confused about who is giving the finger to the unions…the people on their porches? If we got rid of the unions, far less of your money (I assume you pay dues) would go to paying lobbyists who can’t seem to accomplish what you want them to. I think what is lost is that majority of the new legislation regarding pensions, etc is actually an effort to bust up the unions…basically saying to you, look your union (which by the way accounts for an obscene amount of money) doesn’t really have your interest at heart either; It’s far easier to act like an advocate and collect a percentage of people’s paycheck…seems like a simple concept to me. If they were truly advocating for you, they would get rid of the portion of your sector that downplays your sector’s efficiency and therefore makes your pay questionable. I don’t doubt that you are an exceptionally hard worker and believe that you truly deserve to be frustrated. It’s completely unfair for hardworking civil servants to be forced into collective bargaining with lazy unintelligent civil servants who would rather sit on their asses to watch their pensions grow than actually do their jobs. Unfortunately, with a union you tend to lump yourself in with some less than ambitious people and you find that when their benefits get cut a little for their lack of job performance/budget issues, contractually so will yours. Think about it, without a union, those people could just get fired and you could keep your slice of an already dwindling pie. I agree that it is frustrating that no one came out to vote, but majority of this city is illiterate, and honestly, who would want them voting anyways?

  4. old man says:

    can you do anything about the tax increase the last IDIOT made.

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