MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s official. Carlos Gimenez is the new Miami-Dade Mayor, three days after narrowly beating former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina for the job. But if you expected a big, showy ceremony, you’ll have to wait.
Surrounded by his immediate family, hand on a Bible held by his wife, Gimenez took the oath of office from District Court Judge Fernandez shortly after Miami-Dade election officials certified the election results.
“Now that I have been sworn in, it’s time to get to work. The voters have entrusted me to make their voices heard. I will work diligently and transparently to make this community where I live and work in the best place possible,” said Mayor Gimenez.
A public ceremony is planned for next Wednesday at 10 a.m., with the public invited, but for now, Friday’s low-key event allows Gimenez to get to work over the weekend.
Given the schedule he faces, he needed the time.
Under state law, the Mayor must deliver a budget to the county commission by July 15th, a scant 2 weeks away. Gimenez is not starting from scratch.
The county manager and other county staffers have been working on the numbers even though there was no mayor in office following the recall of former mayor Carlos Alvarez.
What Gimenez will have to work on in the next 2 weeks is finding ways to wrestle expenses down so he can not only hold the line on taxes, but keep his promise to rollback last year’s tax increase.
That will take the support of the county’s unionized employees, who will likely be asked to take less so taxpayers don’t have to pay more.
On election night, Gimenez alluded to the challenge, and said he wanted to jump in immediately to meet it.
Friday’s bare-bones swearing-in was the first step. Everything’s legal, and the new mayor can now get started on keeping his campaign promises.