The City of Coral Gables, So Much Gained and So Much Now Lost

In last few years the City of Coral Gables, under the leadership of a new mayor and city manager, reversed a course of incompetent administration, failed political leadership, questionable morality and ethics, and total financial mismanagement, all inherited from the Slesnick Era.  The city was left by Slesnick with no reserves, overpaid public security staff, and a huge pension debt (still not resolved after a huge effort).

A new period of transparency, cautious tax and income management, careful staffing and directed priorities has led the community to feel that the city has begun to overcome its main problems.  Smart investments have been made in the city streets because of long postponed maintenance.  Plans were made to create a new central city culture, to compete with the best in the Miami-Dade region. But there is still much to do.

Three days ago, a cabal of three city commissioners dramatically pushed the city down an uncertain road, an uncertain future, of gerry rigged budgets, surely guided by a renewed culture of personal and commercial interests and arrogance.  Nothing will be gained by the resignation of the city manager, Mr. Salerno.  He has been a tough, competent and experienced manager–just what the city needed and will need until the goals of the city can be fully achieved.

Rest assured that the profile of a new city manager that will be sought by the Cabal of Three will be one of compliance, not leadership, while the three likely push through a new budget with more spending, higher taxes, guided by priorities with quiet support of private interests.

There is only one recourse:

  • The city commissioner should immediately reject the resignation of Mr. Salerno.
  • The three city commissioners, Keon, Lago and Quesada, should resign immediately and a new election should be called to test their support among voters. 

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

One Response to The City of Coral Gables, So Much Gained and So Much Now Lost

  1. Robert Burr says:

    Pat gets most of the credit for the big turnaround. The mayor’s leadership has been steady. The city is in greater shape then ever since crazy Dave was finally removed as CM. Pat has no personality to speak of, but that’s not we hired him for in the first place. He was a champion for tax payers and citizens, but the attitude of city employees was another story. Dave gave them everything in exchange for being loyal. (Keeping their mouth shut about his elicit activities). In some cases, Pat doesn’t even take their calls or ask advice. It really is Pat’s way or the highway. The old concept in politics is that the finest form of government is a benevolent dictator with absolute power that makes good decisions for the public good. We’re close to that with Pat, but that does not sit well with many. Why must Pat resign in 10 days? He should give us at least six months. What is the explanation for this terse departure? This is not in the best interest of citizens. Salerno has been exactly what we needed to counteract the absolute incompetence of his predecessor, but some say the pendulum swings too far. We want consistency, professionalism, predictability and sincerity from our leaders. Now, we can only hope for the best as our commission defines themselves by their next choice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: