Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Carlos A. Gimenez is the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, the largest County in Florida. As Miami-Dade’s highest-ranking elected official and chief administrator, Mayor Gimenez is responsible for the leadership and management of an organization with over 26,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $7 billion.
Mayor Gimenez brings nearly forty years of public service experience to the post. He has a clearly defined governing philosophy based on transparency, efficiency and fiscal responsibility.
In his first year as Mayor, he championed and secured approval from the Board of County Commissioners for the largest tax cut in County history. That year, County property taxes were reduced 12 percent. Mayor Gimenez has continued to consistently hold the line on tax increases and to date, the average homeowner has saved approximately $1,000 in property taxes over the past four years, while collectively Miami-Dade tax payers have saved nearly $1 billion.
Mayor Gimenez is also focused on creating a fair regulatory environment that will stimulate job creation, expand international trade, and attract businesses and industries to diversify Miami-Dade County’s economy. He advocates for Miami-Dade County residents of all ages, especially senior citizens and youth.
Prior to first being elected Mayor in 2011 after a Special Election and again in 2012 to a four-year term, Mayor Gimenez served on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for seven years. He was first elected in 2004 and subsequently reelected for a second term without opposition in 2008. As Commissioner for District 7, he represented the City of Miami, the Village of Key Biscayne, the City of Coral Gables, the City of South Miami, the Village of Pinecrest, as well as unincorporated areas. He also served as Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and Chairman of the Regional Transportation Committee which oversaw Miami-Dade County’s transportation systems.
From May 2000 to January 2003, Mayor Gimenez was Manager of the City of Miami and was credited with helping restore financial stability and integrity to that organization. As Miami’s chief administrative officer, he was responsible for an annual budget of $500 million, a 4,000-employee workforce and provision of services to almost 400,000 residents. During his tenure as Manager, the City’s bond rating went from “junk” to investment grade and the tax rate dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. At the same time, Miami was able to establish more than $140 million in reserves.
Prior to his appointment as City Manager, Mayor Gimenez spent 25 years with the Miami Fire-Rescue Department, the last nine as Chief during which time he was credited with modernizing the Department and overseeing the largest reorganization in the department’s history. He is a former member of the International City Managers Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, the Florida Fire Chiefs and the Fire Officers Association of Miami-Dade. Mayor Gimenez also served on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Committee and as the Chair of FEMA’s Legal Issues Subcommittee.
Born in Cuba, Mayor Gimenez and his family moved to the United States in November 1960. A Miami-Dade County resident for over 50 years, Mayor Gimenez is a graduate of Christopher Columbus High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Barry University. In 1993, he completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mayor Gimenez is married to Lourdes Portela. They have three children — Carlos, Julio and Lourdes — and six grandchildren.