Whether you just moved to Coral Gables or have lived here your whole life, you know how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful city. And as your mayor, I am pleased to report that the City Beautiful continues to raise the bar and set the standard for the highest quality of life to be found anywhere in the world.
You have probably already seen some of the downtown landscaping improvements on Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Alhambra Circle or noticed the Segovia Street new configuration as well as the Venetian Pool renovations. These Streetscape projects and restorations of historic landmarks are part of a City-wide Neighborhood Renaissance Program that will further enhance the aesthetics and ambiance of our beautiful City.
But in Coral Gables, the beauty is far more than skin deep.
The City’s “financial house” is in better order today than it has been for more than a decade. The Biltmore has caught up on the $5 million in back rent it owed the City, spiraling pension costs are beginning to come under control, the City’s debt has been renegotiated and the debt burden reduced, and – most importantly – we’ve also been able to reduce the property tax millage rate to one of the lowest in the county.
Since a strong commercial base helps reduce the tax burden on all homeowners, I’ve been working closely with the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Improvement District (BID) to promote new business and economic development. Over the past 12 months, those efforts have helped attract more than 50 new businesses to Coral Gables including marquis companies such as HBO Latin America and the Agave Group. And those new businesses are adding to the financial strength of our City as a whole.
Click here for your review a brief summary of some of the initiatives and accomplishments we’ve made during my first year as your mayor. I would be very grateful for any comments or suggestions you may have on how we’ve been doing and what we can do to improve.
I believe Coral Gables is getting back on the right track. And I will continue to devote my full time every day working to make sure that it does.
I want to thank the Commissioners, the City Manager, and the City Clerk and Attorney for helping me in this first year in office. It’s been a pleasure to work with all of them.