Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

An olive branch in Doral


OUR OPINION: Reconciliation will help city heal, return to normal

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria, left, extends a hand to City Manager Joe Carollo, with whom he has had a contentious relationship.
Doral Mayor Luigi Boria, left, extends a hand to City Manager Joe Carollo, with whom he has had a contentious relationship.

Doral, the somewhat brash and prosperous city in north-central Miami-Dade County, home of thriving industrial facilities, has been roiled for months by an unseemly and unnecessary feud between Mayor Luigi Boria and City Manager Joe Carollo, with the four elected City Council members caught in the middle.

It’s time for a truce. Mayor Boria recently extended an olive branch to Mr. Carollo in a well-timed and welcome gesture of reconciliation. Mr. Boria offered a handshake to Mr. Carollo as he delivered his first state of the city message on Dec. 4, adding that he had written a letter to the city manager acknowledging Mr. Carollo’s performance on the job and expressing confidence that his valuable efforts on behalf of the city would continue.

Time to turn the page and move on, Mr. Boria said, and Mr. Carollo, for his part, acknowledged receiving the missive and declaring that he has always been disposed to work with the mayor.

Amen to all that.

But it’s going to take more than fine gestures to ensure that the city can continue to make progress without expending energy on needless controversies. Mr. Boria’s image has been tarnished by the disclosure that he had quietly given his offspring millions of dollars to finance a luxury real-estate project in Doral, in addition to his spat with Mr. Carollo and his lack of support from the City Council.

His style of governing has also raised eyebrows, as when he announced at one point that he planned to hire a city administrator off the books and pay him out of his own pocket. That, to state the obvious, is not the way local government works. The mayor should not have been surprised that he received zero support from council members for this odd proposal and had to drop the whole thing.

His gesture of reconciliation, however, indicates that reestablishing harmony in Doral’s city government is possible. It is certainly preferable to engaging in extreme measures, such as the notion of a referendum to recall the mayor, which has been bandied about.

All the principal figures in Doral’s local government, including Mr. Carollo and council members, should pitch in to restore the spirit of collaboration in the city.

No institution of government can hope to secure public support without this vital element. Moreover, there’s a public cost associated with the image of dysfunction. The discord has already cost the city the Miss Universe beauty pageant, a Donald Trump enterprise, which spurned Doral as the host city after Mayor Boria cast the only vote against bringing in the event. However, both Mr. Trump and the mayor expressed confidence that the pageant would return to Doral in the future.

Incorporated just 10 years ago, Doral’s hard-won success has been forged by perseverance and cooperation both within government and between government and private enterprise. Its continued progress hinges on the city’s ability to return to that successful formula. For the good of the city’s residents and the community’s future, Mr. Boria’s olive branch should be eagerly accepted by all.

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