The article published on Jan. 20 in El Nuevo Herald comparing the salaries of the many municipal mayors of Miami-Dade County to the salary of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez implicitly compares unique and diverse communities and sub-communities.
This comparison would make sense if the scope of the conversation were limited to the scale of our county’s municipalities. The comparison loses its legitimacy, however, when introducing the position of the county’s mayor into the discussion — comparing the many mayors of the smaller sub-communities of Miami-Dade County to the mayor of the county itself is comparing apples to oranges.
The mayoralty of Miami-Dade County exists in a category of its own due to the county’s large size and population.
Miami-Dade County government utilizes the strong-mayor system found in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In these large, complex American cities, the mayor fulfills two critical and distinct roles: that of the mayor, and that of an administrator.
These communities demand the talent of a capable strong-mayor, and the compensation for these typically reflects the weight of the responsibilities of such a position. The average income for a strong-mayor in a large American city (like the ones mentioned) is about $260,000.
Mayor Giménez reduced his salary to $150,000 (through his own initiative), in solidarity with the budget cuts he implemented six years ago. His salary has remained the same since then, despite Miami-Dade County’s economic recovery and resurgence.
The mayor showed solidarity — as he always has — with the public interest. Now, the public needs to show solidarity with the mayor.
Modesto A. Maidique,