Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade, Miami mayors exchange written words over pipe repairs

A political rub between mayors appeared to play out recently on the op-ed page of the Miami Herald.

The newspaper published a piece by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado calling out Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county’s water and sewer department for an “enormous oversight”: not including cities in drafting a federally mandated plan to fix decrepit pipes.

“There has been absolutely no discussion of how other capital projects … will be affected by this mammoth undertaking,” Regalado wrote.

Left unmentioned: Regalado faces reelection in the fall. A few weeks ago, Gimenez endorsed Regalado’s chief opponent, City Commissioner Francis Suarez.

Gimenez responded with a memo to Regalado noting that funding for the repairs had only been approved eight days earlier. He also refuted Regalado’s contention that the upgrades would result in expensive bills for residents to move water meters from their back yards to the front of their homes. That cost — for a process already well underway — will be fully funded by the water and sewer department, Gimenez said.

Gimenez emphasized his years as Miami’s city manager and assured Regalado that he will reach out.

“In fact, our Water and Sewer staff has appeared before the Miami City Commission to discuss infrastructure issues,” Gimenez wrote, “and I have met personally with you, Commissioner [Marc] Sarnoff, and City staff to discuss particular infrastructure issues.”