The Latest Updates from City Officials
Every six months or so, Vice Mayor Vince Lago sets up and runs a town hall meeting, where citizens can show up to hear from their city officials – and to air concerns, complaints or compliments about city government. With the pandemic shutting down indoor gatherings such as these, the vice mayor held the most recent town hall online, “to make sure your voice is heard” and to apprise citizens of the state of the city. More than 60 concerned citizens zoomed in to hear the latest from the city leaders. Here is a quick reprise of what they said.
Vice Mayor Vince Lago: Lauded School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas for securing yet another $11 million in funding to rebuild Coral Gables High School, bringing the total to $43,695,000.
Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Trowbridge: Announced the new home of the Chamber and the Coral Gables Welcome Center at 201 Alhambra Circle, next to Ponce de Leon.
City Manager Peter Iglesias: Explained the cuts made to balance the pandemic budget, emphasizing that no services have been reduced and no taxes raised (see story pg. 18).
Asst. City Manager Ed Santamaria: Said five new city parks were completed, 35 cultural grants issued, 450 new trees planted, 8,000 trees pruned, and six of the seven city entrances landscaped.
Mark Stolzenberg: Presented a COVID-19 snapshot that showed CG testing at a 5.4 percent positivity rate, compared to 20 percent in Miami, but just 2 percent in Pinecrest (vs.18 percent in the Gables in July).
Police Chief Ed Hudak: Reported all police positions filled, crime down, and that a car theft ring which had hit the Gables was nabbed, noting that 98 percent of cars stolen had keys left inside them.
Among the comments from citizens: Are the parks safe? Are seniors being taken care of during the pandemic? Will the outdoor permits for restaurants be extended past January? Will the bridge to be rebuilt at Cocoplum Circle be done efficiently? Answers: Yes, yes, yes and we hope so!