Town's first manager praises 17 years of progress

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 0 Comments

Town's first manager praises 17 years of progress


An old familiar face recently stopped by Miami Lakes Town Hall, where he was honored for serving as the first town manager and laying the foundation that has led to a successful full-fledged city.

During the January 16 Town Council meeting, Mayor Manny Cid and council members paid homage to Merrett Stierheim, who guided Miami Lakes after incorporation in 2001 as the city’s temporary town manager while leading a national search for his permanent replacement.

Stierheim was the brainchild of the town’s Strategic Plan and dissolved the taxing districts for parks which now allows all residents to enjoy the amenities including the tot-lots, beach parks and picnic parks. 

He also crafted the town’s first municipal budget and negotiated the initial police contract with Miami-Dade, as Miami Lakes became the first city to use the county’s police services instead of starting its own police department from scratch.

Stierheim, who had two long stints as county manager and steered the City of Miami out of financial insolvency in 1996, ran the day-to-day operations for Miami Lakes from a store front on Main Street.

“We are running and getting things done but we are able to get things done because of the foundation that was set for us,” Cid said while presenting Stierheim with a proclamation. “When you walk into town hall and see the seal, it represents Mr. Stierheim who donated it and the people who helped create it. When future generations come in here, they learn the history and hard work that our founding fathers have done for us.”

Miami Lakes’ first mayor, Wayne Slaton, who picked Stierheim to serve as the town manager, said the then-newly-minted municipality was so fortunate to have him on board at the time.

“I hope we realize how fortunate this community is,” Slaton said. “As wonderful the community was thought of and developed by the Graham family, we were a little community and the person we got, if you lived in Dade County for 40 years, came in to be our first manager. He was a county manager and superintendent for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which is the fourth largest school district in the United States. We were very, very lucky to get this gentlemen to come here. Merrett Stierheim is the epitome of professionalism.”    

Stierheim was honored and said Miami Lakes has come a long way since incorporation.

“There’s a special place in my heart for this city,” he said. “You have progressed and I’m so grateful to you.”

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