After a long career in firefighting, Miami Lakes Town Manager Edward Pidermann focused his public service closer to home.
Pidermann, 60, has lived in town for 31 years with his wife Martha, a retired Miami-Dade County school teacher.
The couple have three adult children -- Michelle, Eddy Jr., and Jennifer, who is married to Zach Exposito.
The Pidermanns are also grandparents to Jennifer and Zach’s twin boys.
Pidermann earned four associates degrees from Miami Dade College; a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from St. Thomas University and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Florida International University.
Pidermann’s career began at the City of Miami Fire Department, where he held various jobs including: Driver; lieutenant overseeing rescue; captain in charge of a station; district chief overseeing five stations; assistant fire chief who oversaw 911 operations in the city of Miami, and ultimately became deputy fire chief of operations.
“You have to earn every step of the way,” Pidermann said.
He finished his career in the fire service in 2019, after serving a couple of years as assistant fire chief for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
The town has a council-manager form of government.
Pidermann was appointed to the job in 2019 and despite opposition from Mayor Manny Cid, the town council renewed his contract in November for another four years, at a salary of $215,000.
He says his number one accomplishment has been putting the right people in the right jobs, and then monitoring their progress.
Q: Where are you from and what is your background?
A: I was born in Miami to Cuban parents who had recently arrived. My heritage is a combination of Swiss, French and Spanish.
Q: What do you most like about Miami Lakes?
A: I like the people, obviously. Miami Lakes is not a physical thing. Miami Lakes is a community and what makes the community is the people. We have beautiful physical things like the tree canopy and the streets, but what makes Miami Lakes is the people.
Q: What do you dislike about the town?
A: What I dislike right now a little bit is the social media bickering. I think it’s a symptom of what is going on at a national level. If I had to point to something I dislike, it’s the social media bickering between residents.
Q: What are the demands/responsibilities of your current position and what do you hope to accomplish?
A: I oversee an over $80 million budget and I am responsible over 130 people. People think our organization is not a large one, [but] it is a [significantly] sized one.
We’re responsible for the people’s money and I think the most important thing is that we’re responsible with it.
I hope to continue to support the council, with the emphasis they placed in the last two years on trying to meet the demands of the infrastructure needs of the town.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment, personal or career wise?
A: Personal has to be my family. I mean all the way from my 38-year marriage to my wife and the three children that we raised together, now more recently our two beautiful grandsons that were born in September.
I think my greatest professional accomplishment was having had a 30-year career with the [City of] Miami Fire Department, [obtaining the rank and retiring] as the deputy fire chief of operations.
Even though being town manager is at a higher level, I feel very proud of having accomplished and attained that rank within the Miami fire department.
Q: What would you rather be doing, what is your fantasy career?
A: A professional athlete. I played basketball in high school, and I played [on] the fire department team until I was 40-years-old.
Q: What books are you reading, are there any podcasts you’re listening to?
A: No podcasts. My reading is the local newspapers, the Miami Herald and The Miami Laker.
Q: What have you binge-watched on TV?
A: My TV viewership is sports or news and [history programs on] PBS.
Q: Where did you last travel to on vacation?
A: In May, my wife and I traveled together with another couple to Portugal and Northern Spain. And a few weeks ago we traveled to North Carolina.