Gables Insider has learned that on Friday, September 6, Vice Mayor Vince Lago has filed to run for Mayor of Coral Gables in 2021.
Lago began his first term of service as commissioner in 2013 and was re-elected without opposition in 2017. Lago could seek one more 4-year term as commissioner but has decided to run for the 2-year mayor’s seat. Current Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli has announced that he won’t be seeking an additional term.
When asked about his early decision to run, Lago provided the following statement:
“Even though Coral Gables elections are not until April 2021, I have decided to file to run for Mayor early, because I want to remain transparent and open about my aspirations to continue serving the people of our city as I have always been. I would like to let Coral Gables residents know way in advance by making my run official. Prior to making this decision, it was very important to me to receive the support of my wife and family. As a husband and father of two beautiful girls, I am blessed to be able to raise my family in such a remarkable community and have the opportunity to positively impact their future through strong leadership and responsible initiatives.
Ever since I was elected in 2013, a lot of important milestones have been accomplished. I can proudly say that we are a better City Beautiful today, then we were six years ago.
In 2010, our reserves were low, millage rates were higher, and beautification efforts had stalled. During the last six years, our millage rates have decreased while our reserves have skyrocketed to approximately 40 million dollars. Miracle Mile and Giralda Streescape had been discussed for many years and it wasn’t until 2016 we finally were able to break ground. We were able to accomplish this due to our strong financial position and progressive leadership. We are the only municipality in South Florida with AAA bond ratings from Moodys, Standard and Poors, and Fitch and among a handful in the nation to have acquired all three. Not only do we value our business district and have an influx of businesses coming to our downtown because of Miracle Mile and Giralda Streetscape, but we are also a City that values historic preservation and embraces principles of inclusion, where all people are welcomed and accepted.
Our crime has been reduced and we are making waves in the realm of public safety. We have adopted new policing strategies and have incorporated neighborhood safety aides; we are in the process of adopting a 25 MPH speed limit and are looking at new technologies to help us reduce crime even further. Coral Gables is making a mark world-wide, we are known as an international city home to hundreds of corporations.
It is no secret that our City’s quality of life has greatly improved. We now boast 6 new public parks and a variety of amenities are available to our residents such as: our Adult Activity Center, renovated golf courses and have made enhancements to our recreational facilities. We have also commenced installations of traffic calming devices, after a three-year negotiation with Miami-Dade County.
Today, we are a much greener city than before, with many initiatives underway which have made us a leader in sustainability. We have passed a Green Building Ordinance which requires buildings to meet LEED Silver or equivalent requirements. We’ve created legislation that would waive permits for solar panel installations. We have the largest municipal fleet of fully electric vehicles in the state of Florida, which is environmentally sustainable and provides a benefit to our bottom line due to reduced maintenance and fossil fuel consumption. We are improving our internal transportation network and have adopted Freebee. We are also working on extending the hours of operation for our City trolley service. These are only a few examples of the initiatives I have been able to undertake thanks to your support and feedback.
In today’s world, so many people have lost faith in government. As an elected official, my vow has always been to govern with absolute integrity, transparency and accountability. For this reason, for years, I have sent out monthly newsletters to thousands of residents, held open office hours on Fridays, remain active on various social media platforms and hosted semiannual town hall meetings. I will continue to move forward with these practices. Not an hour in the day goes by where I don’t receive phone calls, text messages or emails from residents, I am committed to respond to all of those who reach out. It is my duty, indeed my privilege, to have an opportunity to serve the community my family and I call home.
I am very proud to formally announce my run for Mayor and I look forward to hearing from residents. Please know that my door has always been and will always be open.“
Click Here for the City’s 2021 Elections Page