In just the past couple of years, the City of Coral Gables and the University of Miami have come a long way in forging a strong partnership. Members of the Commission, key City staff, the University’s Board of Trustees, and top University officers recently gathered at the Coral Gables Museum for the 2nd Annual Meeting.
UM President Donna Shalala and UM CFO Joe Natoli updated attendees on current and future on-campus construction projects, the implementation of a parking management program, and community improvements. Similarly, Mayor Jim Cason briefed the University on numerous streetscape beautification projects, neighborhood improvement programs and many other recent accomplishments. The University of Miami is one of the City’s greatest assets; it is our largest employer, contributing approximately $1.4 billion to our economy.
“I’m very pleased that in just the last couple of years we have developed a great working relationship where we have defined the parameters for their future needs in a way that fully protects our neighborhoods, and they are more connected to the community by offering tickets to sporting and culture events and topical lectures,” said Mayor Cason. Members of UM’s Board of Trustees also expressed their great satisfaction with the level of cooperation that now exists.
“It’s terrific that there is this dramatically improved relationship between the City and the University. The relationship is the best it has ever been and it wasn’t that great when I was the chairman and that was of great frustration to me at the time. I think it’s not only due to the new leadership at the University of Miami, but clearly it’s due to new leadership at the City level,” said Ambassador and UM Trustee Chuck Cobb.
Left to right: City Attorney Craig Leen, City Clerk Walter Foeman, Vice Mayor Bill Kerdyk, Mayor Jim Cason, UM Trustee Ed Williamson, UM CFO Joe Natoli, UM Trustee Arva Moore Parks McCabe, UM Chair of the Board Leonard Abess, UM President Donna Shalala, UM Trustee Ambassador Charles Cobb, UM Trustees Arthur Hertz and Manuel Kadre, and City Manager Pat Salerno.