By: Maria Alejandra Pulgar
Juan Carlos Bermudez has no regrets. After devoting more than twenty years working towards the creation and consolidation of the City of Doral, first as community activist and advocate for incorporation, then Community Council member, and later as elected Mayor, he looks forward to continuing his public service as County Commissioner for District 12.
“It was more than worth it to become a city,” reflects Bermudez. “I am very satisfied with the evolution of the city. We are now one of the best places to live, work, play and learn in the United States. We have world-class parks, great schools, great restaurants, and a clean, efficient city with the lowest millage rate in the county.”
The main advantage of incorporation for this vibrant community has been the autonomy for administering the taxpayers’ money efficiently to provide the facilities and services people required. “We have lowered taxes and built the parks, the roads, the drainage, and we have much better policing than when we were simply unincorporated.”
“The greatest satisfaction is the sense of community we have created. When a young man or woman comes back to tell me how they have returned to live in our community because they have gone to college and loved growing up in our city, and are thankful for my efforts as a mayor, it makes me feel great and that we have done our job. I am very proud that we returned to honest, ethical, efficient, and transparent government after returning in 2016”.
Bermudez served as Founding Mayor from 2004 to 2012 and was elected again for the position with overwhelming support in 2016 and 2020. Regardless of the hard work, time, and dedication the position demanded from him, Bermudez is proud of having provided the honest and ethical leadership needed to unite the community and to guide it through the many changes and “growing pains” that have made Doral the model city it is today.
“The greatest threats are outside interest.”
“I did my best and always put the city first.” Bermudez has dedicated his time to creating a culture of harmony, honesty, and transparency in the administration of the city and hopes future administrations continue with that vision, putting the interest of the community above all when making their decisions.
“I don’t know if I would have done much differently. With all due respect, I think we did more than any of the new cities, and the example is that many of them now use us as an example to follow. I think the focus for future administrations should be to continue to grow but to do so with efficient, transparent, and ethical government tied to responsible growth.”
In Bermudez’s opinion, traffic and responsible growth are the greatest issues that need to be tackled by the new administration. In addition, he worries about those who might be trying to get involved in government for the wrong reasons. “The greatest threat [for the city] is that outside interests, many who are running today, would like to take over the city for their own benefit. We need to have candidates who are committed to running for the right reasons, the reasons we became a city.”
“I have confidence that the voters of Doral will see through some of these candidates and elect the right people, but the greatest danger is electing people who are running for the wrong reasons and people who don’t understand government and the type of government we have in the United States.”
“We did everything possible to improve and move our city forward.”
Moving on to his new role and County Commissioner, Bermudez plans to continue supporting the community of Doral to solve issues such as pending public works projects on County roads and annexations, as well as the Resource Recovery Facility (Covanta Plant) location, which he considers the most important. “The process where the Doral site was chosen was not done correctly. The report should have been accepted, but the other possible sites should have been considered. I will continue to work on that issue.”
“I would love to have Doral residents remember my tenure as mayor as one where we did everything possible to improve and move our city forward, while always acting professionally, with character, with respect for others, and with transparency and ethics. I think that in the end, the greatest legacy I could leave is playing a key role in creating a community, not just a city, and one that is a shining example to others.”
Doral has been home to Bermudez and his family for all these years, and they are here to stay. This is their neighborhood and their community. Now he looks forward to continue enjoying the city he has helped to create and develop.