UM, Coral Gables leaders praise strong relationship

Pictured at the meeting are participants representing the city and university.  (Photo courtesy: University of Miami)

Pictured at the meeting are participants representing the city and university.
(Photo courtesy: University of Miami)

Top University of Miami and City of Coral Gables officials exchanged information and achievements during their recent annual meeting. This year, the meeting was held at UM’s new Student Activities Center.

UM president Donna Shalala, members of the university’s board of trustees and the city commission commended each other on the strong partnership both organizations now enjoy. Among its accomplishments, Shalala and UM’s CEO Joe Natoli noted that vehicular traffic in the residential area bordering the campus has been reduced by 28 percent. Mayor Jim Cason and city manager Pat Salerno briefed the university on numerous community improvement programs.

“Great cities partner with great universities to build vibrant communities,” Mayor Cason said. “That statement rings true in Coral Gables. The quality of life our residents enjoy has been enhanced thanks to our partnership.”

The university made similar praises.

“Our future is inextricably tied to the future of Coral Gables and this partnership is absolutely critical to our continuous improvement and movement into the top ranks of American universities,” Shalala said. “The manager has been a tremendous partner for us; it’s just the smoothness of the working relationship,” she added.

This is the third such meeting since UM and the city signed a Development Agreement in 2010 which guides the school’s development and offers cultural, athletic, and academic programming to residents.

The city manager, a UM alumnus, did have one complaint regarding the menu at the new Rathskeller.

“Those delicious onion rings that sustained me through my college years are no longer on the menu,” he said.

Shalala since has announced onion rings will be returning to the Rat soon. The side dish will get a new name as well — SalernOrings.

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