Veteran public official Merrett R. Stierheim was named Doral’s interim City Manager by unanimous vote of the City Council during a special Dec. 4 meeting, the newly-formed Council’s first formal action since the election of Mayor Luigi Boria.
Stierheim, 79, temporarily replaces Yvonne Soler-McKinley who informed the Council by letter that she would leave as City Manager concurrent with the departure of former Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez.
A 45-year veteran in the public sector, Stierheim successfully supervised a $5 billion countywide infrastructure expansion as Manager of Miami-Dade County from 1976 to 1986.
Among that decade’s highlights were construction of Miami Metro Zoo, the downtown library and cultural complex, the Government Center, several regional parks, libraries, water, sewer and solid waste facilities, and the county’s mass transit system, Metrorail and Metromover.
Stierheim also dealt with events with national repercussions as Miami-Dade assimilated more than 160,000 refugees from Cuba during the Mariel exodus and Haitian arrivals.
In 1980, he helped restore law and order after severe civil disturbances, joining community leaders to address the social inequities that sparked the disturbances. Many of those programs are still in place today.
Serving as interim Manager for the City of Miami in 1996, Stierheim led a recovery effort by enlisting over 40 probono private and public sector executives in 13 task forces to present a financial recovery plan for the City.
Asked to return to Miami-Dade government in 1998 to manage a scandal-ridden and demoralized county, he successfully administrated a $4.5 billion budget with 28,000 employees and 42 departments, working in that capacity until 2001.
Mr. Stierheim was named Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in October 2001 where he served until June 30, 2004. Among other public sector positions, he also served as interim Town Manager of Miami Lakes in 2001
His private sector experience included CEO positions with the Women’s Tennis Association (1986-1989) and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (1990-1996).