Joe Jimenez is one of the new faces at the City of Miami Beach. Although a private attorney, Jimenez brings years of governmental and land use experience to his new role as assistant city manager.
The youngest member of the senior executive staff, Jimenez is responsible for the oversight of the Planning, Building and Code Compliance departments, Intergovernmental Affairs, and for the implementation of the policies created by the City Commission.
Miami Beach has a unique design heritage that enhances the quality and diversity of the urban island experience. The City’s current economic success can be attributed to the historic preservation and comprehensive urban planning of the city’s residential neighborhoods, business districts, and resort, recreation and entertainment areas. Maintaining the city’s character, though, can offer building development, growth management and code compliance challenges.
All of the departments overseen by Jimenez manage regulatory standards and policies to ensure that the city perpetuates its tradition of progressive urban design and planning leadership, which continues to gain national and international recognition.
The City of Miami Beach has achieved a great deal by staying focused on its mission, vision and strategic priorities. By using performance measurements to gauge how well it is managing resources and delivering services, certain areas have seen significant improvements since its plan was first charted.
In 2011, the City Commission added a new outcome to the city’s strategic plan. It was to improve the building development related processes. Each department’s work plan contains supporting department activities that were developed to drive performance improvement for the citywide key intended outcomes as well as department performance measures that will be used throughout the year to determine if the department is on track in its support activities.
“We are making great strides in improving the service quality our residents and business owners receive at every level of city government. Also, we pride ourselves on a new attitude of accessibility,” said Jimenez.
The Building Department’s operations division is responsible for administering the various provisions of the Florida Building Code, including accepting permit applications, reviewing and approving construction plans in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Building Code, inspecting construction to ensure compliance with the approved plans, and issuing violations for those projects where construction was done without or not in compliance with the approved permits.
The Code Compliance division was incorporated as part of the Building Department in January 2010 in an effort to improve organizational efficiency and take advantage of the administrative support structure in the Building Department. The primary responsibility of the Code Compliance Division is maintaining City neighborhoods and the community’s quality of life.
As visible a department as any other in the City, the Planning Department has the enormous responsibility of maintaining the aesthetic and historical integrity of the city. Responsible for providing support to the city’s four land use boards, the Planning Department reviews every development application and development regulation affecting every facet of the City.
Before joining Miami Beach, Jimenez was an attorney in the Land Use and Governmental Affairs Department of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff Sitterson, PA, representing both private and governmental clients.
While at Stearns Weaver, Jimenez served as outside counsel to, among others, the City of Coral Gables, the City of Marathon in the Florida Keys and the City of Doral. In Doral, he served as the deputy city attorney, and then city attorney. As city attorney, Jimenez was tasked with representing the city in litigation, contract negotiations and acquisition of real estate. He played an integral part in the procurement, negotiation and construction of the $25 million City Hall project.
In addition to his representation of governmental clients, Jimenez has represented private clients before every level of local and state government. Jimenez focused his practice on land development and procurement issues.
When Jimmy Morales accepted the position of city manager of the City of Miami Beach, he recruited Jimenez to follow him from Stearns Weaver. It was a return of sorts for Jimenez, who was a restaurant consultant on Miami Beach before going to law school.
His experience in the private sector, coupled with his representation of governmental clients, uniquely qualify Jimenez for the job City Manager Morales has tasked him with. As the city’s primary point of contact in dealing with other governmental entities, Jimenez’ relationships, built over almost a decade in government, will serve the city well.