|INCORPORATED||May 26, 1955|
|MOTTO||Beauty and Progress|
|TOTAL LAND AREA||31 Square Miles|
|CURRENT ELECTED OFFICIALS||
|MAJOR BOARDS AND COMMITTEES||
|Miramar has been awarded the National Recognition of “Tree City, USA” for its accomplishments in Landscaping and Beautification of the City|
The City of Miramar was incorporated May 26, 1955. At the time of incorporation, the City had a population of less than two hundred people. With approximately 2.9 square miles land area, Miramar's original city boundaries were: S.W. 64th Avenue on the east, University Drive on the West the Dade County Line on the south - Pembroke Road on the north On June 20th, 1955, the City's first Mayor and City council were sworn in, all of which were appointed by the Governor.
They all served until January 1959, at which time the first municipal election was held. Robert Gordon, the first Mayor of the City, gave the City its name. “Miramar” means “Look at the Sea” in Spanish (Miramar was an exclusive suburb of Havana in pre-Castro Cuba). The City seal is inscribed with its motto “Beauty and Progress". Charles F. Knapp was the city’s first elected Mayor. He was sworn into office one month later. The Mayors who have served the City of Miramar since that first election are listed above.
Currently, the City operates under the “City Manager-City Council” form of government.
The City Manager is appointed by the City Commission to serve as the administrative head of the municipal government and to provide recommendations to the City Commission on policy issues. He is responsible for the daily activities of the municipal government and is charged with carrying out the policies established by the City Commission. The City Commission is elected by the residents of Miramar, and is comprised of four members and the Mayor. The City Commission sets the policies of the City through the budgetary process and enactment of ordinances and resolutions.
Until March 13, 1991, the City was governed by a “Strong Mayor-City Council” form of government. Under this form of government, the Mayor served as the Chief Administrative Officer, supervising the day-to-day activities, and was responsible for carrying out the policies established by the City Commission. All department heads were appointed by, and reported directly to the Mayor. The City Commission, through the budgetary process and enactment of legislation, functioned as the policy-making body.
In 1989, by unanimous accord of the Mayor and City Commission, the groundwork for “City Manager-City Council” form of government was begun. After many months of study and preparation, the question was put to a referendum and approved by the electorate of Miramar on March 14, 1990.
The transition in the form of government took place at 12:01 a.m. on March 13th. 1991, the day following the municipal election.
Most cities have their beginnings when either one man, or group of men, venture out to “start
anew” and develop their own community. Some new communities use as a basis for expansion existing rail lines, roadways, or waterways. Although Miramar was founded by one person, A.L. Mailman, its basis for development was not transportation oriented, but rather to serve as a “bedroom” community for Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Mailman bought the original property he was to develop from H.D. Perry, Sr. in 1953. He built 56 homes on the property. These were inexpensive homes of concrete and flat roofs. These homes sold quickly because of the low cost of both the homes and the land, and the City of Miramar came into being.
As a point of information, Mr. H.D. Perry Sr.’s part in Miramar’s history did not cease with selling of the land to Mr. Mailman for development. He is recognized as one of the foremost pioneers in the history of Miramar. His character and civic-activities influenced not only the lives of early residents, but continues to the present-day, as evidenced by the schools and parks in the City which bear his family’s name. Many long-time residents fondly recall the community barbecues hosted by Mr. And Mrs. Perry during those early years. Others are grateful to Mr. Perry for the lessons in animal husbandry, which he conducted for the benefit of Miramar’s youth so that they could learn something of farm life.
The only major roads of note when Miramar was developed were U.S. 441 (a two-laned road at that time), Hallandale Beach Boulevard to 66th Terrace and Pembroke Road (which was a dirt road) to University Drive. With these exceptions, there were no transportation routes of any kind supplying access to the new community.
Although erratic expansion is common in new towns, Miramar’s early City fathers advocated the philosophy of planned and controlled growth. Miramar is considered a leader in South Florida in development of effective land use controls, having adopted a Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 1972 before cities and counties were mandated to do so. Miramar’s 1972 Comprehensive Land Use Plan and subsequent update provide the framework for the orderly development of future growth. A fact not widely known is that the residential City of Miramar is one of the largest cities in size in the State of Florida. With 2/3 of our land not yet developed, the decision to guide and control Miramar’s growth remains a wise one.
The present Administration is dedicated to preserving the character of Miramar by enhancing the quality of life in promoting and attracting development that will enrich this community without detracting from its culture and dedication to good family living. This positive meld between business and government in their mutual concern for positive development and growth in our City is producing one of the finest cities in South Florida.
Miramar has outstanding Public Safety Departments with a full-time staff of professionally trained and certified firefighters and police officers. The City has two water treatment plants, one wastewater treatment plant, and all other services necessary for the health and welfare of its residents.
Eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, various charter schools and a special needs school are located in Miramar. As well as eight institutions of higher learning, such as Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, Ana Mendez University, DeVry University, Le Cordon Bleu, Strayer University, Concorde Institute and the University of Phoenix. The city also enjoys top flight medical treatment with Memorial Regional located within the city limits as well.
There are 22 neighborhood parks, one regional park and ten community parks in the city where athletic activities such as the following are available for sports enthusiasts: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Handball, Racquetball, Tennis, Volleyball, Jogging, Netball, Cricket, Track & Field, and Swimming.
From the time of its founding Miramar has been and continues to be a family-oriented community. The City’s professional recreational staff plans year-round activities geared to this strong family orientation with something for everyone, from “tiny tots” to senior citizens.
Re-development is concentrated in the eastern quarter of the City, which has been largely built out since the mid-1960’s. It includes several public and private projects, including redevelopment of the old City Hall into a Multi-Service Complex, infrastructure (water, sewer and drainage) improvements, the Miramar Parkway Streetscape program (new sidewalks, landscaping and pedestrian lighting), and the commercial rehabilitation program that leverages the City’s Community Development Block grant funds for upgrades to existing commercial building facades.
There are many reasons Miramar has become a preferred locale for major corporations and Fortune 500 companies to call home. The City is centrally located between the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale metro areas and less than 30 minutes to the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports and seaports. I-75, and the Florida Turnpike are located within Miramar and 1-95 and the Sawgrass Expressway are minutes away. Miramar was named among the top 100 of “America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine in 2006 and again in 2008; offers the largest commerce park in the region which includes a foreign trade zone; and has a highly skilled and professional workforce.
Miramar is in a unique position relative to attracting corporate relocation, small and mid-sized businesses and development. The City government is committed to ensuring the quality of life currently enjoyed by its residents and providing the opportunity for sound and managed growth.