Your Government

The City of South Miami has a commission - manager form of government. The City Commission consists of the mayor and four commissioners. The City Manager, the City Clerk and the City Attorney are charter positions and are appointed by the Mayor and Commission.

The City Manager, as the Chief Administrative Officer, is responsible for hiring all other employees and ensuring that the the City Code of Ordinances is followed and/or enacted.

History of the City of South Miami

Many citizens became dissatisfied with the municipality's status as a town, feeling that the "town" was being ignored by the State and Federal Governments, and began calling for a change to a "city". Therefore, the Town of South Miami prepared a new charter and presented it to the Florida Legislature during its 1927 Session. The Florida Legislature approved the charter, and on June 24, 1927, the Town of South Miami ceased to exist and the City of South Miami was born.

The early 1930's signaled the beginning of what was probably the most turbulent and uncertain period in South Miami's history. Financial problems and local dissension generated a temporarily successful movement to abolish the City in 1931. In fact, all City functions were suspended for approximately six months until the courts intervened and ordered the City to resume operations. On May 17, 1932, Judge Worth A. Trammell ordered the Mayor and Council to resume City business because no one had made any provisions to retire the City's debts! Interestingly, one of the largest debts was to the LeFrance Fire Engine Company, from which the City had purchased a fire engine six years earlier. South Miami may be the only city in the nation to be saved by a fire engine with no flames in sight!

In 1933, in an effort to lessen municipal responsibilities and to appease many concerned citizens, South Miami's total area was reduced from its original six square miles to just over three square miles. Later, in 1937, the City's size was reduced again, as many dissatisfied northern residents sued out of the City. These actions created most of the irregular boundaries that still characterize South Miami today.

During World War II, South Miami's development temporarily slowed, but the post-war period brought exponential growth. The tremendous impacts of growth soon caused the City to realize that its original charter was inadequate. Consequently, a committee was appointed to study the existing charter's shortcomings and recommend improvements. The committee recommended an entirely new charter providing for a city manager-commission form of government. The new charter and form of government were instituted on July 31, 1953, upon the approval of a citizen referendum.

Since the 1950's the City and its charter have experienced several changes, but have largely remained true to the pioneers' vision. Today, much like the post-war period, the City of South Miami is experiencing tremendous growth and redevelopment, as people have recognized the unique "small-town" atmosphere of the "City of Pleasant Living". The City stands poised to lead by example in the next millennium.