The County Administrator, Roman Gastesi, is responsible for the daily operation of Monroe County and its 21 departments.
The administration team includes two Assistant County Administrators, Christine Hurley and Kevin Wilson. They support the County Administrator in carrying out the functions and activities of the County, to ensure effective and efficient operations.
The County Administrator does not oversee functions handled by Monroe County's five elected Constitutional Officers. The Constitutional Officers are Clerk of Courts, Sheriff’s Office, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, and Supervisor of Elections.
The following departments fall under the direct supervision of the County Administrator:
A 2018 Recap from Roman Gastesi
January 7, 2019
As we welcome 2019, Monroe County government is proud of the work that was done this past year to continue the recovery efforts of Hurricane Irma and to enhance the lives of our citizens, business owners and visitors.
The County continued its efforts to lessen the burden on local taxpayers by securing tens of millions of dollars in federal and state funding for needed programs and projects.
At the federal level, the County secured a $49 million grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to clean up our canals. The project is past the halfway point with nearly 100 of the approved 172 canals cleared. The County also has secured federal funds for coastal and storm risk studies, and we continue to work on getting reimbursed from FEMA for Irma expenses.
At the state level, $5 million was secured for water quality projects, $5 million for land acquisition, $5.9 million for an Emergency Operations Center (with millions more acquired from other non-County sources), $278,000 for the vessel pump out program and $15 million for affordable/workforce housing.
The County has been working with the State Department of Environmental Opportunity to garner $90 million of the Rebuild Florida’s federal funds earmarked for low- and moderate-income households in the Keys that are rebuilding or repairing severely damaged homes caused by Irma – and for housing mitigation programs. The deadline to register is March 23, 2019.
The County and the municipalities overcame challenges with debris removal contractors and oversaw the removal of 2.5 million cubic yards of hurricane debris and more than 20,000 large appliances that was completed by February. County Public Works employees helped in the effort.
The County will soon construct four “tiny” model homes to show Keys residents affordable alternatives for rebuilding code-compliant residences. The models will be available to tour later this year after construction is complete.
Monroe County Fire Rescue had a busy year, highlighted by the Big Pine Key brush fire in April that burned 72 acres. Quick response prevented loss of life and limited the structural damage to one home. Fire Rescue also graduated 29 from its first “Hot Shot” class targeted to local residents at its new modern classroom facility at the Fire Training Academy on Grassy Key.
The County purchased a third Trauma Star helicopter to provide life-saving flights to the mainland. In 2018, the program flew a record number of patients while continuing to operate in the black – and while transporting all Monroe County residents with no out-of-pocket costs.
Monroe County Emergency Management created a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which teaches safety, self-sufficiency and coordination in a disaster area. More than 400 residents completed the course in 2018.
The Key West airport improvement projects continue with a resurfaced runway and tarmac.Key West airport provides direct air service to 10 major cities and is adding Philadelphia in February and New York in March.
Monroe County has taken a leading role in the regional effort to combat climate change and adapt to rising seas. The County is in the midst of two pilot projects to build roads designed for sea level rise. The County also completed its last canal restoration demonstration project in Key Largo and implemented a canal skimming program.
The County’s Social Services, Veteran’s Affairs and Guardian ad Litem departments continued efforts to help children, seniors, veterans, homeless and other vulnerable residents in need. The County’s five libraries continue to be hubs of activity, with many programs for all ages to enhance the lives of our residents. The County funds the operations of three animal shelters and helped fund a portion of the new Key West Animal Shelter that will open soon.
The community can be proud of the reopening of Bernstein Park on Stock Island. Other County recreational facilities received facelifts and repair work due to Irma, and some continue to be worked on.
From Ocean Reef to Key West, everyday tasks included providing building permits, enforcing County codes, maintaining County facilities, roads, bridges and its vehicle fleet, overseeing trash collection and recycling, keeping information flowing to the public, and producing and administering a $457-million FY18 budget.
The County has been working on the 2020 Strategic Plan. In 2018, the County held 23 community presentations with 826 residents surveyed and 1,500 people polled on Facebook. The top three priorities included workforce housing, overdevelopment and growth control, and traffic and safety concerns on U.S. 1.
We spent much of 2018 recovering from Irma and rebuilding a better and more resilient paradise community. For 2019, we will continue the progress and work on the community’s priorities to make our island home an even better place to live, work and play.
Monroe County Administrator