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City Manager Julio Avael
Key West welcomed Julio Avael back home in 1996. After graduating from Key West High School in 1962, he spent many years throughout the state and even as far away as Lake Tahoe, NV before returning to the city of his birth and many of his family and friends.
Key West is the
place where he grew up listening to the clatter of dominoes, smelling Cuban
cigar tobacco, Cuban Black Beans, café con leche, Cuban bread and the sound of
near-by roosters in the early mornings. He spent his youth playing with friends
and visiting with family in a time when the island was much simpler. A time when
city curfew was 9 PM and movies cost 10 cents.
career in public administration began as a juvenile court counselor for Monroe
County, where he became Division of Youth Services Probation and Parole District
Supervisor before leaving for Tallahassee.
Avael served as
North Florida Regional Director for the Bureau of Community Services, Division
of Youth Services North Florida and as Florida Economic Services Program
Analyst/Supervisor for the Department of Health Rehabilitative Services. He
later became Department of Human Services Director for Lee County and then Lee
County Administrator, where he was responsible for a 1 billion budget and
managed 2,000 employees.
Avael took a
turn out west as County Manager for Douglas County, Nevada. While in the Lake
Tahoe area, Avael enjoyed the snow, the mountains, cross-country skiing, and, of
course, a little gambling.
position for City Manager of Key West opened, Avael jumped at the chance for the
opportunity to get back home. He now works with childhood friends he had not
seen in nearly 30 years. In fact, during his interview he recognized the faces
of old friends in the audience.
Avael has plans
for making the City run more effectively and efficiently and started the ball
rolling in that direction upon arriving back in Key West. Since he began his
tenure here five years ago, Avael has required many city departments to become
state and/or nationally certified. He also instituted a formal computerization
program and began implementing management expert David Osborne’s 12 principles
to reinventing government and the Five Cs of Banishing Bureaucracies.
Avael said that
although the changes met with resistance in the beginning they are now going
well. In, fact several of his managers recently completed a six-week performance
management program at Florida International University.