Two new Miami-Dade department chiefs start their first full weeks at their posts on Monday.
Alice Bravo left her job as a deputy city manager at Miami to become the county's transit chief. She replaces longtime transit head Ysela Llort, who resigned last month. Bravo's salary will be $235,000, enough to have given her the 29th slot in Dade Data's ranking of the 500 best-paid employees on the county payroll in 2014.
The one-time engineer who helped design the Brickell extension of the city's Metromover line, she worked for the state transportation arm before joining Miami as head of capital projects. In a brief interview Monday, Bravo said she a top priority is "seeing what we can do to improve the experience of our riders, and improve ridership.
"A lot of that," she said, "is going to have to do with connectivity, and a lot of that has to do with riders once they get off the system."
The other new appointee has actually been on the job for about a year. Gia Arbogast officially switched from interim library director to the permanent library director at last Tuesday's County Commission meeting (when the Bravo appointment was cleared as well). She took over the top spot when longtime director Raymond Santiago retired in the summer of 2014. In the move to permanent director, Arbogast received a 5 percent raise to $155,634 a year (enough for No. 242 on the Dade Data list).
Arbogast joined the library system 29 years ago, and rose the administrative ranks from entry-level librarian to hold the top job.
Asked in an email about how the permanent appointment might change her approach to the position, Arbogast replied: "While I was Interim Director, we started a few projects that begin to open up Library spaces for learning experiences other than just reading books, such as MakerSpaces, technology learning and co-working areas, arts and crafts, etc. As Director, I want to make sure that we continue to expand these learning areas throughout the Library system so that we begin to attract new audiences of all ages."