Best Bureaucrat - 2008
Michael Chavez, chief elevator inspector for Miami-Dade County
201 W. Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130
It's hard to prove a negative, but the next time you step into an elevator and don't plunge to your death, you might want to thank Michael Chavez. A county employee for more than 20 years, he has held his current position since 2003. In 2006, Patrick Fraser of WSVN-TV (Channel 7) phoned Chavez on behalf of an elderly couple trapped in their apartment by a broken elevator. Chavez helped get it fixed. His department, Fraser said, "moved as quickly as I have ever seen a government agency move." New Times had the pleasure of coming across this county bureaucrat while inquiring about a pair of condo towers with terrible elevators. Chavez, to our surprise, not only handled the call himself but also rattled off their history from memory, pulling additional records as he spoke and promising to investigate the matter. He was candid, responsive, and, apparently, personally troubled by the report. He followed up with an inspection, a notice of violation, and a fine. "We haven't heard any complaints since," he told New Times. "I guess no news is good news."