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Front Page » Profile » Harvey Ruvin: Clerk keeps county moving ahead with environmental focus

Harvey Ruvin: Clerk keeps county moving ahead with environmental focus

Written by on March 30, 2021
Harvey Ruvin: Clerk keeps county moving ahead with environmental focus

Few have dedicated as much of their lives to local public service as Harvey Ruvin. Next year will mark his 50th as an elected Miami-Dade official and his 30th as the county’s principal recordkeeper.

Few also can claim to be as popular with the electorate, as evidenced last year when more Miami-Dade residents voted for him – nearly 759,000 people – than any other candidate on the ballot. That includes races for president, Congress and the county mayoralty.

Mr. Ruvin, who in 1972 went from being North Bay Village mayor to winning and holding a Miami-Dade Commission seat for 20 years before then becoming county clerk, defers credit for his lasting public favor to his staff.

“During this pandemic, the people in my office have been heroic,” he said. “We were the first clerk’s office to go electronic, and it positioned us to be proactive and made our records much more accessible. My employees took the extra steps, and when judging me, the first thing on the electorate’s mind is how great someone was when they needed information. Why make a change?”

As the custodian of all of the county’s records, it is vital that the county clerk’s office remains non-political. The last thing the pubic should think, he said, is that records are being manipulated or inaccurate.

“So, I try to stay away from politics,” he said. “The one exception is, I remain active on environmental and climate change issues. I just have so much of my life invested in that.”

Many of what today are considered no-brainer environmental efforts here are the result of ordinances and policies Mr. Ruvin set forth as a commissioner decades before climate change was a commonplace concern.

Among them: Miami-Dade’s residential and commercial recycling system, efforts to curb greenhouse gases that to date have offset 40 million-plus metric tons of carbon emissions, an endangered land preservation program that at the time of its creation was the largest of its kind in the nation and, more recently, leading the county’s Sea Level Rise Task Force.

“I try to take the long view. Short-term, you’ll have deniers and people more focused on immediate things, but solutions have to be put in place long before these unimaginable impacts get here,” he said. “It reminds me of a conversation I had with [former Gov.] Rick Scott. He said, ‘We don’t have to worry about this. It’s not proven. I’m not a scientist.’ My answer to that was and to anyone who says that is, ‘Did you take ninth-grade science? Because it says when you warm water, it expands. And as the oceans expand, the water won’t go deeper. The sea rises.’ That’s the reality.”

Mr. Ruvin spoke with Miami Today reporter Jesse Scheckner.

To read the full article and the rest of the Miami Today issue, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact replica of the printed edition.

12 Responses to Harvey Ruvin: Clerk keeps county moving ahead with environmental focus

  1. Carol Werner

    April 6, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    So glad to see this article which takes note of Harvey’s unbelievably long-term commitment and leadership to sustainability, addressing the immense challenges of climate change locally, nationally and globally, through his compassion and caring about people, our communities, our societies.

  2. al and jane Blake

    April 6, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Harvey Ruvin has been a stalwart, loyal and understanding public servant that all public servants should strive to be. He embodies exactly what we need to feel comfortable with with he’s on the job. Our County,State and Country has all benefitted greatly with his incredible service. Here’s to Harvey Ruvin….May his good deeds be remembered forever. Thanks Harvey. You are The Man.

  3. Amy Steele Donner

    April 6, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Great Article Havey was always ahead of his time when it can to climate change. He believed in science and it is a shame that other politicians refuse to do the same. I have followed his career since he was the Mayor of North Bay Village and have seen the positive impact he has made on our community. AS a former judge I can vouch for the innovative changes he has made to the court system.


    April 6, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    I think we are super fortunate to have a public servant such as Harvey Ruvin working in our city for so many years. He has done a wonderful job and is very much appreciated. I hope he continues for many more years.

  5. Weintraub

    April 6, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Bravo Harvey.

  6. David Buchwald

    April 7, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Congratulations on having a marvelous career.

  7. DLW

    April 7, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Keep it up, Harvey. You’re one of the county’s true assets, and the backbone of “the system.”


  8. Richard M. Leslie

    April 7, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Harvey, you keep doing a super job. Congratulations for all these years. (Can we be this old?) Very kindest regards. Dick Leslie

  9. Murray Rubin

    April 8, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    You are a one of a kind.
    Never to be duplicated.
    You have always been very humble and never flaunted your position.
    You have are the most caring and compassionate person I know caring not only for the citizens of our comunity, but people world wide.
    It would be such a better world if we had more people like you in government.
    God bless you
    Much good health my friend.

  10. Murray Rubin

    April 8, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Congratulations for all your great years of service.
    You have always been very passionate in your service to our community, but also caring about mankind in general.
    If we had more people like you in government this would be a better world.
    You have always been a humble person and never flaunted your position.
    It is truly an honor to call you a dear friend.
    Wishing you, Risa and your family much good health.

  11. Burton Young

    April 8, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    Harvey, indeed you are “extra special” both as a proven Leader of our Community and as a treasured and long term special friend!!!! I am truly proud of you!!! Burton Young

  12. Jesse Jones Jr.

    April 10, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Congratulations my friend for the many years that you have served in making the community and system work at a higher level each and every year.
    Much respect!!!
    Jesse Jones Jr.