Council extends managerial deadline to June 15

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 0 Comments

 

Acting on rumors that the search for a new town manager was rigged, the Miami Lakes Town Council reopened the application process for a citizen’s committee to consider additional candidates seeking the job.

The Town’s Human Resources department and Town Manager Selection Committee will accept resumes until the Friday, June 15 deadline, giving applicants an opportunity to apply for the position following hearsay that the finalists have already been predetermined.  

At the May 2 meeting, lawmakers approved Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez’s recommendation to restart the application process and dismissed any rumors the Town picked a town manager way ahead of the committee narrowing down the list of candidates for council members to interview.

Lawmakers will pick the town’s top administrator later this year to replace Alex Rey, who’s retiring.

Rey has been the town manager from 2002 to 2008, and was tapped for the position again in 2010 after he left his position as building director for Miami Beach.

The new town manager, who will earn about $120,000 per year, will run the day-to-day operations, hire and fire town staff, select vendors’ contracts and oversee a $28 million budget, among other duties.

Town Attorney Raul Gastesi said 60 applicants applied for the job by the first deadline, which was April 20, and the selection process has been transparent as possible.

“We have met with the committee and discussed the applicants’ requirements and experience and the meetings are all recorded,” Gastesti said. “No one can doubt the process is transparent.”

Gastesi said some applications didn’t meet the town’s minimum requirements and qualifications for the position, while the rest of the resumes were on point. 

“We would point out to the committee that these are in doubt and these should make it to the next round.”

According to residents, rumors have been spreading around town that some people indicated the process is fixed and decided not to apply for the town manger’s job.

Councilmember Tim Daubert initially placed the matter on the meeting agenda for discussion but pulled it following residents’ comments the Town is speeding up the selection process and not allowing the committee to do its job.

“I have two friends with government managerial experience who applied for the job and when I reached out to them later they said the process is fixed,” said an irate Maria Kramer, who serves on the selection committee. “That pisses me off. This is an insult to the committee. We deserve a process that’s fair.”

Bob Ruiz, who also is a committee member, said the selection process should stay open until a new town manager is picked.

“Some people don’t apply because they said it’s a done deal,” he said. 

Gastesi said the rumors are an affront to council members and the committee.

He also said some people didn’t apply because it may cause a friction with their current bosses.

“The town got complaints because their names appeared on the town’s website,” he said. “If you didn’t apply, you made that decision on your own.”    

Rodriguez said council members have the final pick for the next town manager.

“Nothing is a done deal,” he said. “No one is going to tell me how to vote.”

Said Vice Mayor Frank Mingo: “The rumors are not true because no one controls the council and the committee. “There’s no change and no pressure to do this in a short period of time.”

Mayor Manny Cid said the selection process is fair and the committee reviews all applications that were submitted by the April deadline.

“Anyone who sends me a resume, I would give it to the committee,” he said. “I would not personally bring a resume in front of the council.”

In other Council actions:

• Lawmakers gave their initial approval for an ordinance to create a provision in the town’s code for proper paint colors for commercial and industrial buildings.

The ordinance stems from Councilmember Marilyn Ruano’s proposal to address standards for architectural designs for commercial buildings, where some structures can be painted different colors such as hot pink, purple and lime green.  

The town’s Planning and Zoning Board approved an ordinance last week for the town to create a color palette for the buildings to reflect the city’s code for architectural designs and painting structures.

Councilmember Frank Mingo was the sole dissenting voice. Second reading of the ordinance and council’s final vote is scheduled for next month.

• Council members gave their initial approval for an ordinance for the One-for-One Policy, which would delete obsolete provisions of the town’s code when a new regulation is adopted to eliminate the requirement of 12 copies of plans subject to a site plan public hearing as companion item to the color regulations on business, industrial and commercial areas.

Second reading of the ordinance and council’s final vote is scheduled for next month.

• Lawmakers approved a resolution which authorizes a project to be added to the town’s Transportation Master Plan and to seek funding through the budget to extend  the westbound outer left turn lane on N.W. 154 Street by 180’ approaching N.W. 77 Avenue to provide for more queuing capacity for southbound Palmetto traffic and throughput capacity for westbound traffic. The project is expected to cost $350,000.

• Council members approved a resolution which instructs the town manager to apply for an FDOT County Incentive Grant Program for the N.W. 59 Avenue Roadway Extension and Redevelopment project for $4 million.

Council members also approved a resolution to support the county’s donation of the property located at 6100 N.W. 153rd Street, to Miami Lakes as part of the project. 

The town is also seeking federal and state funding for the project.

• Council members authorized the town manager to piggyback off Pembroke Pine’s contract with FPL Security Services in amount not to exceed budgeted funds to purchase security guard services for the town’s special taxing districts.

The contract calls for Miami Lakes to spend about $800,000 a year for the services.

 

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