17 prospective town managers have been selected for interviews

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 0 Comments


Fourteen candidates and three alternates seeking the town manager’s position for Miami Lakes made the first round cut and will be interviewed over a two-day period for the Town Manager Selection Committee to narrow the list of applicants to seven by September.

The committee will examine and grill the candidates for six hours during two meetings scheduled for Monday, August 27 and Tuesday, August 28 via Skype in the Council Chambers at Town Hall.

The 6:30 p.m. meetings will not be streamlined live but recorded and released on the town’s website after the interviews are complete.

The committee will pick their top seven choices for current council members and new council members, who will be elected on November 6, to interview and determine the best person for the job.

Miami Lakes hopes to have a new town manager on board by early next year to replace Alex Rey, who’s retiring to take advantage of the government’s DROP program.

During the committee’s July 31 meeting, the seven-member panel picked six local candidates and 11 who reside in South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Nevada, Illinois and Oklahoma. 

They made the first cut based on the committee’s criteria for the position and current job performances including a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, bilingual (English and Spanish), ICMA credentials as a town manager, management experience in the public and private sector, and experience of managing a budget of $15 million or more.

The candidates, starting with the highest average of 42.7 points and ending with the lowest at 33 points, include North Miami Beach City Manager Anna Garcia; Bell, California City Manager Howard Brown; Bay Harbor Assistant Town Manger Juan Jimenez; former Southport, North Carolina interim city manager John Bauer; former New Port Richey, Florida assistant city manager Martin Murphy; former Aiken, South Carolina city manager John Klimm; City Consulting Service Consultant Sergio Purrinos; Stevenson Lexus Frederick Specialist Dennis Stark; Doral’s Deputy City Manager Albert Childress; Miami Lakes’ CFO Ismael Diaz; former Jackson county manager Lyndon Bonner; former South Palm Beach town manager Bob Vitas; PGA West Association (California) General Manager Scott Randle; and Apopka, Florida City Administrator Glenn Irby.

The committee ranked Klimm, Purrinos and Stark tied with sixth place, each earning 37 points from the group.

Three alternates were selected to replace candidates should they decide to withdraw their candidacy.

Effingham, Illinois City Administrator James Arndt and former Sallisaw, Oklahoma city manager Clayton Lucas were tied for 13 with 33.16 points, and Miami Lakes resident Edward Piderman, a former deputy fire chief, was ranked 14 with 33 points based on the committee’s score cards. 

One notable candidate who has a history with Miami Lakes didn’t make the cut.

Marielena Salazar, Shared Services director for Miami-Dade County’s technology department and a former Miami Lakes assistant town manager under Rey for six years, was not chosen to be interviewed for the job, as she was among the 37 candidates vying to replace her former boss. 

The committee will draw up their series of questions for the candidates during the interviews to make sure they are a good fit for Miami Lakes.

The new town manager must be effective in carrying out the town’s strategic plan, responsive to the needs of elected officials and residents, possess good project management skills, a good public speaker, creative, a mediator, a community leader with an outgoing personality and able to handle difficult situations. 

Though not a requirement, the committee may ask candidates would they be willing to move to Miami Lakes if they are hired for the job.

The next town’s top administrator will earn a $120,000 a year salary, oversee a $20 million budget and a small Town Hall staff, hire and fire employees and bring vending contracts before council members for their approval, among other duties.

When selected, he/she will become Miami Lakes’ sixth town manager since incorporation in 2000. Merritt Steirheim, Dennis Green, Alex Rey, Evelyn Roig and Frank Bocanegra served the Town of Miami Lakes. Steirheim and Roig were interim town mangers.


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