The Miami Lakes town council voted to extend Town Manager Edward Pidermann’s contract five months, until July 1, 2023.
Councilman Tony Fernandez proposed the item during a July 25 council meeting.
The purpose was to allow any newly elected councilmembers an opportunity to participate in a manager selection process, if necessary.
Pidermann’s performance review scheduled for August is postponed until next year.
“The last time we did this we afforded our new councilmembers a voice in the process,” Fernandez said.
There are three council seats open in the Nov. 8 election.
Incumbent Councilman Josh Dieguez is unopposed and will retain Seat 4.
Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rodriguez will step down when his term ends and there are three candidates seeking Seat 2: Ian Medina; Raymond Garcia and William G. Perez.
Incumbent Councilman Carlos O. Alvarez is being challenged by Angelo Garcia Cuadra for Seat 6.
Pidermann’s four-year contract pays an annual base salary of $186,823 and expires Feb. 1.
Since Oct. 2021, during council meetings, Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid has discussed replacing him. The other councilmembers have expressed support for Pidermann’s performance.
“I really do think most of us are going to vote to continue his employment,” Dieguez said during the July 25 meeting about future actions by the council.
Cid said, “I don’t think there is a need to extend this. … I’m not in favor of extending the manager’s contract even five months.”
He said of Pidermann, “Our current manager could be out on vacation for an entire year and our town keeps moving forward, sometimes even faster and more efficient.”
Cid proposed that if needed, the council could do a month-long internal search to expedite the process and suggested Assistant Town Manager Tony Lopez for the job.
Instead, the council approved Fernandez’s motion to defer discussion about Pidermann’s contract until the first meeting after the election, and to extend the manager’s contract for five months.
Cid voted ‘no’ on both items.
When the new council is in place, if there is a vote to remove Pidermann a search committee would have four months to present candidates to the council.
Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano said that the last search committee took too long, causing potential candidates to leave the selection pool.
The town has a council-manager form of government, rather than a strong mayor.
The town manager is chief administrative officer, carries out policies adopted by the council, proposes an annual budget and supervises all town employees, according to the charter.