Council sets date to review town manager's contract

Government By David L. Snelling, Reporter Thursday, November 4, 2021

A proposal by Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid to review Town Manager Edward Pidermann’s performance 15 months before his contract was set to expire was rejected by the town council.

     Prior to a discussion of Cid’s new business item during the Oct. 12 council meeting, several residents expressed support for Pidermann.

     They also criticized an aspect of Cid’s proposal which would establish a committee chosen by the council to review the executive’s performance.

     “We stand 100 percent behind our town manager, Edward Pidermann,” resident Esperanza Reynolds told the council.

     Resident Mirtha Mendez reminded the council that Pidermann’s contract calls for an annual performance review by them within 30 days of his hire date, Feb. 1.

     “A committee is not the answer,” resident Claudia Luces said. “The responsibility lies on your shoulders per the charter.”

     Pidermann’s performance was not discussed on Oct. 12, other than Councilwoman Marilyn Ruano’s reminder that he won a vote of confidence from the council during a Sept. 22, 2020 budget meeting.

    During last month’s meeting, Cid said, “My motion is simple: To create a long-term policy regarding evaluation of the manager. The contract calls for a yearly evaluation. When should the evaluation happen?”

     The elected officials discussed Cid’s proposal, and Councilman Jeffrey Fernandez, Vice Mayor Luis Collazo and Ruano agreed that establishing a committee to review Pidermann’s performance was not necessary.

    Neither, Ruano said, was changing the review schedule from what Pidermann’s contract states.

     “I evaluate the manager on a daily basis,” Ruano said. 

     “…This is nonsensical to me,” she said. “I’m not voting for this or anything else. This is government bureaucracy that is not necessary.”

     Collazo also said the evaluation process should be left to the council. 

     To begin a review so far in advance of Feb. 2023, when his contract expires, “definitely works against us,” he said.

     “Absent of him performing poorly or absent of any one of us bringing him up on an issue, that we’re not happy with him right now, I don’t know why we’re doing this,” Collazo said.

     The council voted 6-1, with Ruano against, in favor of an ordinance that would begin the town manager review process six months prior to the end of the contract, to provide time to search for a replacement, if necessary.

     Pidermann said after the meeting, “I have no issue with the outcome. I was extremely flattered and honored by the incredible show of support by residents and members of the council.”

     He called the legislative body “my bosses. I respect them all as such. I have always recognized the chain of command.”