News: Jimmy Morales Officially Takes Reign in Miami Beach

A hanky was on standby, but went unused by the new City Manager.

Miami Beach Commissioners officially instated Jimmy Morales as the city’s top administrator Wednesday.

The approved contract is for two years with an annual salary of $255,000.00; it includes health insurance, a pension plan, and certain reimbursements.

“So many good things are on the horizon, some issues we need to tackle,” said a jubilant Morales.

“While I’ll make some mistakes along the way,” he said, “they’ll all be motivated by one thing: trying to do my best to push this city forward.”

At the time of his selection, Morales was working as the City Attorney for Doral. Before that he notably served on the Miami-Dade County Commission. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign for Miami-Dade County Mayor.

This position marks the first time Morales has run a city. He promises to bring “integrity, hard work, and dedication.”

Morales also marks the first new City Manager Miami Beach has seen in nearly a dozen years. The specter of Jorge Gonzales is still hanging around city hall however, and even found its way into the new manager’s contract. The commission was punched in the stomach last year when they realized the extant it would cost the city to sever their relationship with Gonzales. This time they added a provision to the Morales agreement that excludes certain perks from being counted as part of his compensation. Morales gets money for his vehicle, technological equipment, and get reimbursements for certain costs: all are excluded.

In the event the commission fires Morales without cause, he is granted 20 weeks of severance pay. If at the end of his agreement the contract is not renewed, Morales must be given 90 days notice or is entitled to 12 weeks of compensation.

The agreement also states that the City Manager will get an annual performance evaluation based on criteria agreed upon by the commission and Morales. As an incentive, Commissioners could award the city manager a “onetime” bonus of up to 10 percent of his annual base pay. This bonus would not be counted towards his salary or other earnings as far as his pension is concerned.

Morales gushes at the thought of returning to his hometown as it’s administrative leader.

“It takes a village to raise a child.. I’m back in my village,” he said.

About Frank Maradiaga

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