It is no secret that over the last year the city of Miami Beach has suffered some major hits from within. Arrests, bribes and scandal has touched some major departments within the city, leaving many departments with temporary or no heads.
But that has been remedied by new City Manager, Jimmy Morales who has made some bold moves his first week on the job.
He has filled some key open positions including the Director of Public Works, the Director of Human Resources and the director of the Office of Budget and Performance Improvement.
But the most significant hire is that of the Director of Building and Building Official for a building department that since 2008 has been rocked with scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, last year.
In 2008, Building Department employees Mohammed Partovi, Andres Villareal, and Thomas Ratner went to jail for accepting bribes from a developer when reviewing plans. This scandal caused the Miami Beach Building Department Director to resign. What followed was years of misguidedness which climaxed in an FBI probe and then arrest of seven city employees that included building department code compliance officers.
If that was not enough, Commissioners then hired Cynthia Curry as building director, only to discover that she was tainted with a double-billing scandal relating to Miami International Airport. She was summarily fired.
To hopefully move forward in a positive way, Morales sees this as an opportunity to “bring in a new team” and “shake up the organization a bit, and move forward.”
He has hired Mariano V. Fernandez as the Director of Building and Building Official. Morales, said of Fernandez “that he runs a clean shop,” and “his reputation for customer service is awesome.”
Fernandez, an engineer, was most recently the building director for the City of Miami.
The current temporary director of the building department Stephen Scott, will now be deputy director.
Sylvia Crespo-Tabak is the new Director of Human Resources. She has worked with the City of Miami beach before, but mot recently and the director of the Office of Budget and Performance Improvement.
Eric T. Carpenter, the new Director of Public Works comes to Miami Beach from the City of Doral.
Keith R. Kleiman, director of the Office of Budget and Performance Improvement was a former budget Director at City of North Miami.