Park hiring, Grove shutters to be discussed by commission

A large crowd of Miami parks employees is expected to gather at City Hall on Thursday when commissioners decide whether to investigate the hiring practices at the city’s parks department.

The resolution, pushed by Commissioner Frank Carollo, asks the city’s auditor to look into park hires on the heels of the hiring and forced resignation of an assistant city manager’s sister-in-law.

The issue unfolded during a September budget hearing when a part-time parks employee complained about unfair hiring practices and criticized the hiring of Assistant City Manager Luis Cabrera’s relatives.

Juan Carlos Cabrera and his wife, Dayami Davila, came to Miami from Cuba late last year. After obtaining a work permit, Juan Carlos Cabrera was hired as a parks inspector earning $12.75 an hour, el Nuevo Herald first reported. Two months later, his wife got a part-time job at Jose Marti Park earning $10.63 an hour.

After part-time parks employee Yamilet Moreno complained during a budget hearing and the media picked up the story, Davila resigned. Her husband continues to work.

Luis Cabrera said he had nothing to do with the hirings. Parks Director Juan Pascual, who is under Cabrera’s supervision, said his boss didn’t influence his decision to hire the couple.

Also on Thursday’s City Commission agenda is the final reading of an ordinance that calls for the eventual removal of metal gates and non-decorative shutters that protect closed retailers in the Coconut Grove business district. They would be replaced by hurricane-proof glass.

The city is also seeking to spend an additional $48,000 on roof repairs at Little Haiti’s Caribbean Marketplace, and will study a plan to make downtown more people-friendly and accessible by widening sidewalks, filling tree canopies and making right turns at red lights illegal on some streets.

Commissioners will meet at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Dr., at 9 a.m.

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