Residents of Biscayne Park will have an opportunity to meet candidates for village manager during a commission meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday at the Ed Burke Recreation Center, 11400 NE Ninth Court.
Village Commission members, with the help of an advisory panel, selected the three finalists from more than 20 applicants. Sarah Hannah-Spurlock has 14 years of experience working in city government, Her past positions include assistant city manager and airport contracts and concessions manager in Abilene, Texas; assistant to the town manager in Palm Beach; assistant utilities director for financial administration and assistant city manager in Sunrise; and organizational culture and development leader in Wellington.
Hannah-Spurlock also holds a certificate in corporate finance from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.
“I have become very fond of Biscayne Park, with its unique characteristics, small town feel and community pride. I am excited to jump in and work with the commission, staff and citizens to make this strong community even stronger. Biscayne Park faces many challenges, as do most communities, but I also see so many opportunities for greatness. I am also very committed to local government, especially in Florida. I take very seriously this profession’s pledge to be transparent, ethical and responsive. I believe in making city government as accessible to its customers as possible. I also believe that a community with an involved, committed and accountable citizen base is far more successful than one with a disconnected population,” Hannah-Spurlock said.
Sharon Ragoonan has 17 years of experience working in city government. Her past positions include assistant director of community development, code compliance manager and neighborhood coordinator for North Miami Beach, director of building and code compliance for Miami Gardens, assistant city manager for Sunny Isles Beach, and building and minimum housing manager for North Miami. She also holds a corporate finance certificate and an master’s degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from Florida International University.
“I live and was raised in South Florida, which is where I fell in love with public service the first day on the job in 1995. I am personable, a problem solver, and organized, which means that I know the importance of being able to listen and hear what people are saying, focus on the issue, provide strategic options, put words into action, and collaborate with others to solve the problem. I am resourceful, dependable, and resolute,” Ragoonan said.
If hired, the top three things she wants to work on include, “offering an exceptional quality of life and delivering optimal level of service with a fiscally responsible budget, establishing a shared vision and a strategic direction to become a model city, and identifying opportunities to enhance revenues and achieve cost savings.”
Heidi Shafran has 14 years of experience in city government. Her past positions include commission aide, principal planner/historic preservation officer for Hollywood, community planning and development director for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and community development services director for Wilton Manners. Shafran has a bachelor’s degree in history from Queens College and a master’s in heritage preservation from Georgia State University.
“I am warm, approachable, fair and a good fit for the village. I would also like the community to know that I am here to listen, serve the commission and residents, and I am able to come up with solutions that maintain and improve the quality of life for the village residents,” Shafran said.
If hired, she wants to, “address the financial sustainability of the village. This includes identifying new sources of revenue, increasing the general fund reserves and evaluating the current delivery of services; with the Village Commission, community leaders and residents create a strategic plan and identify goals that map out our next ten years; set priorities to maintain and improve the village’s infrastructure and resources including the medians, Village Hall, the police headquarters, the park system, the tree canopy and address the village boundary adjacent to the FEC corridor.”
Commissioners plan to make a final decision at a meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14. at the Ed Burke Recreation Center.