River Cities Gazette

Miami Springs

New Miami Springs city clerk to start April 1


Special to the Miami Herald

Miami Springs city leaders voted 3-2 at the Jan. 27 council meeting to boost the starting salary of its new city clerk by 4.38 percent before she starts work on April 1.

“I saw that you listed the starting salary rate and would like the council to consider my salary offer for $75,000,” clerk’s seat finalist Erika Gonzalez-Santamaria wrote in a Jan. 15 email to the city, seeking an additional $3,150.

The reason for the raise, Gonzalez wrote, was because she is currently making $73,000 as city clerk for Southwest Ranches, “with a raise due in May for my annual review.”

“In light of what we’ve heard lately, I would ask that she start at 73 ($73,000),” said Councilman George Lobb, who was referring to an active open forum that took place minutes earlier. “We’re looking at cutting wherever we can.”

Police officers squabbled over pension-contribution hikes that they deem unfair amid top-heavy salaries in leadership ranks and out-of-control spending at the golf course and other areas.

“I would respectfully ask that you consider the 75 ($75,000),” Gonzalez said before the 3-2 vote, with council members George Lobb and Billy Bain dissenting.

Miami Springs has been actively working to fill the clerk’s seat since its former clerk, Magali Valls, abruptly resigned from her $104,463-per-year post last July.

Valls filled in as an interim clerk for two additional months, earning $50 an hour.

Officials sifted through some 30 applications for the city clerk’s seat, which has a salary range of $71,850 to $99,014 per year.

Suzanne Hitaffer, who earns $67,167 annually and served as the interim city clerk, will fall back into her assistant city clerk position. Records show that Hitaffer is in the state’s deferred retirement program, which shows an exit date of April 30, 2016.

“All the benefits look great,” Gonzalez wrote in a Jan. 15 email to the city’s human resources department.

Some of the benefits include:

• 12 sick days a year;

• 12 vacation days;

• 3 floating holidays;

• 9 city-observed holidays;

• 100 percent coverage of medical-, dental- and vision-insurance premiums; an employee-designated benefits pension, with the city contributing 12.48 percent and the employee contributing 7.95 percent. Some of the requirements for the city clerk position include the ability to speak Spanish, hold a valid driver’s license, be a U.S. citizen and have a bachelor’s degree in public administration. The clerk is also responsible for overseeing city elections, legal advertising and public-records requests.

Gonzalez will assume her new position on Tuesday, April 1.

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

CHARTER INDUCTEE: Doug Orr (second from left) was inducted onto the Miami Springs Wall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, April 12. Members of the Miami Springs City Council, from left Mayor Zavier Garcia, Billy Bain, Michael Windrem and Jaime Petralanda were on hand to make the presentation.

    Doug Orr earns spot on Miami Springs Community Center's "Wall of Fame"

    There was a lot to celebrate last weekend as people came from near and far for the River Cities Festival but not all of the celebrating occurred around the Circle and Canal Street as there was an entirely different kind of celebration going on at the Miami Springs Community Center.

BIG CROWDS, BIG FUN: The annual River Cities Festival enjoyed one of the largest turnouts in its history last weekend and the success was due, in part, to the variety of music and vendors offerring something for everyone as these three festival-goers proved.

    Annual River Cities Festival hits all the right notes for Miami Springs

    The City of Miami Springs Public Works cleanup crews were out in full force on Monday morning, April 14. And with good reason as another River Cities Festival was now in the books and there was plenty of cleaning up to be done as the weekend was highlighted by great weather and big crowds.

TEE TIME: Miami Springs Golf Director Paul O'Dell worked hard to try and bring the First Tee national golf program to his course which came closer to reality last Monday night when the Miami Springs council gave it the green light go-ahead.

    National golf program, First Tee gets green light from Miami Springs Council

    The regular Miami Springs council meeting last Monday night, April 14 was highlighted by the news that an exciting, nationally known program is coming to the golf course as the council gave the go-ahead to bring a satellite of The First Tee program to Miami Springs and the youth of this community will be the beneficiaries.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK