Opa-locka officials have taken another step toward improving their issues with liability, employee turnover and other claims of negligence, by hiring a risk manager.
After interviewing candidates since January, the city selected Danita Minnis last month to assist the city in insurance-claim mitigation and aiding in training employees and staff going forward.
Minnis has about 20 years of experience working as a risk manager and in human resources development, according to city spokesman David Chiverton. Her salary is about $55,000.
The city’s insurance carrier, the Florida League of Cities, agreed to renew the city’s liability insurance policy after it was nearly canceled last year due to the city amassing more than $3 million in insurance claims since 2004. The largest of those claims was when their insurer faced a $1 million payment to the families of California tourists that were killed in a collision last April after a police officer pursued a driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 95.
The City Commission passed a resolution last September approving the renewal of the policy at a cost of $997,304.
The city’s director of human resources, T.C. Adderly, worked out a plan with the league to hire someone by Jan. 1, but that process was delayed to ensure that the candidate would be a good fit.
“It was a hard effort, just finding someone that would be the ideal fit for our city was a great deal of a challenge, but we’re happy to have her on board,” said City Manager Kelvin Baker at the Mar. 12 City Commission meeting.
The plan included also included providing additional training and supervision for city employees and improving the vetting process when the city hires new employees.
The city says it has begun many of those training processes in the new year, including monthly safety meetings and having quarterly meetings with department heads.