North Miami / NMB

North Miami

North Miami makes plans to hire city manager

North Miami has begun the process of picking a new city manager after last month’s departure of Stephen Johnson.

Former public works director Aleem Ghany was named as Johnson’s replacement and the City Council set his salary at $140,000 at its April 22 meeting. Council members also have established a procedure for picking Johnson’s successor.

The council hired Baenziger and Associates, a municipal executive search firm, to handle the search. The process will work in two phases, said city spokeswoman Pam Solomon.

“Phase one is a needs assessment to come up with a description of the ideal candidate. Phase two is candidate recruitment,” she said.

Once recruitment begins, the firm will narrow down the number of candidates from around 50 to eight to 12 semi-finalists. About four finalists will be culled from that list and they will be interviewed in a public forum.

The city also could choose to keep Ghany after going through the search process. They did the same thing with Johnson a few years ago, moving him from interim city manager to the permanent position after a search.

“They will probably vet it through the process and go from there,” Solomon said .

Council members spoke highly of Ghany when approving his salary. Councilwoman Carol Keys, who voted against the figure, called the offer a “slap in the face” when compared to the $175,000 Johnson received when he got the job.

“I think that’s a bit unfair to Mr. Ghany. [He] has been the director for public works for four years,” Keys said.

The search firm wants May 30 to be the cut-off date for accepting applications, according to Solomon, but the process likely will take a few months.

The search for a permanent police chief, which began after Marc Elias’s resignation, has been halted until the city decides on a new manager, Solomon said. The new manager then will fill the chief’s position.

Meanwhile, interim Chief Leonard Burgess has been heading the police force since February.

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