The Cutler Bay Town Council has voted unanimously to permanently hire Ralph Casals as its town manager.
The council asked its attorney to draft an employment contract as soon as possible. The council did not immediately set his salary.
Last June, the council appointed Casals as interim town manager after terminating the contract of then-town manager Stephen Alexander without cause.
Before he was tapped to fill in for Alexander, Casals had served as the town’s public works director since 2006.
“With the history that Ralph Casals has with the town, having worked here since our very beginning, our decision to retain him is the only one that makes sense for the town. Ralph Casals is a professional in every way and considers his duty to the residents his primary mission,” said Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall in a statement.
Casals comes to the post with more than 27 years of managerial experience, having also served as the village manager for North Bay Village, assistant town manager for Miami Lakes, and assistant city manager for Florida City.
Earlier this January, the council posted a job listing for the position of town manager in their town website, as well as other sites and publications.
Casals was one of 62 candidates who applied for the position before the March 15 deadline.
Among those who applied were Opa-locka City Manager Kelvin Baker, former North Miami Beach City Manager Lyndon Bonner and former Golden Beach Police Chief Jim Skinner.
On April 1, the Range Riders, a volunteer group of retired city administrators that helps cities and counties select managers, reviewed the 62 applications and recommended 10 candidates to the council.
On April 8, The council held a special session to further narrow down the list of 10 candidates. Each council member chose their top five applicants. The candidate each council member ranked first received five points, their second choice received four points, third received three points, and so on. Casals received the highest score with 24 out of 25 points. The council later unanimously voted to offer the position of town manager to Casals.
“I will continue to be very accessible to all residents and take personal pride in returning phone calls and/or emails. I feel that one of the most important functions within the Town Manager’s Office is an open line of communication with both the residents and business community. The Town Council has a clear vision for the town and I will continue to work closely with each Council Member to fulfill their goals,” said Casals in a written statement.
According to the town’s website, the town manager and his staff look to implement the policies of the town council, as well as making sure “quality municipal services” are given to all residents of Cutler Bay.