As Miami Beach prepares for a large bond issuance that will fund a massive renovation of its Convention Center, the city has lost its top two financial officers.
An official statement given Thursday from the city said City Manager Jimmy Morales accepted the resignations of Chief Financial Officer Patricia Walker and Assistant Finance Director Georgie Echert after both decided to pursue other opportunities.
In a letter sent Friday to the City Commission, Morales announced he had named John Woodruff, the city’s budget director, as interim finance director. Allison Williams, the city’s chief accountant, is interim assistant finance director.
Morales wrote that he believes the move will keep the issuance of the Convention Center bonds on track. He wants to find permanent replacements within three months.
“We plan to advertise the positions as soon as possible so that we can fill these important positions in a timely manner over the next two to three months,” he wrote.
The city manager did not name Walker, an 18-year employee with the city, or Echert, who was there for 17 years, in his letter.
Morales declined to discuss the moves further. “I don’t want to comment on personnel matters,” he said.
Before a budget hearing Thursday evening at City Hall, both Walker and Echert submitted short, handwritten letters of resignation on what appeared to be sheets of paper ripped from a notepad.
Echert’s letter read: “I resign to the position of Assistant Finance Director effective immediately.”
Walker wrote: “I hereby resign my position effective immediately.”
Walker’s annual salary was $232,994.58. Echert’s was $164,817.64.
Reached at home Monday, Echert, 65, said she resigned to go into business for herself.
“I’m of retirement age, and it’s time to move on,” she said.
Calls to Walker’s home were not answered.