Opa-locka City Manager Kelvin Baker stepped down from his post during the city’s commission meeeting on Wednesday night. The commission approved his resignation and he received approximately $38,000, the first half of his separation agreement package, on Thursday.
The main item
Mayor Myra Taylor announced Baker had submitted his separation agreement to city commissioners Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve done everything that we can possibly do,” Baker said. “I think it’s time for the torch to be passed on to someone else. I think the city is on a good track and I truly believe it’s going to get better than I found it.”
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All of the commissioners on the dais, except for Vice Mayor Timothy Holmes, were in support of the resolution letting Baker go.
“You worked hard to put this city back together. If anyone knows that, I know that,” Holmes said. “I don’t want you to leave, but I’m only one person here.”
▪ Citations for trash: The commission approved to suspend all code enforcement citations written between July 8 and July 22 until the city manager can review the pending fines. Some trash-related fines were handed out as a result of residents’ misunderstanding of the new trash pick up schedule, which moved from the third week of the month to the fourth. Instead of warning residents, code enforcement cited fines for putting their trash out too early, which the commission argued was not supposed to happen.
Community Empowerment Team (CET): Opa-locka’s community empowerment team program, which provides a number of services including food stamp and homeless assistance and employment referrals, was set to close because employees running the program took early retirement. Baker told the Miami Herald that the service was also costing the city close to $200,000 and closing it would help close the city’s financial deficit. After residents voiced their disapproval of shutting it down, commissioners voted to keep it open until the manager could demonstrate the program has a direct impact on the budget.
You said it
“We need services in this community and we need education. If we don’t have that, we don’t have a community.” — Community activist and former Opa-locka commissioner Dorothy Johnson
The next meeting
▪ When: There will be a special commission meeting to adopt the tentative millage rate on Thursday, July 30
▪ Where: Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Ave. Opa-locka