North Miami is looking for a new No. 2 to back up the city manager.
The city has been without a deputy city manager since May when Lumane Claude resigned from the position. In a May 15 email to staff, Claude said she has “chosen to take a different path.”
“It has been a real pleasure working with you, and I wish you all well,” Claude said in the email.
She more formally announced her resignation at the June 9 council meeting and thanked city administrators, department heads and residents for their support. She served in the position for nearly five years and had worked in North Miami for about 11 years. Before being promoted to the deputy position she served as chief of staff.
Last year, Claude was named — along with former Councilwoman Marie Steril and about a dozen others — in the city’s Internal Revenue Service investigation when the agency couldn’t find clarification on money given for trips to Haiti in 2012.
The city was asked to clarify about $15,000 in money given to Claude and Steril for several trips. Eventually, North Miami was fined $33,000 by the IRS for a collection of violations, with about $19,000 of it related to the travel expenses from the trips.
City Manager Aleem Ghany said the city has already begun looking at applicants and narrowing down candidates. He hopes to find someone with expertise in public works — the department Ghany most recently oversaw — and experience in other areas where the city needs help.
“Someone with an engineering and technical background along with a strong finance background,” Ghany said. “And someone who hopefully has been in the business for a long time.”
Residents at the June 30 council meeting asked about the position and said Ghany needed assistance.
“It seems that every single complaint and concern that every citizen in this city has goes to Mr. Ghany’s desk,” resident Carol Preger said.
Ghany said he recognizes the importance of having someone in place if he’s not around and to plan for the future.
“Having a good succession plan is one of the keys for leadership and for government,” Ghany said.
The city plans to have the position filled before next year’s budget is finalized at the end of September.