North Miami’s City Manager Aleem Ghany has announced that he will resign after a little more than a year on the job.
Ghany officially announced his resignation with a letter to the City Council on Thursday. His resignation is effective Oct. 16.
He was hired in May 2014 after the exit of former manager Stephen Johnson. Ghany has served with the city for 19 years and before becoming the manager he was director of the city’s public works department.
“I have enjoyed my tenure with my city and I am truly grateful for the professional opportunities, experiences and knowledge I have gained with the city of North Miami,” Ghany said in his resignation letter.
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During his tenure: Ghany reorganized the city’s community redevelopment agency, dealt with the exit of the former board of trustees at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was part of the negotiations to move the SoLe Mia development forward.
His leadership has also been marked by criticism from elected officials who questioned staff’s preparedness for meetings and his ability to handle all of the tasks of the position.
Vice Mayor Carol Keys said the city will miss Ghany’s institutional knowledge and the attention he put into the job.
“He was criticized for taking so much time with the residents and business owners of the city but that’s the kind of man he was,” Keys said.
Ghany did not say what his next move will be. For now he plans to visit his family in Trinidad and Tobago and thanked residents and staff for supporting him over the years.
“The people are the ones who actually put me here and when it got to this point where I could no longer reach the people I thought it was the time for me to go,” Ghany said.
Mayor Smith Joseph said he was surprised by Ghany’s decision and wished him well in his future endeavors.
“Whoever comes in next, they will have to fill big shoes and I hope they will continue in the same line of getting along well without everybody so we can move toward the advancement of the city of North Miami,” Joseph said.
In his resignation letter, Ghany requested 20 weeks of severance pay and payment of his unused vacation and sick days. He was hired at a salary of $209,000. It’s unclear if the requested pay is an additional request beyond his unused vacation and sick time.
Ghany appointed Arthur Sorey as his deputy city manager in July, the city will likely discuss plans for his replacement at Monday’s council meeting.
The city is finalizing its budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year and is also in the midst of a search for a permanent city attorney after terminating former attorney Regine Monestime’s contract in June.
Ghany said he chose to remain until October to assist in the transition for his replacement and to ensure that the city presents a balanced budget.
“At the end of the day all I want to do is public service and it’s something that was near and dear to me,” Ghany said. “No matter where I land and what I do it has to help people and benefit people.”