Palmetto Bay officially has a permanent village manager.
Edward Silva finalized his contract for the position earlier this month. His base salary will be $175,00, with a monthly allowance of $550 for his car and $200 for his cellphone.
Silva was unanimously voted in as interim manager in April after previous Village Manager Ron Williams retired after eight years of service.
“It’s very nice to be able to be a resident and be able to take this village forward in the direction the council wants,” said Silva, who has lived within Palmetto Bay city limits since 1998 (prior to incorporation). “I want to make this the best possible place to live.”
The village had been preparing to hire a permanent city manager since July 2014, when Williams announced his intention to retire at the end of March.
Initially, officials intended to hire a search firm, but ultimately they opted instead in early June to have Silva — who had been the city’s director of building and capital projects since 2007 — negotiate a contract with the village.
Silva, 56, told the Herald he is filling both his current and prior roles for now. He said the village is working on opening and advertising his former position.
“We are taking our time so that we can get someone that is fit to oversee the department,” he said, noting that the village is looking at all of its options. “We are hoping to have the position filled before the fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.”
Silva, an architect who owns a company — ESA Inc., Architecture, Planning & Design — that practices in South and Central Florida, said his work experience is an asset to his new position.
“My background will give me the tools I need to help me plan and run a city,” he said. Before working at Palmetto Bay, Silva was a consultant for Pinecrest’s building department.
In addition to expanding the village’s tax base and cultivating a future downtown area, Silva said he is hoping to unify several departments within the city’s administration to make the “process more efficient.”
“I’m absolutely aiming to get as much input as we can from our residents, listen to everybody’s input and then follow up on that input,” he said. “We are also revamping our web pages and in the midst of hiring a part-time grant writer so that we can aggressively seek more grants in Florida.”