Bal Harbour chooses potential village manager

Bal Harbour has chosen a potential village manager.

On April 16, the village council agreed to negotiate a contract with Steven Alexander, South Miami’s interim city manager and former town manager of Cutler Bay.

Alexander will now have a background check completed and will negotiate a contract.

“We should have a manager by next meeting,” Mayor Jean Rosenfield said.

Rosenfield said the village will post his résumé on the village’s website so residents can read his qualifications.

The village will also schedule a “Meet and Greet” for the community, with a date to be determined.

Currently, Jay Smith is serving as interim village manager. He also has been serving as director of community outreach for the village.

Alexander will replace former Village Manager Alfred Treppeda. The former village manager has been on leave since January but will officially retire on April 30.

Finding a new police chief will be one of the new manager’s first tasks. Former Police Chief Thomas Hunker was dismissed amid allegations of misspending and abuse of power for personal gain by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mayor Rosenfield said Alexander would be a good fit for the village.

“He is interested in the environment and preserving,” she said.

Councilman Jaime Sanz said Alexander brings strong character to the village.

“He impressed me,” Sanz said. “He’s a tough cookie, he’s what we need. I don’t think too many people will push him around.”

Administrator-for-hire Merrett Stierheim, who led the search for a new manager, said that about 52 candidates submitted their résumés. That number was then narrowed down to six.

The other finalists included David Heber, Ron Rabun, Sherman Yehl, Chris Rose and Frank Spence.

Cutler Bay Town Council members released Alexander without cause in June. However, residents had complained that he was too powerful and was unresponsive to the community.

Alexander’s experience: He was the first town manager of Cutler Bay, a community of just over 41,000 people that incorporated in 2005. He was the first permanent village manager of El Portal, from 2003-06. South Miami hired Alexander in November. He also runs his own consulting firm, Alexander Global Communications.

Bal Harbour’s village council would still need to approve a contract before hiring him.