After about four months of uncertainty and searching, the city of North Miami named Larry Spring as their new city manager at Tuesday’s meeting.
Spring, who was hired as the city’s finance director last August, was nominated by Councilman Scott Galvin. His appointment was approved with a 3-2 vote. Galvin, Councilwoman Carol Keys and Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime voted yes. Mayor Smith Joseph and Councilman Alix Desulme voted no.
Before his time in North Miami and in the private sector, Spring served as chief financial officer for the city of Miami from 2007 until he stepped down from the position in 2011 in the midst of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of the city and a large budget deficit.
The SEC ultimately charged the city of Miami and former budget director Michael Boudreaux with civil securities fraud, saying the city didn’t properly report its budgetary issues and misled bond investors.
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Although the SEC interviewed Spring and other city leaders, he was never officially charged. After leaving his position in Miami, he served as the president of Achievement Consulting Services. Before starting with Miami in 2003 — initially in the budget department — Spring worked for Total Bank.
Mayor Joseph asked Spring about the SEC situation at Tuesday’s meeting, and he said he simply followed the process during the investigation and that he learned from the experience.
“I appreciate the time we spent talking about my background,” Spring said. “As we move forward, I will do my job and I make that commitment to each and every one of you.”
Spring’s appointment followed a search process that started earlier this year when the city received more than 60 applicants for the position from across the country. The list was narrowed to 10 finalists and the city council members conducted interviews in the last few weeks.
Before voting for Spring Tuesday night, the city council failed to approve the nomination of Marie Woodson, an assistant department director for Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department, and a motion to keep interim city manager Arthur Sorey on for the permanent job.
Council members thanked Sorey for filling in. He’s expected to return to the deputy city manager post he held before he took over for Aleem Ghany last October.
“[Arthur] you have honored your father’s legacy over the last six or seven months and you’ve made your family proud,” Galvin said, referencing former city councilman Duke Sorey.
The city council will now shift its focus to hiring a new city attorney. Roland Galdos has served as interim city attorney since June 2015.
THE NEXT MEETING
▪ When: 7 p.m. March 8
▪ Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami