Bay Harbor Islands council members have decided to hire a new tennis instructor.
The previous instructor, Edwins Jean, received good reviews from residents at the June 9 Town Council meeting, but the council decided not to renew his three-year contract, and instead replaced him with Pedro Caniza.
“I personally would like an instructor that provides a little more variety for the town,” said council member Stephanie Bruder. “I like that Pedro can not only teach children, but that he can teach a wide-range of people, including the elderly.”
However, some residents were furious that the council chose not to renew Jeans contract.
“It’s absolutely insensitive and without cause, what they did to Mr. Jean,” said resident Victor Maya. “They took away the man’s livelihood through slick procedure maneuvers, bypassing staff recommendation, and making a mockery of the bid.”
But others said the council’s decision was wise and are happy with the change.
“I think Pedro is a stellar tennis professional that is extremely dedicated and a lot of fun,” said resident Joanna Tessler.
Jean has been a tennis instructor for Bay Harbor for about a decade and he has a loyal following .
“Both my little girls are comfortable with Edwin and they increasingly ask for more time with him,” said resident Socrates Zayes.
Zayes says he doesn’t feel comfortable leaving his children with someone he doesn’t know.
“I’m a Marine, and we always say if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” he said.
In the end, the council voted 5-2 to go with Caniza.
Caniza has been coaching tennis at the Sans Souci Tennis Center in North Miami for 12 years.
“I’m looking forward to building a strong tennis program for adults and juniors and getting everyone involved in Bay Harbor,” said Caniza.