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North Miami reduces cap on city manager spending

At its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 25, the North Miami City Council approved an item to reduce the amount the city manager and city attorney can spend without council approval. The council also appointed members for a search committee that will help narrow down applicants for the vacant city attorney position.

The main item

North Miami’s city manager will now have a lower cap on what he can spend without council approval.

The City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday night, on first reading, that reduced the amount of money the city manager can spend without a council vote from $100,000 to $25,000. The item passed 4-1, with Mayor Smith Joseph voting against the item.

The new law will also place a cap in spending for the city attorney at $25,000. The limit didn’t exist before and raised concerns for some council members.

“There’s been no oversight on the hiring of outside counsel,” Vice Mayor Carol Keys said.

The ordinance also changes the title of purchasing director to purchasing manager and places a limit on the spending they can approve at $5,000.

Other business

City attorney committee: The City Council also voted to appoint a seven-member search committee to aid in selecting a new city attorney. Deputy City Attorney Roland Galdos has served on an interim basis since former attorney Regine Monestime’s contract was terminated in June.

The committee members will include:

▪ Markenzy Lapointe, partner at the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP;

▪ Jose Smith, city attorney for North Miami Beach;

▪ Hans Ottinot, city attorney for Sunny Isles Beach;

▪ Ron Wasson, town manager for Bay Harbor Islands;

▪ Rudy Moise, president of the Comprehensive Health Center in North Miami and a two-time congressional candidate;

▪ Clarel Cyriaque, an attorney with a law office in downtown Miami. He will serve as the committee’s chairman.

▪ Kenneth Each, member of the North Miami planning commission and a former police chief. Each will serve as an at-large member.

Vice mayor designation: Councilwoman Keys is the city’s vice mayor again after the City Council approved an item changing the rotation of the position and the length of service.

The city charter called for a new vice mayor to be designated every six months through a nomination on the dais and a council vote. The position will now rotate on an annual basis and go in numerical order by district instead of being determined by the council members.

Councilman Alix Desulme was appointed vice mayor at the city’s July meeting to take over for Keys at the end of her six-month term, which began December of 2014.

With the new resolution, she will hold the position again until December. Councilman Scott Galvin, who represents District 1, will take over the position when her term ends.

The next meeting

When: Sept. 8, 7 p.m.

Where: North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St., North Miami

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