North Miami is closer to finding a full-time replacement for former City Manager Aleem Ghany after receiving more than 60 applications for the position.
The pool of applicants is filled primarily with South Floridians and others who live across the state, according to records obtained by the Miami Herald. The list also includes applicants from Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Georgia, Alabama, California, Ohio, New York and Washington, D.C.
Interim City Manager Arthur Sorey and the city’s personnel director, Joe Roglieri, announced in a memo that the search process closed Jan. 4.
Sorey, who briefly served as deputy city manager in 2015 and previously led the city’s budget department, took over for Ghany last October. He is one of three interim leaders in major roles in the city along with the city attorney and the Museum of Contemporary Art director.
The city attorney position has been filled by Roland Galdos, the former deputy attorney, since last July when the contract of the previous attorney, Regine Monestime, was terminated. Natasha Colebrook-Williams, the city’s chief of staff, has served as the interim director of MoCA since mid-December. She took over when former director Babacar M’Bow was placed on paid leave, then later fired following an employee complaint of sexual harassment.
Many of the applicants for city manager have experience in municipal government and various advanced degrees. Others come from finance and accounting jobs, service and law enforcement agencies.
Some of the applicants from South Florida include:
▪ The city’s current interim City Manager Sorey and current finance director Larry Spring.
Sorey said he likes his chances for the full-time gig given that he’s currently in the position, but he will respect the council’s eventual decision.
“I think we have a great pool of applicants and we’ll go forward with however it goes,” Sorey said.
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 eventually charged the city and former budget director Michael Boudreaux with civil securities fraud, saying the city didn’t properly report its budgetary issues and misled bond investors. Spring never faced charges.
▪ Sergio Purriños, who served as Doral city manager from 2004-08. He held the same position in Homestead and was part of the investigation into former Mayor Steve Bateman. The investigation alleged that Purriños signed off on waiving a $10,000 utility bill for a prominent resident.
The case also involved a $1,000 credit given to a local attorney. Purriños settled the case after the ethics commission found probable cause of a violation related to the $1,000 credit. He most recently served in municipal government as planning director in Sweetwater from June 2014 to July 2015.
▪ Anis Blemur, an accountant who unsuccessfully ran for state Senate in 2014 against Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens.
▪ Magalie Austin, an attorney and chair of Haitian-Americans for Progress.
▪ Edward Pidermann, former deputy fire chief for Miami Fire Rescue and former president of the Miami Firefighters Union.
The next manager will be the fourth person to hold the position since 2011. The city council is expected to discuss the steps for choosing the next manager at Tuesday’s council meeting. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St.