Next month, Miami Lakes initiates a one-year process to select the next town manager to replace Alex Rey, who’s calling it a career following three decades in county, city and small municipal governments.
Rey, who had two stints as Miami Lakes’ town manager – a total of 15 years – is retiring to take advantage of the DROP program, which allows government employees access to a lump sum benefit in addition to their monthly retirement benefit when they terminate employment and retire. Rey’s resignation is effective in March of 2019.
Town staff drafted an ordinance to which council members gave their initial approval this week to create certain criteria that candidates must meet to be considered for the position including qualifications to carry out the goals and objectives in the town’s Strategic Plan.
The final reading and a public hearing is scheduled for May.
At a recent workshop, council members discussed the guidelines for the series of screening and interviews which may include tapping a search firm to help a local citizens committee and council members pick the right person for the job.
The selection process is the first under the town’s new charter in which a citizen’s committees and council members will pick the next town manager. Previously, the mayor selected a candidate and his colleagues had to approve or reject his confirmation.
Once council members appoint a seven-member citizens committee, the position will be advertised in national and local newspapers and trade magazines as well as online announcements.
The selection process for the committee and council members can include one-on-one or group interviews during public meetings or they can do both.
The citizens committee would screen and interview candidates and narrow its choices down to about five candidates for council members to decide.
Council members would like to pick a new town manager by the summer of 2018 but may want to provide council candidates, who are planning to run in November of that same year, the right to vote on a new manager.
Miami Lakes residents who may apply for the position must have lived in the town for at least two years, the ordinance may read.
Council members may ask Rey to assist in the search for his replacement.
Rey worked for Miami-Dade County for more than 20 years, and was Miami Lakes town manager from 2002 to 2008. After a brief stint on Miami Beach, he returned to the town in 2009 to replace Frank Bocanegra, who also retired to take advantage of the DROP program.