‘New Coach’ in City of Opa-locka

(L to R) Opa-locka Police Deputy Chief Antonio Sanchez and Commissioner Timothy Holmes attended the swearing-in of the new Manager, Kelvin L. Baker, Sr., for the City of Opa-locka.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 10:35 a.m. in the Opa-locka Municipal Building, 4th floor, with his right hand raised and his left on the Bible, Kelvin L. Baker, Sr., took an oath administered by Interim City Clerk Joanna Flores, as he solemnly swore to support the Constitution, obey the laws of the United States and Florida, observe the provisions of the charter and ordinances of the City of Opa-locka, while faithfully discharging the duties of City Manager, as Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Opa-locka Police Deputy Chief Antonio Sanchez and Deputy City Clerk Sha’mecca Lawson observed.

In spite of his impressive background in education, theology and city government, Baker established from the on-set that he was not operating in Opa-locka in any capacity other than City Manager, therefore his title would not be Doctor, Professor, Reverend or any other that would showcase his degrees or experience. He humbly stated, “I’m just Manager Baker.”

Manager Baker was chosen from among 19 candidates who applied, and seven who were scheduled to be interviewed by the Commission on Thursday, June 28, 2012, for the permanent position. By Tuesday, July 3rd, a special Commission meeting was held where the decision to hire the former North Miami Beach City Manager, was approved and finalized. Baker was asked to report to work on Monday, when he was “sworn-in” on his first “official” day of work.

In addition to serving as City Manager in North Miami Beach, Baker’s previous experience includes Interim, Deputy and Assistant City Manager, Director of Public Services, Director of Public Works, Assistant to the Director and Support Services Manager. He also served as Administration Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and President/CEO of Kelvin L. Baker & Associates Management Consultant Services. Mr. Baker earned a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Public Management, a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management and a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies. Prior to joining the City of Opa-locka, Baker held the position of Director of Admissions at the University of Ft. Lauderdale and Adjunct Professor at Jose Maria Vargas University. He also has an honorary PH.D in Divinity from Jacksonville Baptist Theological Seminary.

Former City Manager Bryan Finnie submitted his official resignation to the Mayor and Commission on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, during the regular the bimonthly City of Opa-locka Commission. Finnie initially began working as the Interim Manager for the City of Opa-locka in November 2008, resigned in December 2010, then returned in June 2011. Finnie stated, “The City is now on track. I think it will benefit from a new coach.”

City Manager Kelvin L. Baker, Sr. is eager to do more than just take on the title of coach, he is also vowing to LEAD his new team of Directors and staff in the City of Opa-locka into several winning seasons!

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