Is the city manager permanent or not?

When is the current “Interim” city manager, Steve Alexander going to get a contract so that his present title will go from “Interim” (whatever that means) to what might be referred to as (Permanent,) City Manager?

There are a couple of things to contemplate: Being appointed interim or permanent city manager in this city means nothing, zero, nada, cero, and did I say “0?”

As our esteemed South Miami residents, voters and business people are aware, the City of Pleasant Living, aka South Miami, has had a long parade of folks holding the position of city manager, be it Interim or otherwise.

Here is a partial list of managers in the past 15 years or so. It is not complete, but pretty close: Charles Scurr, Maria Davis, Yvonne McKinley, Ajibola Balogun, Sandy Youkalis, Roger Carlton, General Randy Witt, Hector Mirabile, Kelly Barkett and the current guy, Steve Alexander. Yup, it’s a bunch of well-meaning city managers that are no longer at the helm of the city.

Let’s just stop being polite about this, as the job as the city manager is truly just temporary and lasts a few years at best. The sooner this commission stops screwing around and pretending that its next appointment will be permanent (whatever that means) the better off everyone one will be.

Remember the game “King of the Hill?” The goal is to get your guy on the top of the hill and then as soon as he gets there, the goal is to get rid of him and replace him with your new guy. Folks, it was a lot of fun then and from what I can see over at city hall, that’s the way it is. PS. It’s a lot of fun, isn’t it?

Should Mr. Alexander be the next non- interim city manager, we hope he accomplishes what he sets out to do lickety split, cuz ya never know when the city of South Miami will be looking for a new interim city manager.

Happy to see that my favorite elected officials, Commissioners Walter Harris and Bob Welsh, have been acting rather regal recently. They extol the virtues of committed public officials and work hard to make us proud that they are representing us. So, the next time you see either of them, would you let them know that Community Newspapers just loves ‘em both (equally).

BTW, Commissioner Harris recently announced that he will be running for office once again with the election being in February 2014. And darn it, Commissioner Bob Welsh’s term isn’t up til Feb 2016 and we’ll have to wait till then to help him out.

And speaking of elections, Donna Shelley announced that she is running for the city commission this go around.

Donna, a longtime resident of the city and among other things is an accomplished journalist and has written some stories for us. She is a voice of reason, seems willing to work hard and she does listen to people. We look forward to seeing her platform and running into her on the campaign trail.

On my lunch rounds, I ran into Frank Maye over at Joanne’s Marketplace on SW 67 Ave and he’s been doing lots of meditation and watching what he eats. Looking relaxed and vibrant and also lost 10 lbs. or so.

Went way out of my zip code and had lunch at the Fish House on SW 56 St and 100 Ave. The Conch chowder was superduper and a small house salad was just enough for my late lunch. The staff is always smiling and happy to take care of you. While there, I happened to see Gary Rackear, a South Miami based attorney, who was also enjoying a quiet lunch. And in the very small world department, a few days later, I ran into him having dinner in West Kendall at Carmines’s La Trattoria.

And couldn’t help but run into Vice Mayor Josh Leibman over at Deli Lane, who was having a good time with some friends. I tried to get close enough to hear what they were talking about, but as soon as he saw me he went silent. Darn, where is the NSA when you need them.

And speaking of bugs and phones and internet records, I wonder if the folks over at city hall know about the bugs all through the hallways and offices over there. Hmm.

I hear that an entourage of naysayers showed up at the Ethics Commission meeting to blast the Chief of Police Orlando Martinez de Castro, who had a few ethics complaints filed against him. As things would have it, the meeting was cancelled and that’s too bad cuz we missed seeing and hearing their irrelevant “mum bo jumbo.”

The city and the CRA are finally moving forward on the long awaited Madison Square Project and chose Vitalini Corazzini P.A.,as its architects.

According to their press release “The vision for the project includes a proposed mixed-use, affordable housing development which will serve as an anchor at SW 64 St and 59th Place. There is commitment to seek LEED / “Green” building certification. Street level retail provides opportunities for local entrepreneurs and community organizations offered at affordable rates. Following, there will be 41 housing residences consisting of two and three bedroom apartment homes and townhomes ranging from 850 to 1,200 square feet.”

Thought of the Day:

Action is the antidote to despair.

— Joan Baez

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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