When most people hear parking enforcement, they immediately visualize a ticket hanging out from under their windshield wiper. In Sunny Isles Beach, while it is true the rules must be enforced, many times people may only need an education about parking regulations in order to do the right thing and avoid the citation.
The Code Compliance Department is responsible for enforcing the meters and educating the public about the use of parking meters. “Their job is one of the most challenging and demanding jobs in the City as they deal with frustrated residents and visitors who violated parking codes and for that reason, received parking citations,” Department Manager Helena Forbes said. She goes on to mention that, “…their duties are vital to the enjoyment of our City. With their expertise, they supervise the maintenance of parking meters and make sure parking is available for beach and parks goers. It is not uncommon for a meter to go out of order immediately before a long week-end when usage of our permitted parking areas increases.” Two full-time enforcement officers are assigned to help manage the parking in the City.
Code & Parking Enforcement Officer Jony Lugo has worked for Sunny Isles Beach since 2008. He was born in the Dominican Republic and has resided in Florida for 30 years. After completing trade school and following that career path for a while, he became interested in Code Enforcement as a career. He applied and was hired in Sunny Isles Beach at the time new parking regulations were being implemented. One might say he was at the right place, at the right time! Jony is certified by the Florida Association of Code Enforcement, Level 1. He belongs to the Florida Association of Code Enforcement and the Gold Coast Association of Code Enforcement. When expressing what an asset he is to the job, Helena said, “Jony Lugo is extremely creative while solving technical problems, shows careful attention to detail, exhibits a cheerful disposition, and is dependable. He works efficiently and effectively going above and beyond his call of duty to serve the City.” Jony related that he enjoys helping patrons learn how to use the pay station and is able to communicate well with those from Spanish speaking countries. He has met a lot of interesting people from all over the world and says the best part of his job is helping the customers. He was recognized as Employee of the Quarter in February, 2012. On his days off he likes to work out and watch his favorite sport teams. The other half of the team, Code & Parking Enforcement Officer David Springer, hails from the great state of Texas. He has lived in South Florida twenty years, retiring from another municipality in 2009.
He has an Associate’s Degree and is certified both as a Florida Public Service Aid and by the Florida Association of Code Enforcement in Levels 1 and 2. In 2011 he decided to come out of retirement and was hired by the city. One of his early duties included Park Patrol. Now, his daily task list includes the challenge of keeping the disabled spaces clear for those who are in need of the spot. He remembers one day helping to clear a disabled space that a violator had parked in, for a resident with one leg. He also likes to see people renew their tags, which helps them to become responsible citizens. It was brought to the City’s attention, that during one shift, David was dealing with some irate and verbally abusive customers. His response was observed by the Dooley family visiting from out-of-town. Jennifer Dooley wrote a thank you note to the City describing how he handled the situation, despite the abuse, “He stood there and listened calmly. He then nicely explained the rules to the men. He, David Springer, remained thoughtful and professional. We were amazed. You [David] certainly have mastered the art of thoughtfulness!” Jennifer said that with his help they learned where to park safely and that made their stay in our City that much more enjoyable. David expressed, that his job is rewarding, because every day he meets people from very diverse and interesting backgrounds. He was recognized as Employee of the Quarter in December, 2013. When he’s not working, he likes to cook, interact with his cats, or cruise the roads in his collectable pickup truck.
To sum up the great teamwork of these two men, Helena said, “Jony and David communicate effectively with residents and visitors and strive to provide optimal customer service. Their daily goal is to serve our community in a personable way and to show their sensitivity and concern for others. This is their way of ensuring a memorable experience for all residents and guests in the city of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida’s Riviera.”
When you see these guys out there working on your behalf, be sure to say hello. Any questions or concerns you may have regarding parking in the City may be addressed to the Code Compliance Division at 305-792-1705.