We start our weekly report with a link to the Florida Department of Health
, showing positive cases of COVID-19 throughout our area.
LETTER FROM CITY MANAGER
With the expiration of the employment contract for the South Miami City Manager on May 20, Steven Alexander is set to voluntarily resign from this position on that date.
In a recent letter City Manager Alexander shared with the employees of the City, he stated that he timed his leaving to be after an election so that it wouldn’t become a campaign issue, and at a time that Commissioners and the community were generally happy with the status of the City.
“I wanted to allow for a seamless transition to help prolong the continuity that has been established over the past seven and a half years,” he said.
Hired in early 2013, Mr. Alexander experienced many milestone moments during is tenure. Noteworthy was his initial focus on creating an environment for stability.
Mr. Alexander quickly launched a retooling of the City staff and the culture of the administration, which included replacement of some department heads and other individuals.
While at the helm, Mr. Alexander accomplished several significant projects, including:
Seeing a city workforce that was under-valued, he made sure that the Commission passed employee appreciation measures including a cost of living pay adjustment, merit pay, and a new retirement system. He also introduced the first ever recognition of employee anniversaries.
An extremely transparent hiring process was introduced leading to the hiring of Chief Landa. Mr. Alexander instituted a redesigned community policing focus including a downtown-walking beat; and created a team to achieve state-recognized accreditation.
Through these measures and with the dedication of the police force, crimes dropped from 995 in 2013 to 514 crimes in 2019 – a 54 percent decrease, as highlighted on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website.
Mr. Alexander ushered the Commission into funding the first true Emergency Fund of 10 percent of the City’s operating budget. Fortunately this account was established in time to ensure employees could continue to receive their full paychecks during the COVID 19 emergency.
Parks & Recreation:
In addition to major improvements to City parks through an intense maintenance and preventative-maintenance program, South Miami also acquired new parks, repurposed others, and completely reinvented the recreation programs.
He also oversaw a complete retooling of the financial competency of recreation programs and eliminated what he termed as “cronyism in the parks staff.”
In collaboration with staff, numerous governmental efficiency processes were introduced resulting in the formation of the most courteous Public Works staff to provide comprehensive and timely solid waste collection services.
Plans for the Future:
In addition to an entire re-writing of the Comprehensive Plan & Land Development Code, Mr. Alexander assured that the Building & Planning departments were fully equipped to provide clear, reliable information to residents and businesses. He also created the City’s first-ever Strategic Planning Session.
City Manager Alexander closed by sharing this message: “My assignment here at South Miami has been extremely challenging on many fronts, including reassuring staff that stability through management was possible and by clearly defining everyone’s rules… Your faith and trust in me helped me face these challenges with a smile…”
In addition, he noted, “I am sad to be leaving his post, as the employees of South Miami are such good, hard working, and honest folks.”
Mr. Alexander said he knows he is leaving the City in good hands with his Deputy City Manager, soon to be City Manager Shari Kamali as of May 21.
“I have truly enjoyed my assignment here and I wish you all the very best.”