County sports commission narrowing search for director
By Shannon Pettypiece
Miami-Dade County's new sports commission is about to get a short list of candidates in its search for an executive director.
As many as 150 applications were submitted by the Nov. 14 deadline from candidates nationwide, said Lourdes Lorie, spokeswoman for County Commissioner Jimmy Morales, who helped create the commission.
The selection committee, led by Mary Scott Russell, vice mayor of South Miami, will sift through applications and present a handful of candidates to the nine-member sports commission at its December meeting so members can start setting up interviews, Ms. Lorie said.
The sports commission is likely to select a director "by January or February," said Chairman Larry Gautier.
Ms. Lorie said the commission could continue its search if panel members do not find the person they want among current applications.
Created in April by the Board of County Commissioners, the sports commission is designed to recruit youth and adult amateur sporting events to the county and will try to attract more community support for such programs.
In addition, the sports commission will be allowed to raise private funds to support amateur athletic organizations.
Since its first meeting in May, the group has:
NElected Mr. Gautier and other officers.
NAsked the county attorney to draft bylaws, which is almost complete.
NJoined a nationwide network of other sports commissions.
NDeveloped a business plan to set goals and objectives.
Earlier this month, Mr. Gautier attended a national sports-commission conference in New Orleans. "We spoke to events that would love to come out to Miami but have never been able to because there is no formal organization to make that happen," he said. "Twelve indicated that they want to come to Miami."
There are 13 other community sports programs in Florida, including the Fort Lauderdale Sports Development Department, which helped draw $200 million to Broward County by attracting 156 events and filling 300,000 hotel rooms in 2001, according to Commissioner Morales' office.