Executive shuffle is Miami's new dance
By Risa Polansky
Leadership changes at the City of Miami continue, virtually nonstop since Mayor Tomás Regalado was elected in November.
The latest come after a rash of firings this month.
Tony Crapp Jr., longtime chief of staff to commissioner-turned-Mayor Regalado, is to serve now as assistant city manager in charge of operations.
Alice Bravo, district director of transportation systems development for the Florida Department of Transportation, is to begin May 10 as the city's director of capital improvements.
Nzeribe Ihekwaba of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer is also to come in next month to serve as director of public works.
Both former city directors were ousted this month when Manager Carlos Migoya announced several firings for what he called a lack of oversight as the city reels from budget shortfalls and a federal investigation, both triggered in part by questionable capital fund transfers.
Shortly after, he announced that Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County veteran Johnny Martinez would take over as assistant city manager in charge of all things infrastructure.
Mr. Migoya assured commissioners at a meeting Thursday that "going forward, I will tell you, everyone will be accountable for maintaining proper controls in their departments."
New Assistant City Manager Crapp, he said, "is here to structure the proper controls."
Mr. Crapp worked for Mr. Regalado for 14 years, about12 of them as his chief of staff, before taking up his new post last week.
He has begun meeting with department directors, he said in a phone interview, "looking for ways to generate revenue and create savings where we can. We're doing an analysis of every department with those goals in mind."
He's "looking forward," he said, "to hitting the ground running."
It's undetermined who will take his place in the mayor's office.
In the Department of Capital Improvements, where some of the spending issues occurred, "I plan to assess the controls and the procedures that are in place to make sure they are as rigorous as they need to be," new Director Bravo said.
As far as ongoing and new capital initiatives, "we want to make sure all of that moves forward as smoothly as possible," she said. "My goal is to make sure that the city moves forward in a very positive direction."
Assistant City Manager Martinez worked with Ms. Bravo at the state department of transportation and "know[s] how valuable she is. She has good business sense, good business ethics," he said.
Mr. Martinez also talked up new public works Director Ihekwaba's experience, noting that he has a PhD.
These hirings are the latest in a string of major leadership changes since Mayor Regalado took office.
He brought in Mr. Migoya to replace former City Manager Pete Hernandez and replaced Police Chief John Timoney with Miguel Exposito. On top of that, four of five commissioners are new this term.