Reporting Jim DeFede
MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado wasted no time in finding a new city manager. Less than 24 hours after accepting the resignation of Tony Crapp, Regalado announced Johnny Martinez as his choice to become city manager Tuesday morning.
Regalado did say that he was “disappointed” in Crapp’s resignation and that he had hoped Crapp would have stayed on through the budget process.
Martinez joined the staff at city hall last year at the urging of former city manager Carlos Migoya. If approved, Martinez will become the fourth city manager in Miami in the last 16 months. Regalado hopes to get approval of Martinez during Thursday’s city commission meeting.
Regalado said the quick appointment, and his hope for a quick confirmation, is to reinforce a message about the city of Miami.
“We want to send a message to the residents, to the employees, and to the financial world that we have a functional government, that we have a stable government, that there is no instability in the city of Miami and we will work,” Regalado said.
Mayor Regalado said that no salary has been negotiated with Martinez, but after meeting with the commission over the next two weeks; a new salary will be negotiated and in place by July 15.
The speed at which the process has been conducted was also to help the city immediately begin working on the budget for next year.
“It’s our agenda to start immediately working with the budget and work with the unions and work with the private sector on several mega projects that will bring jobs to the city of Miami,” Regalado said.
But just because he was appointed quickly and may be approved quickly doesn’t mean Martinez will help Regalado get rid of Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito. CBS4’s Jim DeFede questioned Martinez about Exposito’s status and the new city manager gave no indication a decision on Exposito had been made.
“I will take into account all the information that’s been gathered and the chief’s position will be evaluated with all the other directors in the city of Miami to make sure we have the right director in the right fit in the right department,” Martinez said.
When DeFede asked if Martinez had already made up his mind on whether the chief should be fired, Martinez answered, “Not at all.”
For Regalado, he’s had to deal with two major positions coming open in the same month. Besides Crapp, Miami chief financial officer Larry Spring submitted his resignation to Miami manager Crapp on June 3rd. Spring said he wanted to pursue private-sector jobs that have started to come his way.
The departures of Spring and Crapp mean Miami, already facing a large deficit due in part to over-inflated revenue estimates from the two men, will be hit with another unexpected expense: Payouts of almost $200,000 due to Spring and Crapp for unused vacation and sick time, and severance.
Spring walked with $125,734.56 in unused vacation and sick time and his severance, while Crapp, who earned no severance, is due close to $60,000.
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