The evening of June 9, 2014. That was the day the City of Doral finally approved a new city manager.
The new city manager, Edward Rojas who everybody refers to as “Eddie”, will be taking the helm for the day-to-day operations in a city that deserves a new beginning. Something must have convinced them that the city in fact needed fresh blood.
According to a detailed account by the Mayor, the city received over 70 resumes from candidates including some from South Florida and from out-of-state. The Mayor, in an unprecedented moved, shared his top eight candidates with the rest of the council prior to the nomination and narrowed down the pool of candidates to three: Joseph Pinon, whose experience included senior diplomatic advisor at the U.S. State Department; Ricardo Mendez, who is the current chief operating officer at the city of Harrisburg, PA; and Eddie Rojas.
At the end, the majority of the council wanted to give the chance to lead the city to someone that came from within and Mr. Rojas seem to have the right qualifications to unite the city. After leaving Doral briefly at the end of 2012, he came back in 2013 as Building Director. His number one achievement? Changing the culture inside one of the least popular departments in a city that otherwise has superb customer service.
Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz was the only dissenting vote. Though Ms. Ruiz had supported the Mayor’s move to change the manager since last Fall, she seemed to be disappointed with his nomination referring to a lack of municipal government experience including contract negotiations with the Police union, supervision of a city with over 200 employees and a potential nepotism situation since Mr. Rojas is married to another city employee which will make the City Attorney’s office busy. That conflict needs to be ironed out before the next meeting when the Council will approve the new manager’s contract. The Council did agree unanimously to include stipulations in the contract to evaluate the new manager’s performance in a yearly basis before increasing his salary.
Everything seems to point out that Mr. Rojas’ appointment is welcomed both internally and by Doral residents and business owners and that he has the necessary leadership to bring the city forward. We hope and pray to God that is the case.