New Public Works Director Recommended

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

New Public Works Director Recommended:

Promotion for roy coley; eric carpenter to focus on assistant city manager role

City Manager Jimmy Morales is recommending the City Commission promote Roy Coley (above) to Director of Public Works for Miami Beach as part of an organizational change. Morales wants current Assistant City Manager Eric Carpenter to give up his dual role as Public Works Director and focus “additional efforts” on his ACM role overseeing “three very visible Departments (Parks and Recreation, Capital Improvement Projects, and Public Works).” Parks and Rec and Capital Improvements each have their own directors.
 
In addition to the ACM job, Carpenter has served “as a liaison to the Mayor and Commission regarding infrastructure matters, taking on special projects, interfacing with the constituents and helping to facilitate interdepartmental solutions. In addition to serving as the Director of one of the City’s largest and most diverse Departments at the forefront of the battle against sea level rise and stormwater management, a number of other important issues include water and sewer infrastructure renewal, cleanliness of the City, street lighting, landscape maintenance and all facets of street and sidewalk maintenance,” Morales wrote Commissioners in a memo.
 
Bottom line, that’s a lot of jobs. The recommended change comes as the City undertakes a review of its resiliency efforts and their effectiveness and deals with the various regulatory agencies over unpermitted work on the Indian Creek seawall project.
 
Coley, currently the Assistant Director of Public Works/Infrastructure Director, has lead the City’s efforts on drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, streets, and street lighting. Morales called him a “transformational leader” in his recommendation to Commission. He was one of the leaders in the City’s preparation and response efforts for Hurricane Irma and has been instrumental in the City’s response to the King tides. “He procured new vacuum trucks to aid the immediate shocks of high water and developed a strategy where temporary pumps were used to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the lowest lying areas while more permanent measures were being developed,” Morales wrote. “Mr. Coley will provide the innovative approaches to stormwater management, renewal and replacement of aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, streets, and street lighting.”
 
Morales also noted that in addition to taking a “working for you” approach with residents and businesses, “He will further develop relationships with regulators and have a collaborative approach to implementing new community improvement projects.” Those relationships were strained under former City Engineer Bruce Mowry who was often criticized for his aggressiveness in moving projects forward, a characterization he agreed with in discussing the unpermitted work on Indian Creek. The “adversarial” regulatory relationships were mentioned in a recent Letter to Commission from City Attorney Raul Aguila. The City Engineer position reports to the Public Works Director.

Coley has more than twenty years experience in water resources operations and maintenance. Morales noted that in Key West, Coley “pioneered a new water quality management technique in drinking water systems.” Other accomplishments include “the startup and operations of three reverse osmosis drinking water plants, and five wastewater treatment plants. Four treatment plants under his direction received operational excellence awards by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for consistently exceeding regulatory requirements.”
 
City Commissioners will consider the recommendation at their meeting next week.
 
Further details on the appointment and Coley’s resume can be found here.

 
 
Photo: Roy Coley
 

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