Doral Council Faces Debate Over Interim City Attorney Appointment

In a recent session, the Doral City Council encountered discussions surrounding the appointment of a new interim City Attorney, with concerns over potential conflicts of interest and the appropriateness of considering a candidate’s personal views. The meeting, which also included debates about the order of agenda items, the appointment of an interim City Manager, and the formation of a search committee for a permanent City Manager, was marked by disagreements that ultimately led to a motion to adjourn.

The most notable issue of the meeting was the debate on the appointment of a new interim City Attorney from Greenspoon Marder LLP. Questions were raised about the candidate’s concurrent run for a School Board member position and their political positions, particularly on LGBTQ+ issues. The discussions escalated when a council member was barred from inquiring about the candidate’s contract, thus inciting a motion to adjourn, which subsequently passed.

The meeting began with a debate on the agenda’s order, which was eventually restructured after a vote to suspend the rules of procedure. During the public comment period, community members voiced their dissatisfaction with the council’s focus on administrative reorganization rather than pressing city issues.

Two law firms, Geller and Gastesi Lopez, presented their qualifications to serve as the interim City Attorney. Both emphasized their readiness to work closely with the council and their dedication to serving the city professionally.

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The council then moved on to the topic of appointing an interim City Manager. Discussion centered on Katie G. Brooks, who was presented as a candidate with over four decades of experience in local government, including roles in finance, budgeting, transportation, and strategic planning. Despite some council members questioning the transparency of the selection process and the necessity of changing the current interim City Manager, the motion to appoint Brooks was passed after a debate.

The meeting also addressed the potential termination of the agreement with the Deputy City Manager, Mr. Rios, should he revert to his former role. The council conveyed appreciation for Mr. Rios’ service and professionalism.

Christopher J. Russo was mentioned as another candidate for the interim City Manager role, and the council expressed their desire for a more open debate regarding the selection. Despite this, there was no clear resolution on his appointment during the meeting.

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A further point of discussion was the formation of a search committee for the permanent City Manager position. Deliberations revolved around the recruitment posting duration, with suggestions ranging from 30 to 45 days, and the proposed salary range, which was debated to be between $230,000 and $300,000. The council also discussed the scheduling of the first selection committee meeting, favoring an afternoon slot to facilitate public attendance.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Christi Fraga
City Council Officials:
Oscar Puig-Corve, Rafael Pineyro, Maureen Porras, Digna Cabral

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