Opa-locka’s City Manager Ed Brown may be out

Less than a year after being selected for his position, Opa-locka City Manager Ed Brown’s job is on the line for the second time.

Two Opa-locka commissioners are proposing to terminate Brown’s position with the city at an upcoming commission meeting.

The City Commission will vote on Brown’s fate at the commission meeting 7 p.m, April 11 at the Sherbondy Village Auditorium.

During a heated debate at the March 28 commission meeting over the legality of an adult entertainment business in Opa-locka, Commissioner Timothy Holmes expressed his dissatisfaction in Brown’s assessment of the issue, which has brought the brunt of publicity for the city.

The item was co-sponsored by Commissioner Matthew Pigatt, who has been an avid critic of Brown.

Pigatt first proposed to fire Brown ahead of the Feb.15 commission meeting. But Brown escaped the hammer as the commission voted 3-1—Mayor Myra Taylor was absent—to keep him in the post.

Brown has been a longtime volunteer, assistant city manager and interim manager with Opa-locka. He served as interim after Kelvin Brown stepped down in 2015 and in 2017 when Yvette Harrell left.

It isn’t the first time that Brown’s employment with the city has hung in the balance.

Brown was also fired from his position as the executive director of Community Redevelopment Agency after the board of directors ousted him with a unanimous vote in October 2015.

The vote marked the end of a battle between Brown, the Commission and then-City Manager Steve Shiver, whose budget provided only $65,000 for the CRA rather than the requested $230,000.

As city manager, Brown has to oversee the operations of the financially burdened city and deal with a slew of lawsuits filed by former employees and the city’s former waste hauler.

Brown has worked without a contract since his appointment last July with an annual salary of $112,500.

During a special meeting on Jan.12, Opa-locka commissioners voted to reject a deal to give Brown a contract.

Under the proposed contract, Brown would be have been entitled to a severance pay not exceeding 20 weeks; an annual base salary of $137,500; the city’s executive insurance package, and the city would pay the amount of premium due for term life insurance in the amount of two times his annual base salary and more.

This story was originally published in The Miami Times April 10, 2018.

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