County Manager Reorganizes Top Staff Trims 1 Million From Payroll
By Shannon Pettypiece
Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess has trimmed almost $1 million from his payroll by eliminating positions, cutting salaries and consolidating functions in his office.
Two assistant county managers – Tom David and Alicia Cuervo-Schreiber – have been replaced at lower salaries by Susan Torriente, brought back to the county from her most recent job as assistant city manager of Coral Gables, and Alex Munoz, former director of Team Metro.
Sam Walthour, former deputy director of Team Metro, was promoted to director and his former job was eliminated.
Also, Mr. Burgess merged the Information Technology and eGovernment divisions, eliminating an officer’s position.
The county has more than 30,000 employees and is one of the largest county governments in the country.
Mr. Burgess said his staff will consider other possible job consolidations over the next several months in an attempt to reduce the county’s $5.5 billion budget. He said possibilities include reorganizations of the technology and Homeland Security departments.
He said his management philosophy is to run the county like a business where the public is the customer, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners is the board of directors and county employees are held responsible and rewarded for good service.
"We are going to have some strategic management initiatives based on what the public expects," he said. "We have a ways to go, and I really want to champion this and make it a clear priority."
He said one of his main strategies is to strengthen the county’s reserve fund so the county could leverage a $6 million bond program.
Mr. Burgess’ reorganization follows Miami Mayor Manny Diaz’s overhaul of city government in November that eliminated eight of 29 departments and adopted a corporate model.
Since moving into the county manager’s position June 12, Mr. Burgess has made eliminating the county’s deficit one of his top priorities.