After a drawn-out search and months operating without a permanent city manager, Lauderdale Lakes have hired Opa-locka’s current manager, Kelvin Baker, for the position. The move however has been criticized as being rushed and nontransparent, as Baker began work yesterday without an approved contract.
Commissioners reached their decision following short interviews with the three candidates they had picked last week after looking at about 100 resumes. No background checks were done, Commissioner Patricia Hawkins-Williams said.
Hawkins-Williams said it appeared only one of the finalists even met the commission’s original requirements for the position, while other qualified applicants were overlooked.
But there was no question that Baker, 53, who held city manager positions in Opa-locka and North Miami Beach, met the requirements. Baker, who had been rumored for months to be the commission’s choice, resigned his Opa-locka position in July without having a new job in place.
Hawkins-Williams voted along with the four other commissioners to hire Baker, who described himself as “a 21st century city manager” who brings 25 years of senior level government experience to the city.