Less than a week after proposing that interim Manager Charles Press be considered as the permanent choice for the Village’s top job, Council Member Brett Moss said Monday he’s pulling his idea.
“I’m not moving forward with this at all, and I won’t support it,” Moss said in a “sunshine meeting” he had requested with Council Member Luis Lauredo.
The two men sat at opposite ends of a long table in the council chambers. About nine members of the public attended, including fellow Council Member Ed London.
At a fractious council meeting last week, Lauredo had described the idea of considering Press as a candidate late in the search process as a “conspiracy” on the heels of a bitter November election. Although Moss’ idea found favor with Council Members Allison McCormiock and Frank Caplan, it was opposed by London and Council Member Ignacio Segurola.
Moss said he was surprised by the reaction from Lauredo and the others.
“I think you’re correct,” Moss said to Lauredo. “It is divisive. My intent is not to get out here and get four votes.”
“I kept this very much to myself,” Moss explained, although he said he’d raised the idea with a small group of people including former Council Member Katie Petros and Village Attorney Chad Friedman.
“I take your word for it,” Lauredo said. He added later: “I apologize to you, that was not my intent.”
The Council is taking up the manager selection process again Tuesday night. Both Moss and Lauredo said they’ve narrowed their choices down to two — although it’s not clear if all council members feel the same way. Mayor Mike Davey said Monday he’s not ruling out a penultimate narrowing of the field before the public can have a “meet and greet” with finalists — something he says may happen as early as Thursday.
Village search consultant Constance Hoffman had opined that of the four remaining applicants, she found only two were qualified: Steve Williamson and Chris Rose. But Davey said council members may not agree. He is hoping a final selection may be made as early as April 13, although a formal meeting has not been called for that date.
Press has been serving as interim manager since Andrea Agha left Jan. 1. He told council members last week he would serve as permanent manager if asked, but would be happy to return to his job as police chief
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.