This breaking news just in: An hour or two after Jose Mallea called Ladra to tell her he was only going to be the interim chief of staff for new Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Ladra gets the word that Key Biscayne Village Manager Genaro "Chip" Iglesias -- the mayor's former chief of staff when he was commissioner in District 7 -- got the permanent gig. (Kudos to fellow blogger Frank Alvarado for making the prediction).
He will start in mid September and will make an annual salary of $225,000 (that's more than his boss and it is not including benefits) as a Deputy Mayor. That's because in addition to representing Gimenez and running the mayor's office, Iglesias will supervise several of the departments that remain after the mayor downsizes the county. He also said that there might be more deputy mayors named in the near future. (There goes the mayor's cut in his salary).
We had already heard Iglesias' name float around and were told he might become the next fire chief. But even though he was once captain at the Miami Fire Department, that seemed off and we didn't use it. We do know Iglesias (who was also once chief of staff to former county commissioner Jimmy Morales and Gimenez when Gimenez was Miami City Manager) was restless in paradise and had become a finalist for the Pinecrest Village manager job. (He already called them and told them to take his name out of the hat).
Mallea could not be immediately reached and Gimenez is in a meeting, according to his press guy, so I will have to wait for details. Tom Martinelli, the former Marcelo Llorente campaign staffer now working on the mayor's transition team, also said he would get back to me later with a full list of who has been hired and what they are going to earn in pay and benefits.
Iglesias put in his 60-day notice with the village council and that will take him until Sept. 11, meaning he can start Sept. 12 -- one day before the first budget hearing. So, of course, he will be moonlighting. "I'll be helping out unofficially," he said.
Before this last minute change, Mallea -- who will apparently stay through mid September when Chip takes over -- told me he was only going to be a temporary chief of staff until the mayor got his office in order and that he would work for nada, as a volunteer. Just as he did on the campaign. Maybe his new restaurant, The Local in Coral Gables (opened this year with high school chum Mauricio Lacayo) is doing that well. But Mallea -- who also owns JM Consulting Group, a political consulting firm that also does "private advocacy work" (read: lobbying) in DC -- said he won't get paid a dime for county work.
Now, that worries Ladra. Because decent, transparent compensation (especially in a job that someone else is about to get about $18,000 a month for) is not only fair and ethical, it leaves little room for conjecture and things that make you go hmmmmm. Non-existing compensation makes you go hmmmmm because it seems -- at least from the outside -- like there is something under the covers. Quid pro quo? Future favors? A job for someone else close to him (although the mayor's recent history suggests Homey don't play that... sorry to steal, poet).
Maybe Ladra is just too cynical these days and there are other good people, other heroes like the ones who helped Gimenez get elected, that do it out of the goodness of their hearts (or their hatred for Robaina) or their concern for the wellbeing of this community.
Forget being chief of staff. That guy should run for office.