Miami Beach City Commission Appoints Interim City Manager

(Miami Beach, FL) Dec 9, 2020 -

Today, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously appointed Raul Aguila as the city’s interim city manager, effective Dec. 12. Aguila has been the Miami Beach city attorney since spring 2014.

“Raul has been a transformational leader over the years, and I am confident his leadership and experience will serve our community well during this transitional period,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber shared.

Aguila was unanimously named city attorney in 2014 by the mayor and commission after having served in the City Attorney’s Office for 23 years. In his role, the city spearheaded cutting-edge quality-of-life and social equality legislation that has influenced local governments throughout Florida and the country — including the distinction as one of the first U.S. cities to enact human rights legislation and domestic partnership protections. Additionally, the city was one of the first to pass ordinances guaranteeing a living wage to employees of city contractors and requiring city contractors to provide equal benefits to the domestic partners of employees.

During his tenure, the City Attorney’s Office handled some of the city’s most important public and public-private development projects, including the revitalization of Lincoln Road, the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Loews Hotel, and the New World Center and SoundScape Park (home of the New World Symphony). Aguila has also represented the city on its $439 million General Obligation Bond Program, which is already revitalizing public spaces, public structures, and public security for the future of Miami Beach.

Aguila’s team has also been working on turning Miami Beach into a model for corporate sustainability and resilient development practices. His work has been instrumental in amending the City Code to lay the framework for progressive development practices. The city’s Green Building Ordinance creates important environmental standards for new construction (including LEED Gold and the Living Building Challenge). And several ordinances have been enacted prohibiting the use and sale of expanded polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) and single-use plastic straws by retail stores and food service providers.

“I’m humbled and grateful that our City Commission has entrusted me to serve this great city on an interim basis,” Aguila said. “I look forward to continuing to lead with integrity and transparency while ensuring progress on the multitude of city priorities.”

Deputy City Attorney Rafael Paz will step into the role of interim city attorney during Aguila’s service. A national search is underway for a permanent city manager.

City Manager Jimmy Morales announced his resignation two months ago. He recently accepted a position as Miami-Dade County Chief Operations Officer — overseeing Water and Sewer; Transportation and Public Works; the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources; Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces; Solid Waste Management; Elections; Aviation and the Seaport. His last day with the city will be on Dec. 11.