Miami City Manager Art Noriega has added three new staff members to his leadership team to help carry out city leaders’ policies and plans for the next five years.
New crew members have experience with budgeting and financing; technological information and master plan; and planning and impact studies — all areas where the City works to improve services to residents, business owners and local organizations.
Noriega named Larry Springs as the new Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer; Shell Lakisha as the new Director of Planning; and Gee Chow as the new Chief Information Technology Officer and Chief Innovation Officer.
The new team was assembled as the city prepares its budget for the next fiscal year. Team members, for their part, will help the city enforce its new ordinance that requires developers to build more parking lots in the Downtown and Brickell areas.
Springs, a certified public accountant and former city manager of North Miami, will take over Miami’s financial duties, such as budgeting, accounting, capital financing and bond issuance.
Springs has over 19 years of experience in the public sector, 15 of which as deputy director of general government finance. He was also a director of Productivity and Decision Support for Jackson Health Systems, as well as a former chief financial officer.
Springs earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tulane University and is a Florida licensed real estate agent.
Chow has extensive experience in the areas of information technology management within local government, including managing and developing multiple enterprise-wide public safety IT services teams for multiple Florida counties like Miami-Dade, St. Lucie, and Osceola in the St. Cloud area, as well as the city of Coral Gables.
His duties in Miami also include strategic planning in developing master plans for technology initiatives and capital improvement projects, and overseeing large-scale budgets for production systems.
He holds an MBA and Masters in Finance from Florida International University, as well as a BS in Computer Science from the University of Florida.
Hull was previously responsible for the Development Services Division for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, where she handled land development projects and right-of-way management permits.
Hull also oversaw work programs, such as rezoning petitions, traffic impact studies, encroachments, abandonments, lease agreements and special event permits.
Prior to his tenure in North Carolina, Hull was the city planner for Los Angeles.
Hull holds a dual master’s degree in architecture and urban and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design, and a bachelor of science in architecture from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.
She is also a graduate of Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH), located in the Miami Design District.
Noriega said his new management team is capable of getting the job done for Miami.
“I am convinced that these professionals, with their experience and qualifications, have the necessary skills to carry out our vision for the future,” he said.
Noriega’s new leadership team will help the City of Miami manage new policies approved by City Commissioners.
One of them is a new ordinance that would essentially force developers to build more parking lots in Downtown Miami and Brickell. Commissioners approved the legislation in March 2022, but it is unclear whether the law has come into force.
Critics have suggested the ordinance goes in the opposite direction of current planning trends and even the city’s groundbreaking zoning code.
According to the ordinance, developers will be required to build the full number of parking spaces required by zoning unless they can get a vote from the commission to authorize a reduction for their specific project. Planner parking reduction waivers for projects near transit stops will no longer be permitted.
Commissioner Manolo Reyes, who sponsored the ordinance, told reporters after the vote that Miami was not a walkable and bikeable city.
“We don’t have a public transit system, period,” he said.
Commissioner Joe Carollo, who also backed the ordinance, called the developers “greedy” for wanting to build fewer parking lots.
Noriega’s new leadership team will help Miami with its budget process for 2022-23, with the city’s general fund estimated at $877,301 million for next year.
The City closed its books on June 10, 2022 for the current fiscal year with a budget surplus of $30,422 in the general fund.
City commissioners will now decide whether to keep the line on the mileage rate for property taxes or cut the rate at two budget hearings in September.
The city is focused on completing road repair and sidewalk improvement projects, hiring more police officers, building affordable housing, and upgrading the transportation system.