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In what has become a growing issue of retaining staff at Coral Gables City Hall, the City’s Economic Development Director Julian Perez, has become the latest high-ranking official to resign.
In a letter to City Manager Peter Iglesias dated August 1st, Perez tendered his resignation effective Friday, August 12th. The letter provided no reason for his resignation.
Perez has served the City as Director since being hired from the City of Doral, where he served as Planning and Zoning Director, in December of 2019.
His letter touts his many accomplishments, including: his management during the COVID-19 pandemic, floodplan management and several economic development initiatives, as well as his collaboration with foreign missions in the City.
Perez’s time as Director has not come without controversy.
His department has been under pressure from residents, as Perez is the direct supervisor of controversial Asset Manager, Zeida Sardinas, who was directly involved in: the Greco lot sale, the Coral Gables Country Club mismanagement, the collapse of the Gondola building, the parking lot issues at the Biltmore Hotel and the contract negotiations at Burger Bobs, just to name a few.
Sardinas preceded Perez in the move from Doral.
Gables Insider reached out to the City for a statement regarding Perez’s departure. The statement came from Assistant City Manager Alberto Parjus, as City Manager Peter Iglesias is out on leave this week.
The statement reads: “I would like to thank Julian Perez for his service to the City of Coral Gables. He joined the city in December 2019 as Director of Economic Development, shortly before the onset of the Covid pandemic. Julian spearheaded the city’s COVID-19 Business Reopening Strategic Plan, crucial to our business community. His efforts included instituting some creative approaches to assisting local businesses such as temporary short-term parking for food pick-up and use of sidewalks and parking spaces for restaurant use. Both programs proved critical to our dining establishments and the local economy. He also led the Small Business Recovery and Technology Grant Program distributing more than $800,000 in rental assistance to small businesses. This effort proved to be a great opportunity to help support our small business community in a direct and meaningful matter. As the city’s Community Rating System Coordinator, he reviewed FEMA’s preliminary flood risk maps and instituted important strategies aimed at improving the city’s rating for the National Flood Insurance Program. We are hopeful that his work will provide Coral Gables homeowners flood insurance rate discounts. Belkys Perez currently the department’s assistant director will serve as interim director. We would like to reiterate our thanks to Julian for his commitment and dedication and wish him continued success,” said Parjus.