OPA-LOCKA — On Monday, July 9, at 10:35 a.m. in the Opa-locka Municipal Building, with his right hand raised and his left on the Bible, Kelvin L. Baker Sr., took an oath administered by interim City Clerk Joanna Flores, as he solemnly swore to support the Constitution, obey the laws of the United States and Florida, observe the provisions of the Charter and ordinances of the city of Opa-locka, while faithfully discharging the duties of city manager.
City Commissioner Timothy Holmes, Opa-locka Police Deputy Chief Antonio Sanchez and Deputy City Clerk Sha’mecca Lawson observed.
Baker was chosen from among 19 candidates who applied for the permanent position. Seven were interviewed by the commission on June 28. At a special commission meeting July 3 the decision to hire the former North Miami Beach city manager, was approved and finalized. Baker was asked to report to work the following Monday, when he was sworn-in on his first official day of work.
In addition to serving as city manager in North Miami Beach, Baker’s experience includes service as interim, deputy and assistant city manager, director of public services, director of public works, assistant to the director and support services manager.
He also served as an administration sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and president/CEO of Kelvin L. Baker & Associates Management Consultant Services.
Baker has earned a master of Business Administration, a master of Science in Public Management, a bachelor of science in Human Resources Management and a bachelor of science in Biblical Studies.
Prior to joining the city of Opa-locka, Baker was director of admissions at the University of Fort Lauderdale and adjunct professor at Jose Maria Vargas University. He also has an honorary Ph.D in Divinity from Jacksonville Baptist Theological Seminary.
Former Opa-locka City Manager Bryan Finnie submitted his resignation to the mayor and commission on June 27, during the regular bi-monthly commission meeting. Finnie initially began working as the interim manager for the city in November 2008, resigned in December 2010, and returned in June 2011.
“The city is now on track,” Finnie stated. “I think it will benefit from a new coach.” Baker is vowing to lead his new team of directors and staff in the city to winning seasons.
Photo: Kelvin L. Baker Sr.