Coral Gables City Manager Pat Salerno Abruptly Resigns

In his long municipal career, Pat Salerno has shown two consistent tendencies: bringing big-money, landscape-changing projects to fruition and rubbing other government officials the wrong way with his management style.

Six years after that latter habit got him run out of Sunrise, Salerno abruptly resigned this morning as Coral Gables city manager.

Salerno handed in his resignation at this morning's city commission meeting, where he told the chamber: "It's the right time."

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"No one knows why he's resigned," a city official tells Riptide.

But in his six years as Coral Gables city manager and the 18 years he spent before that in the same job in Sunrise, Salerno often butted heads with other top officials. His tenure in Sunrise came to an end in January 2008 when a majority of the city commission asked him to resign.

He took over in Coral Gables in 2009, and in 2012 he narrowly survived a 3-2 commission vote whether to keep him employed, again over complaints about his management style.

A city official tells Riptide that Commissioner Vince Lago, who had repeatedly clashed with Salerno, was planning another referendum on the manager.

Still, his resignation caught many by surprise. And for all the complaints about his management style, Salerno has undoubtedly been a strong financial steward. In Sunrise, he helped bring Sawgrass Mills and the BankAtlantic Center to town while building up millions in reserves.

In Coral Gables, he sparked a wave a municipal projects while turning an $8.5 million deficit into millions in the black.

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