Juan Kuryla must be the happiest man working for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who recently announced he wants property owners to swallow a 5 percent tax rate hike to balance his proposed budget. On April 29, Mayor Carlos Gimenez promoted Kuryla from deputy seaport director to the head honcho at the Port of Miami, giving the 25-year county veteran a $120,000 annual salary bump to $290,000.
Kuryla went from midlevel, six-figure bureaucrat to county-hall baller. He is now the second-highest-paid Miami-Dade employee behind County Attorney Robert Cuevas, who earns $317,000 annually and whose last raise came in 2008. We guess Gimenez can always argue he kept Kuryla on his team despite offering $10,000 less per year than the Jacksonville Port Authority. Shortly after getting his raise, Kuryla turned down JaxPort's offer to be its chief executive.
The opportunity to give Kuryla a ludicrous pay raise presented itself when the current Miami-Dade seaport director, Bill Johnson, got the inside track to become chief executive of the Beacon Council, the publicly and privately funded economic development agency, according to the blog Eye On Miami.
How ridiculous is Kurlya's new salary? Consider:
He is making $19,950 more a year than New York Gov. Andrew Coumo.
He is making $27,649 more a year than what the county paid Johnson, the career bureaucrat he's replacing.
He is making $30,300 more a year than outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller.
He is making $91,000 more a year than Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson, who has more years as a county employee yet received only a 14 percent pay raise in February.
And he is making $161,028 more a year than Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Follow Francisco Alvarado onTwitter: @thefrankness.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.