For Miami Herald.

With a New Year came a new manager for the Town of Surfside.

The Surfside town commission unanimously approved Guillermo Olmedillo, 70, as the seaside town’s next manager. He began on Jan. 5 and will succeed Michael Crotty, who became town manager in March 2013 and resigned last June.

The town hired Colin Baenziger & Associates to find candidates for the position. The firm received 73 applications and narrowed it down to five. Surfside held a community meeting in November for the town to meet and interview the final five, while former assistant Police Chief John DiCenso was hired as the interim town manager.

Olmedillo will receive an initial annual salary of $155,000.

Before he was tapped to fill in for Crotty, Olmedillo worked in both public and private sectors.

The Venezuelan native moved to Miami at a very young age attending middle and high school here. He graduated from the University of Miami and received two fellowships at MIT.

He returned to Venezuela with his wife, Gladys, around 1974, but later moved back to Miami, so that their three children could be educated here.

He has worked for the City of Miami as the deputy director. Then as a director of a consolidated department for Miami-Dade County where he had to handle 500 employees and a $60 million dollar budget.

When he left the county, the commission asked him to do a political redistricting.

“You may think this is kind of a difficult job to do, but try to put together 13 politicians to all agree unanimously on one plan,” he said during the meeting in November. “And I did that for Miami-Dade County and the school board.”

He was a consultant for many in Miami-Dade, including the City of Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Doral and UM.

“I bring the experience of not only the private sector, but the public sector and I’ve served under the same political structure that the town has,” he said.

Olmedillo’s wife teases him about working too much, while he describes himself as a very logical individual, working firmly based on evidence.

He is excited to work among the active community of Surfside.

“I’m honored. I am looking forward to working with this group,” he said.

There will be a special commission meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 at 9293 Harding Ave, second floor council chambers.

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