Justin Flippen has left his position in Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter's office for a job at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau which he will start Monday.
Flippen worked on Ritter's 2006 campaign and then was hired by her office after she won. Since then, he was elected to the Wilton Manors City Commission where he now serves as Vice Mayor. Wilton Manors is not in Ritter's district.
"I suggested that it was maybe time for Justin to move on,'' Ritter said. "Maybe working as an aide to a county commissioner when you are a city commissioner is kind of awkward.''
Ritter, who is guiding commissioners as they are looking for ways to cut up to $160 million from the budget, said she has no plans to replace Flippen.
"I don't think that I need three fulltime aides,'' she said.
Flippen, a former president of the gay Dolphin Democrats, said that he and Ritter talked last year when he was running for office that he would eventually find another job.
"We knew it would present unique circumstances for a city official to work for a county official,'' Flippen said.
Ritter didn't ask the bureau to hire Flippen, said Nicki Grossman, bureau president. Grossman said she was meeting with Flippen a couple months ago to discuss tourism matters when he expressed an interest in a job.
Flippen will promote Broward as a tourist destination at trade shows, Grossman said.
"He is a city commissioner in a city that has become very important to our tourism product,'' she said. "I don't know that he needed special destination experience.''