Philip Levine is used to calling the shots as the CEO of a multi-million dollar media business.
On Nov. 25, he’ll take the helm of Miami Beach’s commission as mayor, after winning his first run for political office in a hard-fought campaign against a sitting commissioner.
As a corporate mogul, but newbie politician, Levine will have to learn how to run a different kind of shop — one in which his powers are significantly limited. Unlike the role he’s played in business, the mayorship comes with no executive authority.
Miami Beach has a city manager form of government, which means a hired employee handles the day-to-day dealings of city government. The mayor and commission decide on policy issues, and it’s up to city employees to implement those policies.
So instead of being boss, Levine will have just one vote among a seven-member commission. He’ll have to explain his decisions to a demanding activist community and an intensely interested press. And getting things done will take longer than in private business.
In those ways, the roles and responsibilities of a mayor in a city manager form of government are far different than having complete control over your own company.