Former Miami Seashore metropolis manager Rob Parkins, who ran the town government by means of criminal offense waves and budget crises in the 1980s, will be remembered as a no-nonsense chief who navigated a “difficult, dangerous and unquestionably depressing time” on the Beach front.
“I feel Rob at the time was like Winston Churchill all through Planet War II. His greatest asset was that he was ready to endure and keep our local community afloat with hope,” reported former Mayor Alex Daoud, who put in his 6 many years as mayor doing the job with Parkins.
Parkins, who later on remaining Miami Seashore for a city manager career in Palm Springs, California, died of COVID-19 on Jan. 23, his household wrote Sunday in an obituary printed in the Miami Herald.
He died in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He was 82.
Parkins is survived by his son, Rob Heglin sisters Patricia Delight and Dr. Sue Parkins Cameron and granddaughter Madeleine Heglin.
“He could be blunt and demeaning, but he was compassionate and empowering, an extraordinary person,” his family members wrote. “As a chief, pal, co-worker, and spouse and children member Rob is a great deal liked.”
The former banker, pilot and police officer became Miami Beach metropolis manager in 1982, as the city grappled with the repercussions of a bungled redevelopment program and fears from fearful inhabitants that an influx of Cuban refugees from the Mariel boatlift experienced created Miami Beach unsafe.
Parkins, whose crackdown on crime-ridden apartments and motels displaced hundreds of elderly people and led to criticism from civil rights groups, oversaw a time period of progress in the metropolis with important renovations authorized for the Convention Middle and the Fontainebleau Resort, and hundreds of thousands used restoring flats in the Art Deco District.
In 1987, he declared: “My good friends, we have crossed that threshold to a new commencing.”
Parkins, who worked as a Miami cop and town administrator just before heading across Biscayne Bay, preferred to operate 1 night a week as an officer for Miami Beach Police when he was metropolis supervisor.
“I get a good deal closer to the metropolis by having out of the business and on to the streets,” he said in 1983. “I study an terrible large amount.”
His hard-functioning nature — and the 12 cups of espresso per working day he the moment drank, chased with 3 packs of cigarettes — landed him at Mount Sinai Health care Heart considerably less than a year into his new gig. He after insisted on keeping a city assembly in the hospital’s eating place though dressed in a bathrobe and pajamas.
“It in no way crossed my brain that it could possibly be extremely spectacular,” Parkins stated. “If I had been brought in on a gurney with an IV, that would have been extremely spectacular.”
Parkins experienced a way of changing enemies into good friends.
When then-Commissioner Daoud ran for mayor in 1985 on an anti-Metropolis Hall platform, he vowed to drive Parkins out of place of work. Daoud promptly transformed his tune, and he sooner or later advisable Parkins for the Palm Springs task when then-Mayor Sonny Bono recruited Parkins absent. He labored in Palm Springs right until 1999, as a town manager and a section-time officer.
“In politics you have to realize there is usually give and just take. When it is around and carried out, we the two required to care about our city,” Daoud said.
Daoud was later charged with bribery immediately after currently being accused of making use of his community workplace to enrich himself and upgrade his Miami Seaside property — and Parkins testified in courtroom that the period of progress in the city he presided around was ripe for abuse.
“There was equally the excitement of seeing the Seashore shifting in advance, and the worry that this delivered prospects for those who could be so inclined to solicit favors or presents,” Parkins explained at the time.
Former Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, who labored briefly with Parkins when she was an activist in the metropolis, mentioned the 6-foot-tall, bearded manager knew how to get his way.
“He was quite imposing, she stated. “I recall that he needed it his way.”
As he told Ira Giller, the president-elect of the Chamber of Commerce in 1983, Parkins felt he required to act boldly for the reason that he under no circumstances understood when he would be fired.
“There are two sorts of metropolis supervisors,” Parkins said. “There is a servicing supervisor, who sits back again and watches above, and an at-hazard manager. I’m an at-possibility supervisor. I know the common existence span of a city supervisor is 2.2 many years. I think this town is on the threshold of greatness if we strategy for it.”
His loved ones reported “there will be a celebration when stories and hugs can be shared,” and they directed memorial donations to Miami Beach front Police Division Retirees, Palm Springs Police Officer Association, the Salvation Army or an animal rescue of your selection.