Alumnus of the Year – Steve Shiver
Steve Shiver was once one of Florida’s premier politicians. He led three separate entities including county, city and police union governance while running his own political consulting firm.
He invested and ran a Wild West-themed amusement park that went bankrupt, defying Alex Penelas (former county “boy mayor”) as county manager by producing an audit of the local police force.
Early Life and Education
Steve Shiver was employed with Florida Power & Light as a health physics technician, responsible for radiation safety. Additionally, he collaborated with a Tallahassee-based political consulting firm and participated in one of the largest volunteer campaign programs ever seen in Florida history during Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential election campaign.
Shiver, as city manager of Opa-locka, led his community by searching out any form of corruption while providing back-to-basics public services. He strongly advocates using Community Development Block Grants to assist localities with affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure issues. Shiver is proud of having two daughters Raina Dameron and Jennifer Dameron who gave him two sugar grandbabies Sophia and Madelin; also Jaquel Brooks whom found his massive lost bull while out hunting with him in Davis County last year and took an ethical high road when she found him there despite having many opportunities.
Shiver was also involved with the RPOF but also founded and ran a political consulting firm which assisted state Senate and House candidates, government officials, corporations, lobbyists and PR companies with lobbying and public affairs matters.
Shiver also invested and operated Ghost Town amusement park in North Carolina’s Wild West theme, but ultimately went bankrupt and forced locals to clean up after him. A civil engineer testified against Shiver for failing to address issues at Ghost Town including needing to fix its retaining wall system when warned. Shiver disregarded this advice.
He served two terms as Mayor of Homestead before landing a short stint as County Manager in one of Florida’s troubled municipalities, Opa-locka. Here financial problems predated his tenure. Additionally, he dabbled as an actor portraying Mr. Wiltshire on Hotel Babylon and Agatha Christie’s Marple respectively.
Achievement and Honors
This award recognizes an alumni of UWG who has made remarkable strides in his or her field while showing exceptional leadership and promoting UWG. An ideal recipient should embody the notion of community outreach while acknowledging diversity as essential in building our society.
Shiver was well known in Homestead as a consensus builder who could bring different factions together for the greater good. He helped turn around its finances and was elected the first African-American mayor of Miami-Dade County suburb Homestead.
Westwood students enrolled in Mrs. Davis’ Digital Film class are working on their Christian screenplay “Unspeakable”, filming scenes at Westwood school before concluding production in June 2017. Choose this Perk to access an Exclusive Shocking Hair Raising Scene between John Jarratt and Danielle Harris from Shiver movie!
Shiver was both mayor and councilman of Homestead at one point; using his political influence, he persuaded the Community Redevelopment Agency of that city to pay his company $1.9 million for 4.2 acres of blighted real estate containing laundromat, grocery store, 44 rundown “shotgun” row houses as part of his personal scheme.
Shiver’s company, Quality Services, profited greatly from this deal with the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), as they paid more for the land than it was worth. Their company now owns it and all row houses have been demolished. Shiver currently lives in North Carolina with wife Judy; children Dr. Ron Shiver and Jan DeHaven; grandchildren Rhonda Thornton, Rye Shiver, John Pratt and Barrett Shiver as well as nephews and nieces.
Shiver has established several small businesses, such as Quality Services and Development which is listed as engaging in “any and all lawful business”. His company made headlines when the Miami Police Benevolent Association hired them to install campaign signs for judicial candidates running for election.
Shiver owes over $9.5 million in debts to creditors, including BB&T of North Carolina and over 200 others, according to bankruptcy records. He relies on family donations for support; under questioning from a trustee he said this was true for him as well. As most transactions take place using cash rather than credit cards.
He points to his track record as Opa-Locka city manager as proof of his ability to balance budgets while combatting corruption by restricting use of Community Development Block Grant funds. Furthermore, he now works for Miami-Dade County as deputy property tax collector, earning more than $28,000 monthly salary.