Marco's Bill Moss seeking Naples manager position

Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss is seeking the manager position in Naples, his first look at a job off the island since he joined the city at the outset of incorporation in 1997, he said.

Moss sent an e-mail to each of Marco’s seven City Council members Sunday informing them of his decision. He waited until the day before the application deadline to inform his council, he said, because it took him that long to decide to apply.

“It was a tough decision,” Moss said. “Both my wife and I are happy here. If you’re in city management you have to ask yourself why you would want to do something different.”

Moss said the decision to apply came down to his desire to explore a new opportunity. The vision set forward by Naples is an inviting one, Moss said, and he is encouraged by the city’s “very involved” council.

“Naples is close by,” Moss said. “And like Marco Island, it’s one of the premiere cities in the country. For me, professionally, it’s another challenge.”

Naples City Councilor John Sorey said the proximity of Moss’s current city will have little bearing on his council’s decision.

“I think it’s an overall neutral point,” Sorey said. “I’m going to look for the best person for the job.”

Naples City Manager Bob Lee announced his resignation July 12, and will leave the position Oct. 19 to pursue a teaching career at the Askew School of Public Administration at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss

Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss

Executive search firm The Mercer Group, the same company that brought Lee to Naples, was hired in August to help find his replacement. Candidate screening will run through this week, and the company is expected to generate a list of 12 to 18 semi-finalists.

Naples Mayor Bill Barnett said Moss would be subjected to the same application process as every other candidate, and if he makes it through initial screening phase, he will be up for consideration by the Naples City Council at Monday’s workshop.

“If he’s a qualified candidate, then we’ll go from there,” Barnett said. “We’ll see on Monday.”

Lee, the outgoing Naples manager, currently earns $154,500. The position profile lists starting salary at $150,000 to $200,000, plus benefits.

Marco Island’s City Council recently approved a pay raise of 6 percent for Moss, which would bring his salary next year to $161,000.

The island’s often tense political environment has been home to rising public criticism of Moss in recent years. Moss said this is not the deciding factor in his application for the Naples position, but that it has been unavoidable aspect of his job.

“For the most part I’ve been able to overlook some of the negativity,” Moss said. “But I can’t say it doesn’t affect us, because it does.”

The four declared candidates for January’s City Council election have been vocally critical of Moss, as well as the city’s Septic Tank Replacement Program. Ken Allen, Joe Batte, Roger Hall and Butch Neylon are all vying for posts either coming up for reelection or being vacated because of term limits.

Councilor Terri DiSciullo said she anticipated Moss making such a move before voters head to the polls in January.

“I expected something might happen prior to the next election, especially with the way the candidates have been speaking about firing him if they get elected,” DiSciullo said. “At the same time, I can see why he wants to take advantage of the opportunity.”

When City Councilor Chuck Kiester voted against giving Moss a raise at last week’s council meeting, he cited Moss’s overzealousness at spearheading new projects and speeding up existing ones.

Kiester was the only dissenting vote. He declined to comment on Moss’s application for the Naples job, stating that it is too soon after Moss’s announcement to the City Council.

DiSciullo said she fears that now is perhaps not the best time for Moss to leave, with the city’s sewer project heading into its third year.

“I don’t think it will be a good time (for him to leave,)” she said. “He is well-versed in everything that goes on on this island. The STRP will take someone else some time to get up to speed on that project.”

Ted Forcht, one councilor who has consistently opposed Moss’s advancement of the STRP, said Moss has always been professional and forthcoming with the information he needs.

“Whether or not he and I agree on something, when I need information he has always come up with what I ever asked for,” Forcht said at the Sept. 17 meeting. “And that’s all I really need from someone who’s working for me.”

Forcht responded to Moss’s e-mail with his own message, in which he praised Moss and wished him the best of luck, he said.

“If he does get the Naples job, I do not look forward to interviewing for the next city manager,” Forcht said. “I don’t think we’ll find someone else with his qualifications.”

Council Chair Mike Minozzi echoed Forcht’s sentiments, stating that Moss’ eye on the Naples position is an understandable attempt to move upward.

“I really would be very unhappy to see him go,” Minozzi said. “He’s been such a tremendous asset to the city. But I had the same reaction that I would with anyone seeking a position elsewhere: If that employee feels that he can better himself in another place, then go for it.”

Moss underlined the fact that he would remain committed to Marco Island if he does not land the Naples job, or if he declines an offer. He said it is the first time he has applied — or contemplated applying — for a position in another place.

“If I’m not selected in Naples, or I turn down an offer, I have no intention of looking elsewhere,” he said.

Jenna Buzzacco contributed to this report.

© 2007 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 14

15yearsmarco writes:

Mr. Moss sees the handwriting on the wall and knows his days as City manager here are numbered, smart move on his part.

DOBERMAN writes:

Retire, Bill! Go fishing, golfing, find a hobby other than civics.

JoeFubietze writes:

Mr. Moss, is it possible that you take Dana Souza with you? Last I checked he's spending about 2 Million dollars to do the same job that we used to have the YMCA do for us for 1/10th the cost ($200,000). We can take the excess 1.8 Million dollars and put it towards the STRP!

JoeFubietze writes:

And how about Rony Joel? Can you take him too? I need to remind everyone that the person in charge of our STRP, the asbestos, the traffic mess, etc on this island was the same person that wanted to put two drawbridges on the island! I am not making this stuff up! One of these drawbridges on Collier by the Esplanade! He came up with this at the first city council meeting he attended. Read about it here http://marconews.com/news/2005/mar/30... I can't help but laugh every time I read that article! And people are surprised about the STRP!?

happy34145 writes:

Here's to hoping he gets the job!!!!

Maybe we should all email the city of Naples and let them know how wonderful Mr Moss is and how great he would be for their city. A man who can put a spin on a subject like nobody else can. If you have a corrupt city council they will love him!!!!!

optomist writes:

It is obvious the abuse of the voters by Mr. Moss and a complicit council is about to end. Mr. Moss is joining Chief Rienke in an attempt to abandon the ship before it sinks. The Naples job pays $10,000 a year LESS than his current job.

It is clear that Mr. Moss wouldn't survive the POP's petition which is why they wouldn't let us vote on it. All of the candidates for council recognize that Mr. Moss is at best a devisive person and must be replaced for the city to heal and move on.

It would be interesting to know how many other positions he has applied for.

dougenman writes:

Mr. Moss was a knowledgeable, strong and powerful manager. Some would say too strong and too powerful at times, including me. I will him well.

Doug Enman

happy6 writes:

good luck naples!...don't forget dowagiac michigan is looking for a city mgr...it pays 100k less than bill gets now though, but the cost of living is much cheaper i hear.

ba10da69 writes:

Good luck Bill,they will eat you alive Nancy Boy.

----Kevin Diaz

EdFoster writes:

Although Bill Moss and I have crossed swords more often than either of us care to remember, I have always respected his ability to "get things done" and I wish him well wherever he goes.

I cannot help but be amazed at the parallel between his career and mine. It seems we both worked for a major corporation (I consider Marco a "major corporation") for just under 10 years. I left CBS Laboratories after 9 years and 9 months on the job ... three months shy of vesting my pension ... to join a new company at a reduced salary because of the opportunity I thought it offered. At the time, it was standard procedure for a manager to leave immediately upon announcing his intention to do so because it is virtually impossible for a "lame duck" to manage successfully. Those under him invariably suffer and progress grinds to a halt. Nonetheless, CBS offered me an opportunity to remain for three months so my pension would vest. I cleared my desk and left the next Friday.

Ed Foster

kricket104103 writes:

Hey Joe! You need to take another look around you!
The parks look nice. The fields look nice. Ask the guys who play softball if they think Dana Souza should go or the football teams who use the park, or the people who attend the Movie Nights and Holiday Events, or the knitters, or the Men's Club or the Sports Camp kids, or Game Olympics kids, the list goes on.............As a mom and park user - I hope no one listens to you. The YMCA does well with their own stuff; they should stick to that.

lowus writes:

The softball field is a PIT. Ask the guys in the mens league what they think the condition of the field is.

JoeFubietze writes:

kricket, I hear you except much of what you list was there before Mr. Souza. I see that you did not list the "Simply Silly Celebration". Oh, forgot, it doesn't exist anymore. Holiday Events, hope you aren't talking about the bigger holiday events like Christmas Island Style which is done by volunteers other than Souza and crew. Sports Camp, isn't that the summer program that is outsourced and not run by the recreation department? With dwindling enrollment? Do you remember Terry DiSciulla explaining that the recreation department will cost less than outsourcing it to the YMCA? And here we are spending ten times the amount. An extra 1.8 Million Dollars. I would like to agree that the park does look nice, and the fields look nice too. As to the YMCA sticking to their own stuff, I totally agree...could you please tell Mr. Souza to stop attempting to duplicate their programs?

kricket104103 writes:

Lowus - are you talking about the softball field on Winterberry??? It's no pit!! It's looks great!!!!!

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