Letter to the Editor: The search for a new city manager

Residents of Marco Island will soon be put through the trial and cost of finding a new city manager. My guess is the cost will be approximately $50,000 just to find the Mr. (or Mrs.) Right.

Having lived here for 16 years, the very best city manager has been Bill Moss, currently the Naples city manager. The next best was Dana Souza, who was the director of parks and recreation with strong family ties on Marco and was acting city manager for only two months until the circus train arrived with Steve Thompson aboard.

Thompson hails from Greenville, S.C.. Dana did a very thorough job, alienating some of the city workers by asking them questions about their poor work habits and accounting practices. Dana becomes director of parks and recreation in Greenville, S.C. where Thompson came from. It doesn’t take long for Thompson to screw up. So the city pols get the bright idea to name local Jim Riviere city manager.

It’s time to pack up the menagerie, get professional, send for Souza in Greenville, save lots of money on search fees, and get a guy who isn’t beholding to all the old political gods of Marco. Our new council appears untainted, you’ll love Souza! If you guys are looking for a suck-up kinda guy, don’t call Dana, lose his number.

Pat Reese

Marco Island

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Comments » 3

ajm3s writes:

Wow! Excellent insight. An enlightened one, but I would argue that Mr. Moss had his hand in the selection process to the same extent, Mr. Arceri had in providing "insight" to council for water and utility operations.

In this tightly knit community, Mr. Moss was involved in the hiring of Mr. Thompson and eventually his dismissal for expediency. There was a need to "administer" the accounting, which lead to Mr. Harrison's retirement, followed by his hire as "consultant" by Mr. Thompson.


Folks should review the "transition report" Mr. Souza provided incoming city manager, Mr. Thompson in May 2008 and made public in October 2008 to council as to the malaise in city operations from his two month seat as interim city manager. Perhaps it is time to review that report in its entirety, for it was detailed and direct.


It was apparent to me at the time, the real leader was Mr. Souza. And we need leadership! And a professional search committee may not provide to the best road to achieving that goal....ultimately it is the responsibility of the folks through their elected representatives on council.

I personally cast a vote for Mr. Souza or those who emulate his approach and work ethic to city management.

It will be interesting to say the least. Council may need our input to keep them focused on leadership, because the directors will run wild and the city employees will suffer and the citizens will ask: "What happened?".

ed34145 writes:

This time, please hire a PROFESSIONAL city manager......one with training, experiential background, and CREDENTIALS at least on a par with ICMA certification...not just a retooled whatever.

GorgonZola writes:

Aha -- as we feared -- there is a move to make "something old" new again. There is no free lunch: if you want QUALITY, you have to pay for it. We are not saying (not out loud, for the time being...) that the present city council is incapable of choosing a suitable, well qualified individual for the position, but they need professional help to do it. They need a professional team of headhunters to weed through the chaff, discard the wannabes and fakes, closely examine resumes, courses, and college degrees, and put together a short list for consideration.
You seem to think Souza does a great job in parks and recreation; we would suggest that is not a qualification for a city manager, nor is the few months he spent in an interim position here in Marco Island. After a dicey marriage and a divorce, re-marriage to the same person is Russian roulette. We have memories of ex-councilwoman Terry DiSciullo promoting Souza for any and all position that became available in Marco Island, and that alone should send a very strong and clear message. If he is doing so well wherever he is (and he is even just a tad sane) why would he want to uproot himself and head backwards in time, where the same boiling pot of oil manned by seven different actors remains in wait? The LAST thing we need here is some kind of popularity contest among a clump of Marco has-beens. Bring on the fresh, intelligent, qualified people!

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