Making hard choices: Marco Island City Council narrows city manager search from 13 to six

A proposed redesign for the Smokehouse Bridge eliminates the metal arches above the bridge but keeps the walkway below. Marco Island City Council will receive the final design and engineer’s cost estimate by the end of the week.

A proposed redesign for the Smokehouse Bridge eliminates the metal arches above the bridge but keeps the walkway below. Marco Island City Council will receive the final design and engineer’s cost estimate by the end of the week.

— After a second search for a new city manager for Marco Island, five candidates drew tepid interest Monday from Marco Island City Council. Councilors dismissed an earlier search firm when the candidates presented did not meet expectations.

A sixth candidate, Roger Hernstadt, city manager of Marathon, Fla., who did not apply in the second-round search, was added to the list. Hernstadt was an applicant when the first search was conducted. Council asked that he be contacted as a finalist.

Bob Slavin, owner of Slavin Management Consultants, presented the list of 13 semifinalists from the second search. He asked council to narrow the list.

“There’s only five I would be willing to talk to,” said Councilor Joe Batte. “I’ve eliminated all but five on your list.”

Bob Slavin of Slavin Management Consultants presents a list of 13 semifinalists to Marco Island’s City Council Monday for the position of city manager. Slavin’s firm conducted the second search for qualified candidates. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Bob Slavin of Slavin Management Consultants presents a list of 13 semifinalists to Marco Island’s City Council Monday for the position of city manager. Slavin’s firm conducted the second search for qualified candidates. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Members of Marco Island’s City Council consider selecting candidates Monday for the city’s vacant manager position. From left are Councilor Larry Honig, Council Chairman Ken Honecker and Council Vice Chairman Larry Sacher. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Members of Marco Island’s City Council consider selecting candidates Monday for the city’s vacant manager position. From left are Councilor Larry Honig, Council Chairman Ken Honecker and Council Vice Chairman Larry Sacher. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Winners of Marco Island’s 9th Annual Punt Pass and Kick Awards are recognized at Monday’s City Council meeting. In front from left, winners are Lyndsay Lowdermilk, Samuel Meredith and Abbigail Grensing, (back) Richard Reisinger and Abigail Meredith. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Winners of Marco Island’s 9th Annual Punt Pass and Kick Awards are recognized at Monday’s City Council meeting. In front from left, winners are Lyndsay Lowdermilk, Samuel Meredith and Abbigail Grensing, (back) Richard Reisinger and Abigail Meredith. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Councilor Amadeo Petricca told Slavin he could only come up with four potential candidates.

“I have the same comments,” said Vice Chairman Larry Sacher. “Maybe we should consider our interim manager as he has done a pretty good job. I’m not at all happy. I’m not crazy about any of them.”

Interim City Manager Guillermo Polanco was not considered as a candidate for the position.

“Why are we so frustrated at trying to find candidates that would jump out at us?” asked Councilor Bob Brown. “I couldn’t rank past a couple.”

Only Councilor Larry Honig spoke positively about the search firm’s work.

Six councilors selected Colin Donnelly and Calvin Peck as worthy of moving forward in the selection process. Donnelly, 46, is assistant city manager in Dania Beach, Fla., a position held for six years, 10 months.

The 2010 census lists the city’s population as 29,639. Dania Beach is located on the East Coast of Florida, north of Hollywood.

Peck, 56, is currently the village manager of Bald Head Island, N.C., a small coastal town south of Buzzard Bay. The census lists the community’s population as 160. He has held his position for seven years.

Glenn Irby was selected by five councilors to move forward. Irby, 56, is currently city manager for Umatilla, Fla. The city is located in central Florida, north of Orlando. In 2012, the population was 3,533. Irby has been Umatilla’s city manager for seven years.

Four councilors were interested in interviewing Mark Kutney and Keith Moody.

Kutney, 58, is the town manager of Loxahatchee Groves, Fla. The town, with a population of 3,262 in 2012, is located west of Palm Beach, Fla. Kutney has been town manager for less than two years.

Moody, 43, is city administrator for Harrisonville, Mo., and has held the position for five years. Harrisonville has a population of 10,000 and is located south of Kansas City.

In selecting semifinalists, council asked Slavin to concentrate on expertise in police and fire departments and utilities. The firm will complete its in-depth “due diligence” of the six finalists, concentrating on credit checks, criminal records, education credentials and verification of previous employment.

That information will come back to council on Jan. 6. Interviewing qualified candidates will take place in late January or early February. Councilor Chairman Ken Honecker and City Attorney Burt Saunders were appointed to conduct negotiations once a candidate has been selected by council.

Citywide referendums

Council discussed holding two referendums: one for Mackle Park’s new Community Center and one to modify city charter spending cap requirements.

Honecker said city referendums would not be allowed on the 2014 November ballot. He suggested council prepare its referendums for the August 2014 primary elections. The cost for Marco Island to hold its own referendums outside election dates was estimated at $30,000.

“A referendum would have to be on the August ballot because Jennifer Edwards will not allow any referenda on the November ballot,” Honecker told council.

“August is not a good turnout,” Honig said. “Thirty-seven percent is the highest it has been.”

Smokehouse bridge

Council discussed a redesign of the Smokehouse Bridge and gave Tim Pinter, the city’s public works director, permission to proceed with creating a design package. Pinter will have redesign plans and an engineer’s cost estimate to council by week’s end.

“The original design was a Cadillac,” Pinter said. “We are going back to a Chevy.”

The original design was estimated to cost more than $8 million. The existing two-span bridge, northbound and southbound, was built in 1963 with an estimated life of 45 years.

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Comments » 17

ed34145 writes:

Anybody watch the Council meeting? It was like watching a Monday night comedy show entitled "The Seven Stooges". The best part was when Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability.

Konfuzius writes:

It is comedian night. If you have as responsible manager in a big company a short list of 13 and going down to six you get fired. A short list is 3 to showing up and present themselves. Marco Island is AN AMATEUR CITY WITH NO GLUE WHATS GOING ON. AND QUESTIONS LIKE MR. SACHER DID ARE AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS AND DISCRIMINATING. I want a black City Manager, democrat and Great President Barack Obama fan. That will be a big step in the right direction for Marco Island. A man with common sense and standing. If we found him Marco Island will be a paradise now and forever.

RayPray writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

It is comedian night. If you have as responsible manager in a big company a short list of 13 and going down to six you get fired. A short list is 3 to showing up and present themselves. Marco Island is AN AMATEUR CITY WITH NO GLUE WHATS GOING ON. AND QUESTIONS LIKE MR. SACHER DID ARE AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS AND DISCRIMINATING. I want a black City Manager, democrat and Great President Barack Obama fan. That will be a big step in the right direction for Marco Island. A man with common sense and standing. If we found him Marco Island will be a paradise now and forever.

"I want a black City Manager, democrat and Great President Barack Obama fan."

>>> Just the guy for you is Kwame Kilpatrick, with lots of experience as mayor of Detroit and going to have ample free time, at least until surrendering to prison.

naples_rocket writes:

in response to ed34145:

Anybody watch the Council meeting? It was like watching a Monday night comedy show entitled "The Seven Stooges". The best part was when Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability.

(sadly) Batte's remark that Marco deserves the best of the best, yet he does not care about "salary market" and implied that Marco should pay less, as little as possible, was not too far behind. How does this work in the real world? How would this work in so highly praised by our Councilors private sector? They all need to get real and most importantly make a decision.

1Paradiselost writes:

Interesting... No women are being considered, only southern males.

Anyone with and banking and finance background?

That's what this city needs. We spend to many taxpayer dollars on outside experts.

RayPray writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

Interesting... No women are being considered, only southern males.

Anyone with and banking and finance background?

That's what this city needs. We spend to many taxpayer dollars on outside experts.

"No women are being considered"

>>> The art league tried a couple women and that didn't work out either....

"We spend to many taxpayer dollars on outside experts."

>>> Outside "experts" is standard dimwit bureaucratic Cover Your Arshe mode in case guy blows up like our Trey Roodel....

See http://www.amazon.com/Firm-McKinsey-I...

Konfuzius writes:

The best city manager I know is in Green Cove Springs. A female city manager with guts.

Momface (Inactive) writes:

in response to ed34145:

Anybody watch the Council meeting? It was like watching a Monday night comedy show entitled "The Seven Stooges". The best part was when Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability.

What was this man thinking or not thinking with this remark? Oh I know, he was going to contribute to their welfare.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Momface:

What was this man thinking or not thinking with this remark? Oh I know, he was going to contribute to their welfare.

No = he was at the Cougar party at the Marriott!

OldMarcoMan writes:

When Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability was pretty s----- and illegal. Why didn't the City's Lawyer jump him? And why did the Paper edit that out over night?

harrisbill239#279036 writes:

in response to ed34145:

Anybody watch the Council meeting? It was like watching a Monday night comedy show entitled "The Seven Stooges". The best part was when Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability.

The City Manager search continues, according to today’s Naples Daily News. What really baffles me about the Bob Slavin search firm results is that the candidate that garnered the most votes (I believe it was 7-0) was a candidate that not only was not included as part of Slavin’s ‘semi-finalists’, but did not even apply to be part of this round for consideration. The other thing that bothers me about this candidate is that, although he was continually referred to as ‘Mister X’, and although our City Council indicated that they did not discuss this candidate separately, “Mister X’s” name and contact details were none to all the Councilors as well as Mr Slavin.
The council also discussed holding two referendums: one for the Community Center and another for changing the spending cap. If I remember correctly, Councilor Honecker indicated that referendums in August would be free (?), even though many, many Marco residents will not be here during that time. In addition to those two referendums, I strongly feel that we need referendums on the Smokehouse Bay Bridge and on the Marriott expansion. Anything that has a great impact on, or costs, the taxpayers of Marco Island a great deal of money (my feeling on that amount is anything greater than $1 Million), should be decided at referendum. If you agree – voice your concerns to the City Council.
The new design for the Smokehouse bridge was presented at the 12/04 Council meeting. The Naples News article from 12/6 indicates that both spans of the bridge were built in 1963. There seems to be a discrepancy between the article and the NBI and Florida DOT data on the northbound bridge, which shows that the northbound span was built in 1971. Even though I’ve been criticized for raising concerns about the approaches to the bridge, both north and southbound, being raised to accommodate the new heights of the bridge, Mister Pinter’s new bridge design clearly shows the bridge being raised to allow walkways, landscaping, etc. under the bridge. For curiosity, I measure the current height from the top of the seawall to the bottom of the bridge – it’s about 4 and a half feet. So, to my simple calculations, that means that we must raise the bridge probably another 6 feet or so, and also raise the approaches to the new bridges. What is the impact to the intersections and businesses (Winn-Dixie, Esplanade, etc.) and the nearby intersections? The speed limit is already down to 25MPH – will it go lower, perhaps to 20MPH, as it is for other bridges on the island?

harrisbill239#279036 writes:

in response to OldMarcoMan:

When Sacher said he wanted to know the occupational status of the candidates wives and if any of them had a child with a disability was pretty s----- and illegal. Why didn't the City's Lawyer jump him? And why did the Paper edit that out over night?

Actually, Councilor Larry Honig jumped in and corrected Mister Sacher, letting him know that his remarks were illegal and uncalled for. Honig seems, at times, to be the only one on the council that exhibits the kind of values we need on the Council.

harrisbill239#279036 writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

It is comedian night. If you have as responsible manager in a big company a short list of 13 and going down to six you get fired. A short list is 3 to showing up and present themselves. Marco Island is AN AMATEUR CITY WITH NO GLUE WHATS GOING ON. AND QUESTIONS LIKE MR. SACHER DID ARE AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS AND DISCRIMINATING. I want a black City Manager, democrat and Great President Barack Obama fan. That will be a big step in the right direction for Marco Island. A man with common sense and standing. If we found him Marco Island will be a paradise now and forever.

Konfuzius - You should consider changing your log_name to Konfuzed! You charge Sacher with discrimination, yet you make discriminating remarks that we need a black City Manager, who is also a Democrat and a fan of the "great" Obama. You have some nerve! Those should not be qualifications for the job, and don't even rate consideration. And, if you think that Obama is 'great', how about commenting on the $650Million dollar website for his namesake god-forsaken health care law? He robbed over $600Million from Medicare to finance a website - not a health care institution that works, but simply a website - that doesn't work! It has taken Obama a long time to put this country into the throes of socialism, but it is getting there. We have public health care now. We have a welfare system that will eventually bankrupt our country, and we've "progressed" to the point where we are now a second rate country; one that no other country respects or looks up to; one that is no longer a leader of the free world; one that is no longer feared because we no longer demand respect. Bring back Blood and Guts Patton, or even a modern day John Kennedy or John Wayne. Then the world will stand up and pay attention when we speak; instead of publicly embarrassing us.

RayPray writes:

in response to harrisbill239#279036:

Konfuzius - You should consider changing your log_name to Konfuzed! You charge Sacher with discrimination, yet you make discriminating remarks that we need a black City Manager, who is also a Democrat and a fan of the "great" Obama. You have some nerve! Those should not be qualifications for the job, and don't even rate consideration. And, if you think that Obama is 'great', how about commenting on the $650Million dollar website for his namesake god-forsaken health care law? He robbed over $600Million from Medicare to finance a website - not a health care institution that works, but simply a website - that doesn't work! It has taken Obama a long time to put this country into the throes of socialism, but it is getting there. We have public health care now. We have a welfare system that will eventually bankrupt our country, and we've "progressed" to the point where we are now a second rate country; one that no other country respects or looks up to; one that is no longer a leader of the free world; one that is no longer feared because we no longer demand respect. Bring back Blood and Guts Patton, or even a modern day John Kennedy or John Wayne. Then the world will stand up and pay attention when we speak; instead of publicly embarrassing us.

"We have public health care now. We have a welfare system that will eventually bankrupt our country...."

Why not consider Vladimir Putin's health care plan?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/nyr...

Konfuzius writes:

in response to harrisbill239#279036:

Konfuzius - You should consider changing your log_name to Konfuzed! You charge Sacher with discrimination, yet you make discriminating remarks that we need a black City Manager, who is also a Democrat and a fan of the "great" Obama. You have some nerve! Those should not be qualifications for the job, and don't even rate consideration. And, if you think that Obama is 'great', how about commenting on the $650Million dollar website for his namesake god-forsaken health care law? He robbed over $600Million from Medicare to finance a website - not a health care institution that works, but simply a website - that doesn't work! It has taken Obama a long time to put this country into the throes of socialism, but it is getting there. We have public health care now. We have a welfare system that will eventually bankrupt our country, and we've "progressed" to the point where we are now a second rate country; one that no other country respects or looks up to; one that is no longer a leader of the free world; one that is no longer feared because we no longer demand respect. Bring back Blood and Guts Patton, or even a modern day John Kennedy or John Wayne. Then the world will stand up and pay attention when we speak; instead of publicly embarrassing us.

I see you are new on this blog. But you sound like islandeye. I guess you blog under your 12th blogger name. HMirrow, islandeye, liberator100 and so on.
However. You can not expect, that I give you a seriously response to your RACISM SALMON.
Take John Wayne and be happy. But don't forget to kill first all native Americans. Sounds to me that you are trained for this.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to harrisbill239#279036:

Actually, Councilor Larry Honig jumped in and corrected Mister Sacher, letting him know that his remarks were illegal and uncalled for. Honig seems, at times, to be the only one on the council that exhibits the kind of values we need on the Council.

Number one and state of the art is CHUCK!!!!!!!!

Nobody else!

Konfuzius writes:

"Only Councilor Larry Honig spoke positively about the search firm’s work."

Maybe he did not understand the political dimension of this subject.

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