Marco Island’s City Council may be earning an undesirable reputation with management headhunters.
Guillermo Polanco, interim city manager, informed City Council in an email Monday that Robert Slavin of Slavin Management Consultants was terminating his search services agreement effective Dec. 17. The firm is the second to conduct a search for a new city manager.
Council is seeking a replacement city manager for the position vacated by Jim Riviere on Sept. 30.
In September, council voted to terminate the contract of search firm Colin Baenziger Associates (CBA). Councilor Joe Batte called the first search “flawed from the beginning.” A motion to go with a different firm rather than CBA passed 5-2.
At the meeting, council instructed the city attorney to open negotiations with Slavin Management Consultants, a second firm that was considered in the original search firm selection process.
On Dec. 2, Robert Slavin reported to council that his firm had narrowed its candidate pool to 13 applicants. Several councilors expressed disappointment with the quality of candidates and the criteria used to narrow the selection.
“It didn’t give me confidence,” Council Vice Chairman Larry Sacher said at the meeting. He informed Slavin that he had contacted CBA to see if council could reconsider some of its candidates.
After expressing displeasure with Slavin’s candidate pool, council reluctantly narrowed the 13 candidates to five finalists but asked to reconsider as a sixth candidate Roger Hernstadt, city manager of Marathon, Fla. Hernstadt did not apply in the second-round search but was a candidate in the first.
In Monday’s memo, Polanco advised council that Colin Donnelly, assistant city manager of Dania Beach, Fla., had withdrawn from consideration. Donnelly received a “desire to consider” vote from six of seven councilors.
Polanco told council that city staff would contact the remaining candidates directly to complete the vetting process with the hope of preparing them for interviews with council in early 2014.
Council has scheduled a meeting for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Community Room to discuss the search firm’s resignation and to consider how council plans to move forward with the city manager search.