Marco Island City Council begins manager search, authorizes study on Capri fire proposal

Marco Island City Council hears comments Monday on lingering parking issues in Old Marco. Seated from left are Councilors Chuck Kiester, Larry Honig, Chairman Joe Batte, Ken Honecker, Amadeo Patricca and Larry Sacher. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island City Council hears comments Monday on lingering parking issues in Old Marco. Seated from left are Councilors Chuck Kiester, Larry Honig, Chairman Joe Batte, Ken Honecker, Amadeo Patricca and Larry Sacher. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Retiring Marco Island Fire Captain Dean Heasley receives a city proclamation Monday for his years of service to the community. He is joined by Fire Chief Mike Murphy who gave the captain praise and commendations. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Retiring Marco Island Fire Captain Dean Heasley receives a city proclamation Monday for his years of service to the community. He is joined by Fire Chief Mike Murphy who gave the captain praise and commendations. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Jim Hughes, chairman of Isles of Capri Fire District Advisory Board, answers questions about a possible proposal from Marco Island to manage the Capri Fire Department. Hughes spoke during Monday’s city council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Jim Hughes, chairman of Isles of Capri Fire District Advisory Board, answers questions about a possible proposal from Marco Island to manage the Capri Fire Department. Hughes spoke during Monday’s city council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Donald Percora, left, Charlotte Roman and Meryl Lorenzo receive awards for nature photography in Marco Island’s 6th Earth Day Photo Contest. Nancy Richie, city environmental specialist, gave the awards Monday at Marco Island’s City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Donald Percora, left, Charlotte Roman and Meryl Lorenzo receive awards for nature photography in Marco Island’s 6th Earth Day Photo Contest. Nancy Richie, city environmental specialist, gave the awards Monday at Marco Island’s City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

— Marco Island’s City Council wants to replace City Manager Jim Riviere quickly and confidentially. On Monday, both possibilities were discussed. Riviere announced his retirement on April 18 after serving the city for more than three years.

Councilors voted 6-1 to issue a request for submissions from recruiting firms interested in helping council with an executive-level search. Councilors hope to select a firm by June 3. Councilor Chuck Kiester voted against the motion, saying council was abdicating its responsibility by hiring a headhunter.

Even with a recruiting firm, council felt it was a good time to schedule a workshop to discuss management objectives and compensation expectations for a new city manager. Councilors agreed knowledge of utilities operations, finance and the challenges of seasonal populations were essential qualifications. They also suggested they would look for a professional with municipal management experience.

Councilor Ken Honecker said he would like to see a plan that tied compensation to performance. A range for salary and benefits was not discussed, pending review of what the market might dictate. The last recruitment search the city performed was more than four years ago.

Councilor Larry Sacher and Council Chairman Joe Batte said they would like to see the process include a way for citizens to participate. A “meet and greet” with final candidates was discussed.

In terms of Florida’s Sunshine Laws, council asked city attorney Burt Saunders if resumes sent to a recruiting firm could remain confidential until the field was narrowed to the group discussed at public meetings. Saunders said he would look into the laws and bring back an opinion.

In other cases, courts have held that recruiting firms were subject to the Sunshine Law if they conducted employment searches to hire top-ranking officials for public entities. Those ruling said the firms were acting as an arm of government in the decision-making process and were subject to the Sunshine Laws. The rulings deemed “all letters, memoranda, resumes, and travel vouchers made or received by the consultants in connection with the search were public records.”

Capri Fire proposal

On the issue of a proposal to manage or consolidate Isles of Capri Fire District, Batte defended the letter sent to Collier County Manager Leo Ochs dated April 10. The letter was forwarded to the county by Riviere who received it from Chief Mike Murphy and Deputy Chief Chris Byrne.

“Thirty days was not enough time to make an adequate proposal,” Batte said. “We did offer to sit at the table with all parties to discuss it.”

Murphy, returning from medical leave, said council should evaluate the issues associated with managing the Capri district. The island relies heavily on a reciprocal relationship between the two districts that often benefits Marco disproportionately, he said.

If changes occur in that relationship, it could affect future response to Marco Island. If the number of personnel per truck were reduced, it might require a larger number of units to respond to meet Florida’s two-in-two-out rule, requiring two firefighters to remain outside a structure before allowing two to enter.

East Naples told Capri residents it would consider reducing personnel to two per unit if the departments were consolidated. Capri’s advisory board rejected East Naples’ proposal, delaying its decision until fall when Marco Island’s proposal might be ready for consideration.

In addition, Capri currently does not have firefighter/paramedics staffing its fire trucks. When responding to Marco Island, those units are not able to offer Advanced Life Support as Marco’s firefighter/paramedics can. Consolidation with East Naples or Marco Island gives those districts an option to integrate staff so all units including Capri could offer premier life-saving ALS services.

Council voted 7-0 to send a statement of interest to the county manager, explaining it is considering a proposal for the fall.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 10

OldMarcoMan writes:

Hummmm so much for Open and Transparent.
Sounds like Chuck is the only one who wants to save us money and keep the process in the Sunshine.
Oh well you get the City Lap Dog you pay for.

ed34145 writes:

Ha ha. Keister doesn't want professional help in choosing a new CM because he did SO well in his last two hires!

26yearsonmarco writes:

I wonder if Chucky Cheese has consulted with the Marco Pizza King for recommendations.

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NO.

August8 writes:

Why not try and get the old manager back from Naples?

dc5799 writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't you remember how fast both Moss and Rienke bolted off the Island?

August8 writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good men

August8 writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't know about him?

OldMarcoMan writes:

Maybe its time to rethink a Mayoral form of Government.
It works pretty good in Naples and its becoming obvious this City Manager form isn't work very well at all for Marco.

CaptTimD writes:

in response to OldMarcoMan:

Maybe its time to rethink a Mayoral form of Government.
It works pretty good in Naples and its becoming obvious this City Manager form isn't work very well at all for Marco.

I would have to agree that a mayoral form of government might be a huge benefit. I would not do away with a city manager taking care of the day to day operations but having a Mayor he reports to and who the Department Heads answer to as well would go a a long way to fixing many of the problems in this city. Since council continues to insist that they are only legislative we need an executive who is responsible to the electorate. I know that many cities around the country including Sault Ste. Marie, MI use this form of government to good effect.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features