City manager recruitment, mayor discussion on tap for Marco Island City Council

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
File: Marco Island City Hall.

If all goes according to the plan Tuesday night, recruitment of the next Marco Island city manager will begin this week.

Florida City and County Management Association Senior Adviser Ken Parker has asked City Council to address the remaining lingering questions about education, salary range and experience for the position before it green lights the release of a recruiting brochure.

In the buildup to Tuesday’s meeting, Parker met individually with city councilors three weeks ago to develop a profile for the position and identify traits for an ideal candidate that will also be part of the recruiting materials.

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Just as it did with its current city manager David Harden, the City Council is relying on the FCCMA’s senior adviser program to help guide it through the recruitment process.

In a memo to City Council, Parker also offered a potential timeline that could have a new manager as early as August.

Should the materials be approved Tuesday, they could be posted in various professional publications as early as the following day. 

After a month-long period to collect applications, a senior adviser team would evaluate the resumes and narrow the prospective candidate list down to 10 names.

Once City Council has reviewed the list and determined which candidates to interview, it would wait another 30 days to conduct background checks before conducting interviews.

As it did with Harden, council would invite finalists to the city for a three-day period to meet with staff, hold individual meetings with councilors and take part in a special meeting for public interviews.

If council is prepared to rank candidates and make a selection, contract negotiations would then commence until the Council has approved a contract.

The timeline City Council has to work with will depend on when it would like the new city manager to start.

The Aug. 1 start date would allow city managers who have families with children an opportunity to relocate before the beginning of the school year.

Other potential start dates could be Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year, or Jan. 1, the start of the new year and the beginning of budget preparations.

Along with filling the city’s top leadership position, the City Council will also discuss the potential for instituting a mayor if that is the wish of its constituents.

Marco Island city councilor Larry Honig

Councilor Larry Honig has written a white paper that outlines the pros and cons of having a mayor as well as the steps that would need to be taken if that was desired. 

While Honig’s paper did not express a personal opinion, the topic of the city instituting a mayor has been mentioned at many City Council meetings over the past year by residents and on social media.

Much of those conversations have revolved around the issues reported concerning rge former city manager, the police department, staff morale and council's previous ineffectiveness to hire a city manager.

If the city does desire a mayor, it would require an amendment of the city’s charter and the passing of a referendum. Placing the referendum on a countywide ballot versus a mail-in ballot would save the city around $40,000.

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