Applications for Marco Island city manager search due by March 22

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle

The Marco Island city manager search is now on the clock as applications for the position are due by March 22.

The City Council approved a brochure and advertisement for the position by a 6-1 vote during its Monday meeting, which also set a timeline for when it hopes to have the person in the manager's seat.

The vast majority of the advertisement was completed prior to Monday with the Council having to agree on a few items such as salary range, education requirements and start date.

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In a previous memo to City Council, Florida City and County Management Association senior Advisor Ken Parker offered a potential timeline that could have a new manager as early as August.

Once applications have been collected on March 22, a senior adviser team will evaluate the resumes and narrow the prospective candidate list down to 10 names.

It will then be up to City Council to review those candidates and determine whom they would like to interview. Like it did for its previous city manager search, City Council would wait about a month to interview the candidates so that a comprehensive background check can be completed.

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 council has approved a contract.

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.

While Parker had outlined a timeline to fit the Aug. 1 start date, he also said that the city could also elect to have the person start by Oct. 1 or Jan. 1. Those other dates coincide with the start of the fiscal year and the start of budget preparation, respectively.

Councilor Howard Reed cast the lone dissenting vote and echoed comments he has consistently made over the past year about rushing the process.

"Once again, I would like us to focus on finding a city manager of excellence, not finding a city manager in a hurry," Reed said. "It was true last year, in my opinion, that we had an adequate interim city manager. If it was true then, it's really true today."

Reed also worried that based upon the quick turn around, the city would miss out on candidates if it missed publishing deadlines for the journals it plans to place advertisements.

After Reed asked to amend the motion on the floor to approve the timeline as prepared by Parker, Councilor Larry Honig refused.

"We asked Mr. Parker to prepare a calendar and this is the calendar he prepared," Honig said. "For us up here to push back and second guess and ask for an additional month so that we can go back 50 years in time and get in the journal for city manager angst that's going to be published in May of 2019, I think it's folly. Let's get on with this."

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