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With the application deadline less than a week away, the candidate pool for the Marco Island city manager position has increased to 36 applicants.

A public records request for applications revealed that 10 more have been submitted since the initial 26 were received in the very first week of the application period.

Prior to the start of the application period, which ends officially at 5 p.m., March 22, Florida City and County Management Association senior advisor Ken Parker told the City Council that he expected the bulk of applications to come in towards the deadline.

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The first batch of applications the city received came from all over the continental United States and even included one interested applicant from Canada.

Despite listing the preferred job preferences of at least five years of experience of city manager experience on top of senior-level public and private managerial experience, the city received several applications in the first week that appeared to not fit the requirements.

Most of the latest crop of applications, however, contain highly experienced candidates, including several that worked for higher-populated and larger budget cities.

Once the application deadline passes, a senior adviser team will evaluate the applications and create a list of suitable candidates.

Before the search began, the City Council has approved a timeline in which the candidate list would be finalized at its April 1 meeting.

The City Council will be deciding body as far as ultimately selecting candidates for interviews and for determining the candidates that are invited to Marco Island. 

The interview sessions would not take place until at least May 15 so that the city has at least one month to conduct background evaluations.

Over a 3-day period, the selected finalists will get a tour of the city, meet with key personnel, hold individual interviews with councilors before a special city council meeting for the entire council to conduct an interview as a whole and in public.

If the council is prepared to make a selection at that time and has the super majority required by City Charter to make the hire, contract negotiations will then take place.

According to the council’s approved timeline, it hopes to approve a contract in early June with an official start date potentially by early August.

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