Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Incomplete scorecards muck up manager selections in Madeira Beach

MADEIRA BEACH — Finding a new city manager is not a simple task, as the City Commission is beginning to find out.

The group's first choice backed out after an initial background check prompted two commissioners to call him unqualified.

The latest glitch arose last week when some commissioners failed to properly fill out a rating sheet intended to reduce a list of seven candidates to three finalists.

The plan was to have an outside firm then conduct an in-depth background check on the three finalists and then invite them to be interviewed during a public meeting and a community social on July 26. According to that schedule, the commission would then name the new city manager after its Aug. 3 workshop.

That schedule is now in serious doubt.

"I cannot officially say which applicants are on the city's short list for city manager," Interim City Manager and fire Chief Bill Mallory said Friday.

He collected rating ballots from the commission during a workshop meeting Tuesday and announced who he thought were the commission's top three picks.

Later that night, he re-examined the commission's score sheets and decided he had "misread" the total scores and on Wednesday issued a new and different group of finalists.

Commissioners were supposed to give each of the seven candidates a numerical score ranging from 1 to 7, with the highest score going to their top pick.

This process, Mallory said, would allow a mid-level candidate to be fairly considered if the commissioners were split on their top pick.

Only Commissioners Terry Lister and Carol Reynolds followed the directions accurately.

Mayor Travis Palladeno gave his top candidate a 7 and everybody else a 1.

"My pick is my pick. I want to make sure my guy is interviewed," Palladeno said Friday.

Commissioners Nancy Oakley and Robin Vander Velde only scored three candidates, leaving the other four blank. Neither signed their rating sheets.

By Thursday, Mallory said he was "increasingly uncomfortable" with deciding whom the commission picked as finalists.

"I realized that I could not post an accurate score for every applicant because not all of the ballots were filled out," Mallory said. He will ask commissioners to fill out ballots again at Tuesday's commission meeting.

Whoever does get the job will take over not just the management of the city, but also the daily task of running the city's public works department.

Creating that dual function will enable the city to hire additional firefighters and spend more money on long-delayed projects, Palladeno said.

The city's last manager, W. D. Higginbotham Jr., left in February after getting the previous commission to fire him just weeks before the election that brought Palladeno and Vander Velde to office.

His $54,000 severance pay is still a contentious issue and the subject of a lawsuit that another former city manager, Jim Madden, filed against the city.

Incomplete scorecards muck up manager selections in Madeira Beach 07/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 8, 2011 5:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  2. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  3. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  4. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

     Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer (left) and son Edward Glazer celebrate the Bucs win and their upcoming trip to San Diego and the Super Bowl.  

[Bill Serne | Times]
  5. Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"

    Blogs

    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday