MADEIRA BEACH — The search for a new city manager was narrowed to seven candidates Tuesday and is expected to yield three finalists within the next few weeks.
Although no date for interviews and a final selection has been set, a new city manager could be hired before the end of the summer.
Commissioners will debate the qualifications of the seven semi-finalists, picked from a list of 20 applicants, and select their top three candidates at a July 5 workshop, according to Interim City Manager and fire Chief Bill Mallory.
• Robert C. Bannister Jr.: The Ohio resident has 11 years of government experience, including two years as a city manager and eight years in public works. He has a master's degree in public administration.
• Shane B. Crawford: Serves as deputy county administrator in charge of public works, purchasing and intergovernmental relations for Walworth County, Wis. He holds bachelor's degrees in public administration and political science.
• James P. Gleason: The interim city manager in Mascotte previously served as city manager for Chamblee, Ga., as well as a city manager/county adviser to the U.S. government in Kirkuk, Iraq. He holds a master's degree in public administration.
• Ken Hurst: The retired Special Forces colonel was based at MacDill and served in Iraq. He has 26 years of experience in government, three years managing public works and three years as a manager. He has master's degrees in strategic studies and in human resources.
• Ray Irvin: The Palm Harbor resident recently retired after 23 years in governmental management in Indiana, where he managed local, regional, and statewide public works and recreational projects. He is a Vietnam veteran. He has a bachelor's degree in business.
• Peter Lombardi: He served as Treasure Island city manager from 1979 to 1996 and has 42 years of government management experience, including 15 years of public works experience. He serves as village manager for Pinecrest, but his contract ends in August. He has a bachelor's degree in public administration.
• James Sundermeier: He has 16 years of public works experience and served one year as an interim city manager. He holds a bachelor's degree in public recreation and has completed graduate work in public administration.
Of the seven, only Crawford and Sundermeier do not meet all the qualifications the commission set when it started its nationwide search several months ago.
The two applicants were added to the semifinalist list by commissioners Nancy Oakley and Robin Vander Velde, who say the men offer strong credentials in critical areas.
The commission originally sought a candidate that would have a strong background in managing public works and in managing a city. Specifically, the city advertised for someone who had a college degree, a minimum of seven years of "progressive experience" in government and a minimum of two years' experience as a city or county manager or assistant manager.
Commission also wanted candidates who belonged to national or Florida professional associations.
Under state law, candidates who served in the armed forces are given preferential consideration.
Once the list is narrowed, an outside firm will do background checks covering professional, criminal and credit history at a cost of about $300 per candidate, Mallory said.
In-depth checks plus interviews of former employers and co-workers could cost up to about $1,400 per candidate, he said.
Earlier, a preliminary background check performed by the city's human resources director, Deborah Cline, led to her declaring a previous candidate, Allen Godfrey, unqualified.
On a 3-2 vote, the commission offered Godfrey the job anyway. Godfrey later withdrew, citing growing controversy on the commission regarding his candidacy.