MADEIRA BEACH — Six semifinalists for city manager are undergoing in-depth background checks before City Commission interviews on Nov. 15.
Since February, the city has offered the job to two candidates who backed out during contract negotiations.
Last month, fire Chief Bill Mallory quit as interim city manager and was replaced by former City Manager Jim Madden.
Madden may not serve long if one of the six candidates is picked later this month.
A Wellington-based executive recruiting firm, Colin Baenziger & Associates, which is helping with the search at a cost of $20,000, submitted the six semifinalists to the commission Friday.
Semifinalists were picked from a pool of 149 applicants.
Since 1998, Baenziger has conducted more than 100 successful manager searches, mostly for Florida cities and counties.
"The commission was pretty straightforward about what they are looking for, and that made it easy to pick the people out," said Colin Baenziger.
Baenziger cautioned, however, that "one or more may fall by the wayside" during background checks.
What the commission wants is a city manager who can also serve as public works director.
All but one of the candidates has strong public works backgrounds. Semifinalists are:
• Gary R. Clough, a public services director in Casper, Wyo., since 2007, manages more than 200 employees and is responsible for a $68 million operating budget and $50 million in capital improvements annually.
He is a registered professional engineer in Florida and Ohio and is a member of the International City/County Manager Association.
• Rick Conner was most recently city manager and public works director for Sunny Isles Beach in South Florida from 2007-2011, where he supervised about 200 employees and managed a $27 million operating budget and a $35 million capital budget.
Conner holds degrees in civil engineering and business administration and is a member of ICMA.
• Shane B. Crawford is deputy county administrator of central services for Walworth County, population 102,000, in Wisconsin. He supervises a $160 million annual budget and is responsible for public works, intergovernmental relations and central purchasing.
He holds degrees in public administration and political science.
• Jim McBeath is services director for Louisville, Ohio, and is responsible for seven departments including water, sewer, streets, structures and parks.
He is a licensed water supply and wastewater operator and an Ohio stationary engineer.
• Danielle Pitt Slaterpryce worked as a senior project manager for Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. in Miramar Beach until December 2010, and was public works director and county engineer for Okaloosa County from 1999-2010, where she supervised more than 200 employees and managed a $23 million budget.
Slaterpryce has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a licensed engineer.
• Judy S. Whitis has been city manager for Callaway, population 14,000, for the past 14 years. She previously was the city clerk and assistant city clerk, dating back to 1989.
Whitis holds a bachelor's degree in accounting. She is a member of ICMA.
Candidates who pass the background check will be invited to attend a city-sponsored public reception at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 and will be interviewed one-on-one by the commission the next day.
Commissioners plan to select a preferred candidate a week later at a Nov. 22 meeting and begin contract negotiations.
The commission plans to approve that contract at its Dec. 7 meeting.