NEW PORT RICHEY — Former Mayor Peter Altman has been hired as the city's director of finance and human resources at the same time he already has an application in the pipeline seeking to be city manager.
During a City Council meeting Tuesday, interim City Manager Susan Dillinger announced she hired Altman, who served as the city's mayor for eight years until election to the Pasco County Commission in 2000, where he served one term before losing a re-election bid in 2004 to Jack Mariano.
Altman, 56, who will earn $77,000 a year, will be doing some juggling in the coming weeks balancing his roles as human resources director and city manager applicant.
This was evident Tuesday night when he left the council chambers during a discussion about hiring the next city manager. Human resources specialist Bernie Wharran fielded direction from the council on how the board wants to whittle down a list of 12 applicants, which includes Altman.
As Altman waited in the hall, he told the Times he left chambers to avoid a conflict of interest and will recuse himself from any role in the hiring process.
"I'm just really excited about becoming part of the city of New Port Richey. I'm confident I have the experience to move the city forward in either capacity," he said.
Dillinger, who is not seeking the permanent city manager job, announced another major hire. Last month, after she fired the city's finance and human resources directors for reasons she has not disclosed, Dillinger received permission from the council to combine the director jobs and create a new economic development director position.
Dillinger announced Tuesday that job went to Mario Iezzoni, 57, who comes from the University of South Florida, where he was a business analyst for the school's Small Business Development Center and an adjunct professor. He will make $65,000 a year.
"I think we are really going to go places with economic development," Dillinger said.