NEW PORT RICHEY — The City Council's long search for a permanent city manager ground to a halt again last week after one of four finalists removed himself from consideration for the post.
On Tuesday, a frustrated council opted to cancel interviews with the four applicants planned for Nov. 26 and close the search until January.
The council had whittled down the applicant pool to four, including former New Port Richey Mayor and past Pasco County Commissioner Peter Altman, who the city recently hired to the post of finance and human resources director.
Council members had also intended to interview Lyndon Bonner, former city manager of North Miami Beach; Jim Pascale, former town administrator of Princeton, N.J.; and Isaac Turner, former city manager of Venice, Fla., and current church administrator of First Baptist Church in Venice.
Pascale pulled out of consideration, which gave City Council member Chopper Davis pause because two of the remaining candidates — Turner and Bonner — did not receive majority support for interviews in the first place, he said.
"I think it will be a waste of time," Davis said of the planned interviews.
Instead, all current applicants will receive rejection notices from the city with an option to reapply next year. In the meantime, the council will consider increasing the salary, posted at $95,000 to $110,000.