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1 left on list for city post

Yet another candidate for city manager has decided he doesn't want to work here. George McMahon, manager of Hardee County, dropped out of the running Tuesday morning because of family considerations and unfinished county projects, he said.

"I had some reservations about it," he said. "Commissioner support has been good here, and they'd like me to stay."

Safety Harbor commissioners are scheduled to interview their remaining choice, Charles Dubyak, next week. Dubyak, 40, manages the city of Mary Esther.

McMahon and Dubyak were chosen after each person on the commission's original list of five finalists either declined the job or was rejected.

Dubyak said Tuesday that he applied for the job because Safety Harbor, with 14,500 people, is bigger than the Panhandle city of Mary Esther, with a population of 4,350.

"I feel it would be beneficial to my career," he said.

He sent commissioners a copy of his contract with Mary Esther. Dubyak makes $41,600 a year, gets four weeks vacation and use of a car, and would get 2{ months' severance pay.

Last week, Safety Harbor commissioners revised the benefit package. Dubyak will be offered a salary of $58,000 to $65,000. He also would get the use of a car and credit card for city business, receive 6 months' severance pay if fired without cause and would get a yearly performance evaluation and merit raise.

Dubyak and McMahon were two of 10 applicants selected by a committee set up by the Florida City and County Management Association. The committee picked them from more than 220 applicants.

Commissioners interviewed three other finalists. They offered the job to one, who turned it down.

McMahon said he dropped out because his children wanted to live at home while they attended college near Wauchula. Hardee also is building a jail and reorganizing the county's emergency rescue service, and McMahon said he wants to see those projects completed.

Mayor Art Levine said he wasn't surprised at McMahon's withdrawal.

"He hasn't been up there too long," he said. "It's a hardship on a man's wife when she has to move that much. It has quite an effect on the family."

Levine said if Dubyak doesn't become city manager, commissioners should consider hiring the Florida Public Management Group, an executive search organization, to recruit applicants. A search would cost the city $5,500, Levine said.

But Commissioner Linda Adkins disagreed.

"That wouldn't be the answer, and we'd be spending money," she said. "They don't have a secret source they can tap."