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Manager trying for Clearwater post

After 11 years as city manager here, Bruce Haddock wants to take on a city 10 times larger.

Haddock is among the 62 people who have applied to replace Clearwater City Manager Betty Deptula when she retires in May.

"It's a larger city, and typically in this profession for advancement you move to a larger jurisdiction," he said Tuesday. "I would like to stay here in the Tampa Bay area."

Oldsmar has about 10,000 residents, while Clearwater's population is 100,000.

Haddock, 46, said his wanting to leave Oldsmar has nothing to do with the recent upheaval at City Hall over the reorganization of the city clerk's office.

Last year, Haddock was one of about 100 people who applied to be Safety Harbor's city manager.

Mayor Jerry Beverland said he knew Haddock had applied for the Clearwater job and others.

"I think it's a natural process," Beverland said. "They want to go to larger _ not better _ but larger places. It'll never be better than Oldsmar."

The job of Clearwater city manager has attracted candidates from across Florida and the country. Only Haddock and another man, a former affiliate director of Telephone Pioneers of America, are from Pinellas County.

The next step for Clearwater is to whittle the list of 62 down, leaving four to seven candidates, said Commissioner Karen Seel.

That will be done by Robert Slavin, the Norcross, Ga., consultant hired by the city to help find Deptula's replacement. Slavin will meet with city commissioners to get their opinions.

Once the list is pared down, candidates will be called in for interviews.

While Deptula is paid about $90,000 a year, the commission hasn't decided on a salary for her successor.

A Florida native, Haddock worked for Gulfport as its city manager and finance director before coming to Oldsmar.

Haddock's getting the job, Beverland said, would be a loss to the city.

"Oldsmar will go on," he said.

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