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Ex-Citrus administrator makes short list for top Hernando post

Former Citrus County Administrator Tony Shoemaker will not be the next city manager of this small town in northern Florida, but he is in the running to be Hernando County's next county administrator.

In Fernandina Beach, a city of about 10,000 on Amelia Island, just south of the Florida-Georgia border, Shoemaker was one of three finalists.

City Clerk Vicki Cannon said Shoemaker was the City Commission's first choice, but he turned down a $70,000-a-year salary and a three-month severance package. The Fernandina Beach post will go to Richard Diamond, the city manager of Dade City.

Shoemaker is one of five finalists for the job of Hernando County administrator.

Interviews are scheduled for this month, and the County Commission hopes to choose the top candidate next month.

It also was recently announced that Shoemaker would return for several months to Clearwater, where he was city manager from 1977 to 1987, to serve as the city's interim director of the central permitting department.

Shoemaker was forced to resign from his Citrus job in December. Commission Chairman Jim Fowler, who asked him to leave, cited "lack of communication" and "indecisiveness" as reasons.