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Dade City starts search for manager

Wanted: Someone to manage the government of a city in west-central Florida with about 6,000 residents and a budget of $7-million. Must have a proven track record in management and be willing to try to fill the shoes of the current city manager, Richard Diamond.

Coming up with an advertisement to attract applicants for Diamond's job was the major topic of discussion among Dade City commissioners at a special meeting Thursday night.

Diamond accepted a job this week as city manager of Fernandina Beach, a coastal town with about 10,000 residents on Amelia Island in North Florida.

Commissioners said they accepted Diamond's resignation with regret and agreed they had made a good decision by selecting him in 1993.

"Whatever we did, let's try to repeat it," Mayor Charles McIntosh said.

Members of the commission decided to start placing ads right away in newsletters intended for managers of city and county governments. They also agreed to include a proposed salary range of $45,000 to $60,000. Diamond, who earns nearly $57,000 a year, will be making $70,000 a year when he starts in Fernandina Beach in January.

Diamond said his departure date will depend on how long the commission needs him to stay. If an interim city manager is needed, commissioners mentioned City Clerk/Finance Director Jim Class as a possible candidate.

Commission members set an application deadline of Jan. 5 and said they plan to review resumes as they arrive in the mail. They also took the opportunity to joke a bit with Diamond, telling him he would have to turn over the keys to the city car, a 1991 Ford Tempo, upon his departure.

"I can't keep that?" Diamond asked, incredulously.

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