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Redington Beach to study 22 clerk resumes

(ran Beach edition)

A continuing history of political controversies, most recently evidenced by two sudden resignations last month, has not discouraged applicants hoping to become the next town clerk.

The commission on Tuesday will consider the resumes of 22 people hoping to replace Vicky McDonald, who resigned in July to become the town clerk in Belleair Beach. Redington Beach's deputy clerk, Muriel Lewis, resigned several weeks later to fill the same position, also in Belleair Beach.

Both clerks criticized the town's commission and mayor for "insensitivity" toward town employees, particularly during the consideration of changes to employee benefits.

Mayor Jerry Reitz said Friday that he hopes the commission will be able to select one of the applicants before the end of the month. The commission has yet to decide whether it will fill the deputy clerk's position.

"I see no need to advertise again for town clerk. We should be able to pick someone from this list," Reitz said, adding that the commission is unlikely to pick anyone without at least some municipal experience.

Although eight applicants have varying degrees of municipal work, most have unrelated business experience. One applicant is a former police officer. Another has an extensive federal and diplomatic background. Five Redington Beach residents also applied for the job.

Among the applicants with municipal experience: Nancy McCollum, currently Gulfport's deputy city clerk; Steve Odem, a Lakeland resident who served as Wakulla County manager in 1990 and as Palmetto city clerk-treasurer from 1983 to 1989; Christine Hordern, currently executive secretary to the Largo chief of police; Sharon Szeman, a Redington Beach resident who at one time was Lenawee County deputy clerk; Jennifer Cowan, who worked in the governor's legal office from 1996 to 1998; Jeffrey Whitaker, who worked as assistant county treasurer for St. Clair County, Belleville, Ill., from 1979 to 1995; and Daniel Kaepp, a Michigan resident and former county administrator in Michigan.

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