PORT RICHEY — The Port Richey City Council voted unanimously last week to use the services of a professional search team to identify both the interim city manager and a permanent manager.
The meeting was a turnabout from the divisive debate two weeks earlier when Mayor Scott Tremblay called out questions raised by council member Todd Maklary regarding the forced retirement of Police Chief Gerard DeCanio. After that argument, council learned that their sitting city manager, Vincent Lupo, had decided to retire himself amid the controversy that he had forced DeCanio out of the position.
Then last week, assistant city manager Jocilyn Martinez, who Maklary had suggested might be a good fit to fill in for awhile, tendered her own resignation effective June 5, leaving the council to make several decisions more quickly than they planned.
Tremblay pitched the idea of having a team of professionals from groups such as the Florida City and County Management Association and the Florida League of Cities advertise for and narrow a list of qualified candidates. Council members agreed to that idea for both the interim and permanent manager searches.
They hope to have a list for the interim job as soon as early June for the council to make a pick, acknowledging that it could take months to find the permanent pick.
Lupo, who leaves in approximately one month, also told the council that his search for a new police chief was underway with the Florida Police Chiefs Association, and there were already 26 applicants. He expected as many as 90. The council did not support a request by the Police Benevolent Association, the city officers union, to give input on that selection.