By Noelle H. Lowery
Monday was a red letter day in the now five-month search for a new city manager for Marco island. The city council selected a new executive search firm — Norcross, GA-based Slavin Management Consultants — and unanimously voted to appoint Marco Island’s Finance Director Guillermo “Gil” Polanco to the position of interim city manager. To help him in this capacity, council also designated former City Councilor Dr. Bill Trotter as an unpaid special advisor to Polanco.
“The interim city manager should come from our family, from within the city,” Council Chairman Joe Batte told those assembled for the special meeting. “I have asked him about this, and he said he is willing to take on the assignment.”
Polanco was humbled and honored by the confidence of the city council and requested that he be allowed a week to discuss the situation with his wife before formally accepting the role. “Thanks for the offer,” Polanco said to the council. “I will do my best to keep the boat floating.”
As the search for a permanent city manager is expected to take at least 90 days and stretch through the holiday season, Polanco is expected to hold the interim position until at least the beginning of February 2014. Terms of the agreement between Polanco and the city will include an additional $3,000 in salary each month and the inclusion of a termination benefits package to his current employment agreement with the city. This package will encompass six months of severance for Polanco in the event he is terminated from his position as finance director for any act related to his term as interim city manager for a two-year period after his final day of service in the temporary position.
Polanco is set to give his formal acceptance by Monday, Sept. 30, which is current City Manager Jim Riviere’s last day on the job. In the event he does not accept the offer, it was agreed that he would serve as the interim city manager at least until the October 7 city council meeting, when councilors would go through the appointment process all over again.
Councilor Larry Sacher certainly hoped Polanco will accept the position. After all, he has gone on record publicly twice, stating Polanco was the man for the job and readily followed Batte’s lead in nominating Polanco during the special meeting. “I certainly second that,” added Sacher. “Gil has demonstrated his ability to make some detailed and difficult decisions.”
For more information, read the October 4 edition of CBN.