The Marco Island City Council met in special session on Tuesday evening as they strove to finalize the almost two-and-a-half-year journey of attempting to fill the open position of City Manager. That vacancy was created in February of 2017 with the departure of former City Manager Roger Hernstadt and the ensuing odyssey.
Chairman Erik Brechnitz thanked Ken Parker of the Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA). He also thanked Councilor Charlette Roman, who initiated the idea of enlisting the help of the FCCMA Senior Manager Program.
Council spent the last two days interviewing candidates, which included Steve Barwick from Aspen, Colorado, where he served as City Manager; Mike Bonfield from Creedmore, North Carolina where he served as City Manager; Craig Coffey of Flagler County, Florida where he served as County Manager; Mike McNees of Melbourne, Florida where he served as City Manager; and Cathy Swanson of Coral Gables, Florida, where she held the position of City Manager.
It should have been no surprise to those that follow local government that Mike McNees came into the process as a favored candidate for the open position. His long experience working for Collier County beginning in 1984 and ending 17 years later in 2001 provided him with a keen insight to Marco Island and the surrounding area.
McNees’ experience in all aspects of providing governmental services within Florida was one of his major strengths with councilors. He had served in Collier County, rising to the position of Deputy County Manager; in Sarasota as its City Manager, and most recently in Melbourne, Florida as its City Manager.
Council participated in two rounds of voting which initially reduced the five candidates to two candidates. The final vote would leave McNees with five votes and a unanimous vote of council to empower the Chairman and City Attorney to negotiate an acceptable contract with the desire to bring back that contract to council at the May 20 city council meeting.
A more detailed article will appear in Friday’s edition of the Coastal Breeze News. Visit our website at www.coastalbreezenews.com or Facebook page (Coastal Breeze News).