The single most important duty an elected city councilor has is to assure that the city has evaluated and hired the best possible candidate for its city manager – its chief operating officer.
After an extensive and costly executive search process, the city’s search firm presented the city council on October 11 with seven candidates for council to debate and decide who should be selected for the final interview process. Five of the city councilors did their homework and performed their duty professionally and effectively. They each gave a well-researched analysis of each of the candidates.
I was stunned when Councilors Batte and Brown stated that “they didn’t have time to review the information on the 7 candidates and, accordingly, had no comments on any of them. Mr. Brown, however, committed to voting for the finalists that the majority of council selected and then proceeded to vote against the 4 candidates the majority selected for the final interview process.
The performance, or lack thereof, of Battle and Brown clearly represent nonfeasance of duty; that is, “a failure to execute or perform a duty required by their office that results in harm to the city and are subject to prosecution and/or recall from office.” It is clear that the actions of Batte and Brown have “injured” the city of Marco Island. We have been without a professional and experienced City Manager since February and their failure to act will further harm our city. Let’s hope they see the light and prepare for and be involved in the final selection process on November 2.