Councilors Reed, Batte and Brown wanted to have our current Interim City Manager, Gill Polanco, given equal consideration for our City Manger position along with the candidates provided by our search consultant. And, even the search consultant felt Mr. Polanco was a viable candidate. But, the majority of City Council decided to follow procedure and decided not to do so since Mr. Polanco had not provided a formal application to the search firm. So we have to move on and hope Mr. Polanco stays with the City in his Finance Director position and is groomed to become our City Manager after our new hire moves on.
But, first we need to fully vet the candidates Council has chosen to consider since three of them are currently unemployed and one is “shopping his resume” because of a “turbulent city government”. Now that is not surprising since politics does play a significant role in the tenure of a City Manager and we surely have experience in turbulent city government ourselves. But, we need to know just what the candidate’s philosophy and mode of operation are, how they differed from that of their current and/or previous employers and how they may differ with those of our City Council.
Consideration should also be given to whether a candidate from a larger city or county government would be able to adjust to having to deal with a much smaller staff and resources. Salary also needs to be considered since both factors could lead to Marco Island ending up being merely short term employment awaiting a bigger opportunity.
We also obviously need to evaluate each candidate’s experience and successes in managing a city’s administrative departments, overseeing a city police department and fire department as well as a city utility operation. We should also evaluate their experience of dealing with the planning for and handling of recovery efforts of a major disaster like the hurricane we just had. In addition, we should be asking about relationships with staff since we know that has been a critical issue in our City. One way to do so would be to compare the candidates attributes to those of Mr. Polanco.
And, don’t forget to attend the Candidates Meet and Greet Night. I am sure our Councilors would welcome your insights.