Thursday, May 6, 2021

On the Agenda: Interim City Manager Candidates

The Marco Island City Council will take up a full agenda August 20 at Monday’s meeting. However, of most interest to residents may be the consideration of potential candidates for the position of Interim-City Manager.

On the urging of Vice Chair Charlette Roman, the city has been working with the Florida City/County Managers’ Association and their Senior Advisor Program in an attempt to replace Gil Polanco. For the last 19 months Polanco has served as the city’s interim manager. Prior to that he served for four months after James Riviere left the manager’s post at the end of September of 2013.

In addition to the manager’s position, Polanco also serves as the city’s finance director.

Both Councilors Larry Honig and Charlette Roman were critical of Polanco at the last meeting during the debate as to whether or not to proceed with Roman’s initiative. Her proposal received a 5-2 vote in favor, but not before tone and tenor of the attacks on Polanco were questioned by at least three councilors.

Roman’s initiative originally focused on an interim person, but many of the 15 resumes that were attached to the agenda for the August 20 council meeting may have been focusing on the permanent post, which may cause some angst with several of the board members.

When Roman submitted her suggestions to council at the last meeting she was clear in her memo that her desires were not to seek a permanent person, due to the fact that the process would take much longer if done correctly. The timeline she proposed was 30 to 45 days at the most.

A discussion regarding whether or not the candidates would be considered for the permanent position was never held. In her third bullet point regarding the process she pointed out that it is often a deciding factor in whether a person would accept an interim position. “That way, the candidate will know up front,” said Roman.

Ken Parker, the representative of the Senior Advisor Program, pointed out to council that they have engaged in a “hybrid” style process. “The timeline you have established is the one we typically see for finding a manger who is willing to accept a short-term city manager position,” said Parker.

Councilor Howard Reed was not enthusiastic about having previously-rejected candidates included with the prospective candidates, as he felt they had already been rejected for the permanent position. Some of the 15 names are previous candidates who have never made the finalist lists or have been rejected as finalists during council’s previous failed search attempts.

Several of the candidates have little or no experience and only six have Florida experience. Of those six, one has been away from Florida for nine years.

Council will meet on Monday evening beginning at 5:30 PM in Council Chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive.

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