Friday, April 16, 2021

Polanco Not Getting an Interview

Councilman Joe Batte, with the support of Councilors Howard Reed and Bob Brown, attempted to add the name of Guillermo Polanco to the list of candidates that would be considered for a final interview on November 2nd.

Councilor Joe Batte makes a passionate appeal to have Polanco considered for the permanent position as City Manager. (Photos by Steve Stefanides)

Polanco has led the city for the last nine months since the resignation of former City Manager Roger Hernstadt. Prior to Hernstadt’s hiring in February of 2014, Polanco filled that same vacancy as the interim manager after James Riviere left in October of 2013. During the last 51 months he has served in the city manager position for 25% of that time.

Batte cited Polanco’s experience running the city during the last nine months in his attempt to have his name added to the list. “He has the support and respect of his staff,” said Batte. “He has grown in this position, especially as a result of his handling of the recent hurricane and deserves an opportunity to continue in his role,” said Batte after the meeting.

“It is probably the only good thing to come out of this hurricane worth a damn. It showed what a fantastic staff we have and the leadership of Mr. Polanco,” said Batte.

Interim City Manager Gil Polanco listens intently as council votes to reject the opportunity for him to interview as a finalist.

Batte had originally floated a motion which would have hired Polanco outright, but it was Councilor Reed who would suggest his name be added to the finalist list for a November 1st interview process. “I am surprised and pleased, but believe we should follow through with the process,” said Reed. He would suggest an amendment to the original motion to add Polanco to the finalist list which was agreed to.

However, when it came time for the vote, Council Chairman Larry Honig would oppose adding Polanco to the finalist list; “I think we would be doing those that did apply a disservice,” said Honig. “Mr. Polanco you have the strongest resume in the State of Florida if you choose to move on,” said Honig.

Councilor Charlette Roman would suggest that Polanco might be better in a secondary position to gain more experience and Councilor Victor Rios would agree.

“Gil is a team player and would not act to promote himself, but I did speak to him and he would accept the position. He will take the position if it is offered. He’ll have our back in any emergency,” continued Batte.

Batte’s passionate pleas would fall on deaf ears as Council Chairman Honig, Vice Chair Jared Grifoni, Councilors Rios and Roman all voted to deny Polanco the opportunity to move forward to the interview process with the other candidates.

They would chose four others to move to the interview process that will begin on November 1st with a meet and greet in the city council chambers and on November 2nd with interviews amongst the seven council members individually, who will reconvene in the evening to make a choice.

Daniel Alfonso the present City Manager for the City of Miami, Florida, David Fraser of Boulder City, Nevada, William Malinen of Branson, Missouri and Lee Niblock of Gainesville, Florida would be the four finalists. Only Daniel Alfonso is presently actively employed.

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2 responses to “Polanco Not Getting an Interview”

  1. Preston Stiner says:

    I don’t know Mr Polanco and can’t testify to his qualifications other than he has twice been appointed to the interim city manager position between city managers so he must be doing something right. I’ve heard nothing but accolades about the city government’s response and hard work during Irma and the recovery since so have to think that his leadership has contributed something to the performance. I did do a quick search on the other candidates listed as finalists and at least for a couple of them I was less than impressed. Other than the current city manager in Miami, I didn’t read about any coastal city government experience which I thought was a requirement or at least a nice to have. Perhaps it was earlier in their careers. However, Mr. Frasier has worked in Nevada since at least 2000 which is surrounded by desert sand more than sandy beaches. Here is a link to an article about Mr. Niblock’s recent termination as Alachua County manager in which states he plans to retire.…/alachua-county-commission… I don’t think we need a city manager who has recently stated his desire to retire. How many years of work will we get from him before we’re back searching for another city manager? Here is link to an article about Mr. Malinen and his recent termination…/branson-city…/102055666/ I know from our history of turnover with city managers that these things happen with that job. Regarding Mr. Alfonso, I just wonder how much we would have to pay him. Here’s a link to an article from 2014 that discusses his $199,000 base salary. Would we really pay that much? I doubt that our job is worth that,…/New-Miami-city-manager… I don’t know, maybe Mr. Polanco should have an interview when compared to the “finalists” the search firm has come up with. He is here in Marco and hence no relocation expense, he has proven experience running the city on an interim basis and helped lead Marco through Irma. How much effort would it really take for our city council to formally interview him? Why not give him the opportunity to interview for the job? Is council trying to justify the retainer fee they gave to the search firm after the initial failed search process?

  2. Tval says:

    Thought our Council was starting to come around and realize what great people are employed in Marco
    Well the four of you still don’t get it, next election should be fun.
    The right person for CM is right in front of you and you don’t see.
    Gil is the right choice, he proved it.
    We won’t forget!!!

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