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Palm Coast Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 4 years ago

Flagler Beach interviews two for city manager position, considers keeping Campbell

Three applicants withdrew their applications.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Flagler Beach has five candidates for its city manager position. But city commissioners are still considering keeping on current City Manager Bruce Campbell, who has told the commission multiple times that he would like to resign, and has, just as often, acceded to commissioners' requests to stay on just a little longer. 

He's now supposed to be gone by Dec. 31 of this year. And once again, commissioners, lacking what they consider a viable alternative, are wavering. 

"I think we have a city manager that should be offered at least a contract, or asked if he would take a minimum of a one-year contract."

— Marshall Shupe, Flagler Beach city commissioner

"I think, after looking at what we've got, I think we have a city manager that should be offered at least a contract, or asked if he would take a minimum of a one-year contract, because I don't see the quality of people — and no disrespect intended — but the backgrounds of both of the applications in my own opinion, is that we don't have as many strengths in areas that I personally think Bruce has the strengths," Commissioner Marshall Shupe said at an Oct. 22 meeting. "Because I think our timing is all wrong, for some reason."

Commissioner Joy McGrew said she would "love to be able to offer (Campbell) an opportunity to negotiate a one-year contract."

Commissioner Jane Mealy disagreed. 

"Bruce has given his notice not once, but twice. … It’s time to move on."

— Linda Provencher, Flagler Beach mayor

"I think you're jumping the gun," she said. "I have a couple other people here who are left to see. ... I'd like to see a few of these other people. And I’m sorry, Bruce, but Bruce said, ‘I'm outta here.’ It was supposed to be Sept. 30, then it went to December, and I don't want to keep waiting."

Mayor Linda Provencher agreed with Mealy. 

"It's nothing against Bruce; I like Bruce," she said at the meeting. "But Bruce has given his notice not once, but twice. … It’s time to move on."

Campbell himself was noncommittal when Shupe and Mealy suggested he stay. "I’d have to think about it. I’m listening," he said. 

Of eight people who have submitted applications fo the city manager position, three — John Bodner, James Coleman and Donald Willar — have withdrawn them.

The five remaining candidates are Anthony Barrett, a former city manager in Bluffton, South Carolina; Andrew DeCandis, executive director of Clay County Transit and the Clay County Council of Aging; Thomas Ernharth, city manager of Starke, Florida; Joseph Gerrity, former city manager of Fernandina Beach, Florida; and Larry Newsom, former assistant county administrator in Escambia County, Florida.

The commission has so far interviewed DeCandis and Gerrity.



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