The Palm Coast City Council is scheduled to vote June 5 to select one of two firms to conduct the search to replace City Manager Jim Landon.
After 11 years with Jim Landon in the role, the next Palm Coast city manager should be someone who brings about “a different thought process on the technology side of things,” Mayor Milissa Holland said at the May 29 City Council workshop. She said the council is interested in exploring not only former city managers but also “nontraditional” candidates.
“I think it’s important to find the best of the best,” Holland said. She added that the next city manager should understand what it means to be an executive and will be able to hire staff that can carry out City Council initiatives.
Possible nontraditional city managers could include former commanders of military bases or retired business executives, according to Doug Thomas, senior vice president representing Strategic Government Resources, one of two firms who addressed City Council seeking to be hired to conduct the search to replace Landon. Senior vice presidents Art Davis and Patricia Heminover made a presentation on behalf of competing firm Springsted Waters.
Thomas has found that some nontraditional candidates get scared away when they find out that Florida law requires that applications, job interviews and other communications would be public record.
“Everything written on a napkin can be memorialized,” Thomas said. “That is a shock to many people in the private sector.”
City Council member Heidi Shipley asked how long it would take to hire a new city manager, and Davis said it should take 120 days.
The average tenure for a city manager is five to seven years, according to SGR’s Doug Thomas. Jim Landon plans to retire in 2019.
The council is scheduled to vote on June 5 whether to hire SGR or Springsted Waters.
9,000 disaster guides distributed
City Council members and Palm Coast firefighters spent the Memorial Day weekend in front of Publix stores to hand out 9,000 disaster guides to help residents stay informed as we enter hurricane season.
Mayor Milissa Holland and Fire Chief Mike Beadle noted that many residents are new to the community and find the guide to be helpful. Some said they were taking extras to deliver to neighbors.
AlertFlorida to replace Code Red
Flagler County Emergency Management Chief Jonathan Lord spoke to the City Council on May 29 about AlertFlorida, which is a new state-funded system that will replace Code Red in Flagler County next year. To receive emergency notifications, residents should continue to sign up for Code Red; visit www.flaglercounty.org, click on “Webcams and Weather” and select “AlertFlagler.” The database will be transitioned next year. Funds that go toward Code Red now will be redirected to other emergency preparedness systems, Beadle suggested.
Local inmates for picking up litter?
Mayor Milissa Holland directed staff to ask Sheriff Rick Staly about the possibility of using local inmates to help pick up litter in the community. The city already uses two state-prison inmate crews, and City Manager Jim Landon said there are logistical challenges incorporating inmates. But Holland pointed out that Staly is open to using local inmates more for things such as filling sandbags before storms.
The city also has employees who pick up litter across 52 miles in the city on a two-week rotation. Crews also pick up trash before mowing grass, according to Palm Coast Urban Forester Carol Mini.
Residents can also do their part to help keep the community clean with a handful of “adopt” programs: You can adopt a median, shoreline, trail, road or park. Holland suggested that the city do more to promote these “adopt” programs and encourage people to get involved and get to know their neighbors.
Celebrate a newer sewer
The city of Palm Coast will hold a grand opening for its new Wastewater Treatment Plant 2 at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, and the public is invited to attend, on the west side of U.S. 1, about 2.9 miles north of Palm Coast Parkway and about a half mile south of Matanzas Woods Parkway. A directional sign will be posted on U.S. 1 to guide attendees.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Palm Coast City Council will begin at 4:10 p.m., followed by tours of the plant that will continue through 6 p.m.