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Palm Coast Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 1 month ago

Palm Coast city manager position draws 91 applicants, no internal candidates

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City Council members will each present their top five selections on Nov. 17.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A total of 91 people have applied for the position of Palm Coast city manager, but applicants do not include the city's most senior staff members: Interim City Manager Denise Bevan and Fire Chief Jerry Forte did not apply, nor did other city employees, Palm Coast's human resources manager told the Palm Coast City Council at an Oct. 19 meeting.

Of the applicants, 20 have worked as city or county managers or administrators and another six have served as assistant city or county managers. A total of 43 have some form of municipal government experience. Others have held administrative or leadership positions in school districts or police departments or in federal agencies or the military.

Of those with city or county manager or assistant manager experience, 10 had that experience in Florida, including current Fort Meade city manager Jan Bagnall and Surfside town manager Andrew Hyatt.

There were also applications from former city or county managers of the Town of Sneads, Lake City, Brookesville, Hernando County and Gainesville.

Among the local applicants, attorney and former Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre submitted an application, as did former Flagler Schools assistant superintendent for instruction Phyllis Edwards.

A number of applicants seemed to have backgrounds entirely unrelated to the city manager position: There were applications from teachers, restaurant workers, office managers, lawyers and salespeople; one person submitted a poem rather than a resume.

Speaking at the council meeting on Oct. 19, Mayor David Alfin appealed to the council to consider coming together when it comes time to select the manager.

"I've been wanting to say this, and whether you all agree or not I'm going to say it anyway: It would be a perfect situation if at the end of this process, we were all able to unanimously choose a city manager," Alfin said. "I have no person in mind. But I'd like to install that thought. If it's possible, if we would have unanimity in our choice, it would be a great pat on the back for the future of the city of Palm Coast."

City Council members will be provided with binders containing all of the applicants' application materials.

At a meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, each of the five council members will present his top five picks, narrowing the total to a maximum of 25 applicants.

The council will then select a shortlist of candidates for interviews.

 

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