- Sponsored -
Share article


A geographically-diverse group of 52 candidates from cities large and small stretching from California to Maine want to manage paradise — they applied for the job of Key Biscayne Village Manager by the new year’s deadline. The candidates range from police and fire chiefs to engineers and architects, and include some Florida municipal veterans. 

The Village Council earlier set up a speedy search process that would have had members each narrow down a list of five names by the middle of this month to replace Andrea Agha, who left office Jan. 1. 

“We have a lot of heavy hitters,” said Mayor Mike Davey. So many, in fact, that he will be asking his fellow council members to slow down a bit to consider the best of a very big field.

 “This is not musical chairs. We’re picking the right people to manage our Village, we should take the time required.” 

Among the Florida applicants are Jorge Colina, the City of Miami’s former police chief and Steven Williamson, Miami’s former capital projects chief, as well as former officials from Cutler Bay, Coral Gables, Deltona, Fort Lauderdale, Islamorada, Lee County, Surfside, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, and even the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

From out of state, applicants included current and former senior officials ranging from posh Scarsdale, N.Y. to tiny Poland, Maine (Pop. 5,500) — and former county managers from Clark County, Wash and Putnam County, Ga.  

Some candidates are engineers and spoke of experience managing large projects, while others stressed financial skills. Several candidates listed private sector experience. 

- Sponsored -

The applicant pool is overwhelmingly male; there were just four females who applied. 

At least a few applicants are Key Biscayne residents or have island roots: Wesley Pritchett, a former Army aviation commander, Gabriel Solorzano, an educator and former election monitor in Nicaragua are both residents, and applicant Megan Gamwell, an economic development specialist, was raised on the Key. 

Police Chief Charles Press is serving as interim manager. Agha, who announced her resignation in September, earned $205,000 annually.

Join the KBI’s Mailing List

Here is a list of candidates supplied by the Village. Some additional information about previous/current positions is added from biographical information also supplied by the village or in some cases supplied by the applicants

Wesley J PritchettIntl. relations/Syst. EngineeringProgram Manager, Sharper Shape/ U.S. Army Aviation Commander
Gabriel I. SolorzanoMechanical EngineeringCEO, Tutor Doctor
Steven J. AlexanderB.S.City Manager, South Miami (Pop 12,00)/ Town Manager, Cutler Bay (Pop 43,000)
William LawrenceCriminal JusticeCity Manager, Bowling Green, Fla.
Steven C. WilliamsonCommerceOwner, Best Solutions Consulting Group/Dir. Capital Improvement, City of Miami/U.S. Army Southern Command  Engineering Director
Joseph FernandezPublic AdministrationFire Chief, Broward Fire Rescue
Ariel ArtimeCriminal JusticeMiami Dade Police Division Commander
Guillermo OlmedilloArchitectureformer Surfside (FL) Manager
Bradley GotshallPublic Policy/olitical ScienceManager, Lower Paxton (PA) (Pop 48,000)
Jason LawrencePolitical Science/EconomicsTransportation Finance Administrator, City of Tallhassee
Russell E. KirkpatrickCommunicationsCity Manager, Vale, OR (Pop 1,900)
Todd GarnierAccountingVP Finance, Mansfield U. (PA)
Shawn W. HenesseePolitical ScienceCounty Manager, Clark County (WA) (Pop 488,000)
Jorge ColinaCriminal JusticeChief of Police, City of Miami
Jose “Joe” L. GomezCivil Engineering TechnologyPractice Leader, Office Manager, KCI Technologiers/ Sr Project Engineer, Town of Bay Harbor Islands
Jim GleasonProfessional Studies/Lib. ArtsCity Manager, Macotte, FL (Pop 58,873)
Christopher RosePolitical ScienceBudget Dir., City of Miami
Quinn RobertsonBusiness AdministrationTown Manager, Colonia Beach VA (Pop 3.600)
Hector RiveraSociologyAgency for International Development/Asst City Manager, Town of Cape Coral FL (pop 195.000)
John HannahCivil EngineeringGeneral Manager, West Jackson (MS) County Utility District
Robert FarmerManagementDir. Public Safety, Lee County FL (Pop 770,557)
Lesley RiddleBusinessDir Public Works, Hyattsville MD (pop 17,500)
Christopher J. LaytonHistoryTown Manager, Duck NC (Pop 369)
David WilkinsonBusiness AdministrationTown Manager, South Whitley IN (Pop 1750)
Susan StantonPolitical ScienceChief Operating Office, Santa Clara Water Dist. (San Jose, CA)/City Manager, Greenfield, Calif. (Pop 18,000) and Lake Worth, FL (Pop 36,000)
Jane ShangOrganizational Behavior/BusinessCity Manager, Deltona FL (Pop 85,000)/Dep City Manager, El Paso TX (Pop 2.2million)
Seth LawlessPolitical ScienceVillage Manager, Islamorada FL (pop  6.317)
Carroll Rudolph SmithCivil EngineeringAsst. Dir. Of Utilities, Village of Tequesta FL (Pop 6,000)
Ariel MorelPolitical Science, HistoryDirector of Admin, Seminole Tribe of Florida. 
Brian GeogheganAdministration of JusticeTownship Manager, Howell Township NJ (pop 51,000)
Caden GillespieJustice Studies, Poli.Sci.Senior HR Specialist, Arizona State U. 
Paul Van HauteLiberal ArtsCounty Manager, Putnam County, GA (Pop 21,000)
D.W. StarkCriminal Justiceformer County Manager, Lyon County NV, (Pop 52,000)/General Manager at CENTURA HEALTH INDIAN PEAKS COMMUNITY GARDEN
Franklin Colt SandoroPolitical ScienceExec. Dir, Regional Intergovernmental Council, South Charleston WV
Matthew GarsideMarine TransportationTown Manager, Poland, ME (Pop 5,500)
Thomas BradfordPolitical ScienceTown Manger, Palm Beach (FL) (Pop 8,800)
John BennettPolitical Science/EnglishInterim Business Administrator, Town of Dover NJ (Pop 18,000),Township Administrator, Woodbridge NJ (Pop 100,000)
Scott McClurePolitical ScienceCity Manager, Canby, Ore. (Pop 17,900)
William WardCareer & Technical EducationVice Chancellor, Pima County Community College (AZ)
Brian LynchCommunicationsVP Operations, Sherlock Talent (IT and marketing staffing firm)
Frank FernandezProfessional Studies/Personnel MgmtConsultant, U.S. Dept. of Justice/Asst. City Mgr, City of Coral Gables
C. Brett CookPolitical ScienceCity Manager, Harlem, Georgia, pop 3000 https://harlemga.org/community/page/history
Willie A. Hopkins, Jr.Business AdministrationDirector, General Services, Alameda County (CA) (Pop 1.5 million)
Megan GamwellSociologyEconomic Development for City Manager of National City, CA (Pop 58,000)
Anthony BalzebrePolitical ScienceAsst. Exec.Dir, Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (FL) / District Dir. Miami Commissioner Ken Russell
Stanley HawthorneBSAsst. City Manager, Fort Lauderdale FL
Robert ColeLiberal ArtsDeputy Village Manager, Scarsdale NY (Pop 17,000)
James DrummPolitical ScienceCity Manager, Zephyrhills FL (Pop 13,300)
Ricardo Mendez-SaldiviaCivil EngineeringAsst. City Administrator, City of West Palm Beach FL (Pop 100,00)
Thomas HutkaCivil EngineeringCity Manager, Port Huron (MI) (Pop 28,700)
D. Aaron BlairUrban PlanningCity Manager, Sand City CA (Pop 330)
Larry CollinsPublic Safety AdministrationCity Manager, Louisville, OH (Pop. 9,200)

Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

- Sponsored -

Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow...