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.
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.
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 Pritchett||Intl. relations/Syst. Engineering||Program Manager, Sharper Shape/ U.S. Army Aviation Commander|
|Gabriel I. Solorzano||Mechanical Engineering||CEO, Tutor Doctor|
|Steven J. Alexander||B.S.||City Manager, South Miami (Pop 12,00)/ Town Manager, Cutler Bay (Pop 43,000)|
|William Lawrence||Criminal Justice||City Manager, Bowling Green, Fla.|
|Steven C. Williamson||Commerce||Owner, Best Solutions Consulting Group/Dir. Capital Improvement, City of Miami/U.S. Army Southern Command Engineering Director|
|Joseph Fernandez||Public Administration||Fire Chief, Broward Fire Rescue|
|Ariel Artime||Criminal Justice||Miami Dade Police Division Commander|
|Guillermo Olmedillo||Architecture||former Surfside (FL) Manager|
|Bradley Gotshall||Public Policy/olitical Science||Manager, Lower Paxton (PA) (Pop 48,000)|
|Jason Lawrence||Political Science/Economics||Transportation Finance Administrator, City of Tallhassee|
|Russell E. Kirkpatrick||Communications||City Manager, Vale, OR (Pop 1,900)|
|Todd Garnier||Accounting||VP Finance, Mansfield U. (PA)|
|Shawn W. Henessee||Political Science||County Manager, Clark County (WA) (Pop 488,000)|
|Jorge Colina||Criminal Justice||Chief of Police, City of Miami|
|Jose “Joe” L. Gomez||Civil Engineering Technology||Practice Leader, Office Manager, KCI Technologiers/ Sr Project Engineer, Town of Bay Harbor Islands|
|Jim Gleason||Professional Studies/Lib. Arts||City Manager, Macotte, FL (Pop 58,873)|
|Christopher Rose||Political Science||Budget Dir., City of Miami|
|Quinn Robertson||Business Administration||Town Manager, Colonia Beach VA (Pop 3.600)|
|Hector Rivera||Sociology||Agency for International Development/Asst City Manager, Town of Cape Coral FL (pop 195.000)|
|John Hannah||Civil Engineering||General Manager, West Jackson (MS) County Utility District|
|Robert Farmer||Management||Dir. Public Safety, Lee County FL (Pop 770,557)|
|Lesley Riddle||Business||Dir Public Works, Hyattsville MD (pop 17,500)|
|Christopher J. Layton||History||Town Manager, Duck NC (Pop 369)|
|David Wilkinson||Business Administration||Town Manager, South Whitley IN (Pop 1750)|
|Susan Stanton||Political Science||Chief Operating Office, Santa Clara Water Dist. (San Jose, CA)/City Manager, Greenfield, Calif. (Pop 18,000) and Lake Worth, FL (Pop 36,000)|
|Jane Shang||Organizational Behavior/Business||City Manager, Deltona FL (Pop 85,000)/Dep City Manager, El Paso TX (Pop 2.2million)|
|Seth Lawless||Political Science||Village Manager, Islamorada FL (pop 6.317)|
|Carroll Rudolph Smith||Civil Engineering||Asst. Dir. Of Utilities, Village of Tequesta FL (Pop 6,000)|
|Ariel Morel||Political Science, History||Director of Admin, Seminole Tribe of Florida.|
|Brian Geoghegan||Administration of Justice||Township Manager, Howell Township NJ (pop 51,000)|
|Caden Gillespie||Justice Studies, Poli.Sci.||Senior HR Specialist, Arizona State U.|
|Paul Van Haute||Liberal Arts||County Manager, Putnam County, GA (Pop 21,000)|
|D.W. Stark||Criminal Justice||former County Manager, Lyon County NV, (Pop 52,000)/General Manager at CENTURA HEALTH INDIAN PEAKS COMMUNITY GARDEN|
|Franklin Colt Sandoro||Political Science||Exec. Dir, Regional Intergovernmental Council, South Charleston WV|
|Matthew Garside||Marine Transportation||Town Manager, Poland, ME (Pop 5,500)|
|Thomas Bradford||Political Science||Town Manger, Palm Beach (FL) (Pop 8,800)|
|John Bennett||Political Science/English||Interim Business Administrator, Town of Dover NJ (Pop 18,000),Township Administrator, Woodbridge NJ (Pop 100,000)|
|Scott McClure||Political Science||City Manager, Canby, Ore. (Pop 17,900)|
|William Ward||Career & Technical Education||Vice Chancellor, Pima County Community College (AZ)|
|Brian Lynch||Communications||VP Operations, Sherlock Talent (IT and marketing staffing firm)|
|Frank Fernandez||Professional Studies/Personnel Mgmt||Consultant, U.S. Dept. of Justice/Asst. City Mgr, City of Coral Gables|
|C. Brett Cook||Political Science||City Manager, Harlem, Georgia, pop 3000 https://harlemga.org/community/page/history|
|Willie A. Hopkins, Jr.||Business Administration||Director, General Services, Alameda County (CA) (Pop 1.5 million)|
|Megan Gamwell||Sociology||Economic Development for City Manager of National City, CA (Pop 58,000)|
|Anthony Balzebre||Political Science||Asst. Exec.Dir, Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (FL) / District Dir. Miami Commissioner Ken Russell|
|Stanley Hawthorne||BS||Asst. City Manager, Fort Lauderdale FL|
|Robert Cole||Liberal Arts||Deputy Village Manager, Scarsdale NY (Pop 17,000)|
|James Drumm||Political Science||City Manager, Zephyrhills FL (Pop 13,300)|
|Ricardo Mendez-Saldivia||Civil Engineering||Asst. City Administrator, City of West Palm Beach FL (Pop 100,00)|
|Thomas Hutka||Civil Engineering||City Manager, Port Huron (MI) (Pop 28,700)|
|D. Aaron Blair||Urban Planning||City Manager, Sand City CA (Pop 330)|
|Larry Collins||Public Safety Administration||City Manager, Louisville, OH (Pop. 9,200)|