HIGH SPRINGS – The High Springs commission voted on Sept. 22 to continue the search for a new city manager.
The commission had interviewed Judith Jankosky on Sept. 15, the last candidate for the position. The search, which started out with 47 candidates, was narrowed to a list of six hopefuls.
Out of that six, four dropped out due to the salary offered. The commission decided at the Aug. 25 meeting to publically interview the last two candidates, Jankosky and Terry Leary, after they both had individual meetings with each commissioner.
However, Leary took a job at another city.
Commissioner Sue Weller expressed concern should the city hire Jankosky without interviewing other candidates. She said she was impressed with Jankosky’s background and knowledge, but did not feel comfortable focusing on one candidate at this point.
“We don’t know at this point if there’s a candidate out there that would be available, that would meet our qualifications, that might be a better fit,” she said.
Mayor Larry Travis agreed with Weller. He said he was unsure that Jankosky had the necessary ability to come before the public and put together a plan of action.
“This position is very, very important,” he said. “So I feel it’s advantageous for us to go forward in looking for other individuals to fill this seat.”
The position will be advertised again, seeking another round of new candidates. Once the city has a list of applicants, Paul Sharon, a “Range Rider,” will review the individuals.
The Range Riders is a group under the auspices of the Florida City and County Management Association. They offer free guidance to cities in the search for city managers, using former city managers as counselors.
The new advertisement will include the salary for the position, set at $50,000 to $72,000. This additional information is at the request of Commissioner Eric May.
He suggested this in light of the city losing two-thirds of its candidates after announcing the salary. After an unsuccessful five-month search, he does not want to see the city follow the same procedures.
“We don’t do this everyday, as Mr. Sharon pointed out,” May said. “I don’t want to see us use the exact same process and get the exact same results.”
Vice Mayor Byran Williams reiterated that the salary must be mentioned at the beginning of the process. Commissioner Dean Davis did not attend the meeting.
City Clerk Jenny Parham will stay on as interim city manager while the city continues its search to replace former city manager Jim Drumm, who resigned last October.
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