By Jane Smith
Commissioners in late September selected three candidates to interview to become their next city manager. One dropped out the next day.
A public reception will be held on Oct. 9 where community members can meet the two candidates in an informal setting, said W.D. Higginbotham Jr., senior vice president of The Mercer Group, hired to do the candidate search.
Meeting the community is important for any city manager, Higginbotham said. “A lot can be seen by the way the candidates interact with the community and commissioners in an informal setting,” he said. The public reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Delray Beach Municipal Golf Course clubhouse, 2200 Highland Ave.
The commission interviews will take place at 5 p.m. Oct. 10, when the Delray Beach City Commission will meet to pick a city manager.
No one from a Florida city applied.
Commissioners were not pleased with the overall quality of the candidates. They said they wanted a larger pool of candidates. Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein insisted they need only one person — one who has a strong financial background and people skills.
The prospective candidates watched several commission meetings, Higginbotham said. They saw micromanaging by the commission, bickering between commissioners and other negative issues, he said.
“I told them it’s not going to be a walk in the park,” he said, even though the salary of at least $200,000 is tantalizing. Delray Beach has an estimated population of 68,676.
The mayor also said, “We have an election in the town in March where three seats are up.”
Some prospective candidates might feel uneasy about the possibility of the bosses changing in a few months, he said.
The two candidates are:
Edward Collins — The chief operating officer at Civil Service Inc., a private engineering firm in Lehi, Utah. Lehi has an estimated population of 63,999.
Mark Lauzier — An assistant city manager in Tacoma, Wash. Tacoma has a population estimated at 210,381.
The candidate who declined to be considered was David Niemeyer, village manager of Tinley Park, Ill. He was added to the interview list on the suggestion of Vice Mayor Jim Chard.