By Dan Moffett

    Briny Breezes moved a step closer to hiring the first town manager in its history when the Town Council on Sept. 28 gave preliminary approval to an ordinance creating the position.
    “We’re in desperate need of administrative help,” said Alderman Bobby Jurovaty. “We can’t keep putting this off.”
    The ordinance provides a broad description of an employee who would assist council members in handling administrative duties and implementing town policies, Council President Sue Thaler said.
    “We have not advertised it yet, but we have four people already interested in the position,” Thaler said.
    Town Attorney John Skrandel said specific terms of the manager’s contract would be approved through resolutions by the council as part of the hiring process. Thaler said the council envisions the new position as a part-time job, with the manager working less than 35 hours a week and earning around $40,000 a year, without benefits. The money for the hiring is included in this year’s budget.
    Skrandel said it would be possible to hire an independent contractor to fill the position, a move that would allow the town more flexibility of scheduling and avoid overtime pay requirements. The ordinance passed on a 3-0 vote by Jurovaty, Thaler and Allen “Chick” Behringer. Christina Adams and James McCormick were absent.
    The proposed new law is scheduled to come up for a second reading and final vote on approval during the next council meeting on Oct. 26.
    In other business:
    • The council scheduled a workshop beginning at 4 p.m. Oct. 10 to consider applications for legal services and potential Local Mitigation Strategy projects for state and federal grants. LMS projects are plans by a local government that are designed to reduce or eliminate risks to people and property from natural disasters and some manmade problems. Mayor Jack Lee and resident Keith Black volunteered to develop a list of possible projects in Briny that could be eligible for grant money.        

    Council members decided in August to advertise for legal services applicants who might replace Skrandel. The deadline for applying was pushed back a week because of Hurricane Irma. Thaler said the council will review the applicants for the town attorney job during the Oct. 10 workshop.

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