By Jane Smith
A traditional recruiting firm will present at least three choices for the Delray Beach City Commission to interview in December for the acting city manager position, which will be open next year.
City Manager Don Cooper, who started with Delray Beach in January 2015, announced his resignation in late October. He will stay through Dec. 30. He said family medical issues would not allow him to devote his full attention to the job.
At its second November meeting, the City Commission agreed to pay $9,000 to the Colin Baenziger & Associates recruiting firm, based in Daytona Beach Shores. The recruiter will forward at least three choices, likely retired city managers or people who were once city managers and want to get back to working for a government, Cooper said.
“We need someone to keep the trains running on time,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said.
Neither of the assistant city managers — Francine Ramaglia and Dale Sugerman — was interested in filling in for him, Cooper told the commission on Nov. 1. Since then, Cooper said one had expressed interest with three conditions: receiving Cooper’s salary, getting 21 weeks of severance if let go and returning to the previous position after the permanent city manager arrives.
Cooper said, “It’s a challenging place to serve.”
The City Commission is a “very volatile board,” said Commissioner Mitch Katz. “We need to help get [the assistant city manager] through that time by keeping our concerns as private as possible.”
But the mayor didn’t agree with that characterization.
“I’ve never seen a city where there is clinical agreement and kumbaya with every vote,” Glickstein said. “It’s a challenging situation” trying to get agreement from commissioners who are coming and going and have other full-time jobs.
Cooper agreed and said, “No city manager expects kumbaya.”
He also talked about two department heads who had approached him about filling in as the acting city manager. But he didn’t recommend doing so because they are leading important departments that already have a lot to do.
“Plus, it would create friction with the other department heads,” said Glickstein, who also said he appreciated them for offering to fill a void.