By Jane Smith
Delray Beach city com-missioners were pleasantly surprised on April 13 to learn that 91 people had applied to be the next city manager.
The commission plans to set a deadline for applications during its May 4 meeting.
The position became open in November when the commission fired George Gretsas by a split vote. The search for applicants was announced in mid-January.
At the April 13 workshop, Human Resources Director Duane D’Andrea said his staff winnowed the 91 applicants down to 26 people who met the minimum qualifications.
The 26 then were divided into four groups, based on their professional experience. The four categories are:
• City manager experience in a full-service city.
• City manager experience in a limited-service city.
• Assistant city manager experience in a full-service city.
• Applicants who had served as a strong mayor or city administrator in a strong-mayor city.
D’Andrea defined a full-service city as one that has its own police and fire departments.
The top five choices were shared with four of the five commissioners. Vice Mayor Shirley Johnson was unavailable and did not receive the information.
Two commissioners who had proposed that interim City Manager Jennifer Alvarez get the job were on opposite sides of the discussion on the quality of the applicants.
Deputy Vice Mayor Adam Frankel said, “With the five choices that I reviewed, I could not select any of the five.”
Commissioner Ryan Boylston, though, was bullish on one candidate. “The list of accolades was a page long,” he said.
Boylston said the city received good applications. For leads on more candidates, he recommended that D’Andrea talk with Laura Simon, the Downtown Development Authority executive director, to find other Florida cities that are well run.