By Dan Moffett
South Palm Beach has narrowed its list of town manager candidates to six and hopes to interview them all on Oct. 8 at Town Hall.
“You did very well. These are very high-quality candidates,” said Kurt Bressner, the former Boynton Beach city manager who has assisted the town with recruiting. “My job is to make your choice tough, and I think it’s going to be.”
Mayor Bonnie Fischer said the town wants to have a new manager hired before the end of the year.
Town council members had whittled the field of 23 applicants down to seven finalists but lost one when Jamie Titcomb accepted the town manager’s job in Ocean Ridge last month. Titcomb is the former director of the Palm Beach County League of Cities and also former town manager of North Palm Beach. Here are the finalists:
• Sarah Hannah-Spurlock, 44, has 16 years’ experience in municipal government management and has worked as the assistant city manager for Key West since May 2014. In 2013, Hannah-Spurlock developed special projects for Wellington. She was an assistant city manager in Sunrise from 2009 to 2012 and assistant town manager in Palm Beach from 2003 to 2009, where she directed the town’s emergency management office.
• David Harden, 72, was the Delray Beach city manager for 22 years until retiring in 2012, and since has been working as the interim city manager in Port Orange. A Navy veteran with 48 years in public service, Harden was city manager of Winter Park from 1977 to 1989, and currently does municipal consulting work.
• Dale Sugerman, 63, was town manager of Highland Beach from 2005 to 2011, and before that an assistant city manager in Boynton Beach. In 2012, Sugerman became the town manager of Lake Park and left the position earlier this year.
• Bob Vitas, 58, was the city manager of Key West from 2012 to 2014. He served as the administrator of the Village of Lake Zurich in Illinois from 2007 to 2011.
• Louie Chapman Jr., 63, was the city manager of Delray Beach from 2012 to 2014, and before that the town manager of Bloomfield, Conn., for most of two decades. Chapman’s tenure in Delray was short and stormy, with city commissioners twice trying unsuccessfully to fire him before brokering a buyout settlement that cost the city about $100,000.
• Mark Kutney, 61, was the town manager of Loxahatchee Groves from 2011 to 2014 and the deputy city manager of Belle Glade for four years beginning in 2007. He was a finalist for the South Palm Beach town manager’s job last year.
All five council members chose Hannah-Spurlock and Harden on their list of finalists; Sugerman, Vitas and Chapman were chosen by four council members and Kutney by three.
In other business, Mike Crisafulle, the town’s building official, told council members that Palm Beach Holdings is moving forward with plans to demolish Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn. But the building isn’t likely to come down until next year.
Crisafulle said the company has yet to file for a demolition permit from the town.
He told the council it would “probably be February” at the earliest for the demolition work to begin.