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Schwing offered one year manager’s contract

By Staff | Jan 26, 2010

The Cape Coral City Council voted 5-3 to offer interim City Manager Carl Schwing a one-year contract to take the vacant city manager position.
Council members also discussed Monday whether to conduct a national or local search for a new city manager.
According to Human Resources Director Wayne Howard, a national search would cost between $5,000 and $10,000, plus the expenses for national candidates to come to Cape Coral for interviews.
During the discussion, Council member Derrick Donnell presented a motion to offer the position to Schwing in an attempt to maintain employee morale in the face of voluntary furloughs and job position cuts.
“I think it is something we should proceed with as quickly as possible,” said Council member Pete Brandt. “To continue in a temporary situation is detrimental to progress in the city.”
Councilmember Kevin McGrail suggested that the city begin its national search for a candidate after offering a one-year contract to Schwing.
The council also recognized that whether Schwing stays past one-year depends on his productivity over the next year, rather than what a new applicant claims he or she can do for the city.
Members were also hesitant to spend money on a national search when Schwing had already been in the position since former city manager Terry Stewart resigned.
Mayor John Sullivan supported a national search but said he would consider Schwing.
“I feel we don’t have the expertise on the dais and I don’t feel city staff has the expertise,” he said. “I would also like to ensure that we turn over every stone and we hire the best possible candidate, whether that be Mr. Schwing or somebody else.”
Councilmember Eric Grill said he wanted to settle the search before the city dives deeply into the budget process. He added that city council is not a group that makes decisions quickly.
“This is a pretty easy decision for me,” he said.
When asked about his opinion on being offered the contract, Schwing said he would accept it. He said the longer the city has an interim manager the more difficult it is for any transition to a full city manager, specifically for employees.
“If you would consider a one-year contract, it does provide some level of security for those people who might get moved around or hired in the interim,” said Schwing.
The council also asked Councilmember Bill Deile to serve as negotiator for Schwing’s contract because Human Resources Director Howard is currently an employee of Schwing. A national search for a city manager, led by the human resources department, will commence in the southeastern United States.