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‘Best qualified’ city manager candidates listed

By Staff | May 15, 2010

City Human Resources has submitted its list of the 12 “best qualified” candidates for the city manager position.
Michael Frelinger, Gary King, Carl Schwing, Michael G. Mahaney, Duncan Ross Ballantyne, Charles Saddler and John J. McCue are all candidates who reside in Florida, with King and Schwing being the only two from Cape Coral.
Mark Watson and Charles R. Oliver are from Arizona; David Fanslau is from New York; Michael J. Stampfler from Alabama; and Donald D. Crawford is from Michigan.
According to a memo from Wayne Howard, Human Resources director, the candidates were selected and ranked with a numerical system based on a review of their education and experience.
The city declined to release its numerical ranking, or “band scoring” system, so it is unknown where the candidates fall in that ranking system or how the ranks were determined among these candidates or among the two ranking tiers below “best qualified”“better qualified” and “qualified.”
The lists made available has the candidates listed in their respective tiers in no discernible order, without the numerical “score.” They also were not listed alphabetically.
Howard suggested to council in the same memo they should stick to “qualified” candidates, those on one of the three lists, to avoid a legal challenge.
Some council members had expressed an interest in adding candidates from among all who had applied, including those who did not meet the city’s advertised minimal qualifications.
“A selection made outside of the eligible candidates would increase the probability of a legal challenge,” Howard wrote.
City council also plans on presenting a series of essay questions, but those questions were not released to the public, either.
The city’s legal staff cited a public records exemption that states “Examination questions and answer sheets of examinations administered by a governmental agency for the purpose of licensure, certification, or employment are exempt…”
Councilmember Bill Deile said he did not want the questions released because he didn’t want candidates who live in Cape Coral to have an unfair advantage over those who don’t.
He said council submitted the questions individually, and they will be discussed to see if any of them are redundant.
Of the 12 candidates in the “best qualified” group, Deile said he feels there are several standouts.
“From looking at the resumes, that universe is large enough to make an offer with two or three back-ups,” Deile said.
Councilmember Marty McClain said he thought human resources did a good job of vetting the 12 front runners for the job.
When it comes to the questions potential city managers will be answering, McClain said he wanted the questions to be fair to all 12 candidates.
“I want to make sure the questions involve the daily operation of a municipality, and are not focused on the running of Cape Coral,” he said. “It’s a disadvantage to those who are not familiar with the Cape.”
Council members Pete Brandt and Erick Kuehn could not be reached for comment.
City council hold its workshop Monday, 4:30 pm, at city hall.