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City manager list cut to six

By Staff | Jun 3, 2010

Cape Coral City Council reduced the number of potential city managers from 14 to six on Wednesday, and plan on having one-on-one interviews with candidates in eight days.
The list of six candidates include:
– Carl Schwing, nominated by Derrick Donnell
– Gary King, nominated by Erick Kuehn
– Mark Lauzier of Coral Springs, Fla., nominated by Bill Deile
– Charles Oliver of Surprise, Ariz., nominated by Kevin McGrail
– Duncan Ballantyne of Stuart, Fla., nominated by Marty McClain
– Peter Sands of Montgomery, Ala., nominated by Chris Chulakes-Leetz
Councilmember Pete Brandt, and Mayor John Sullivan, said their nominees were already included among the six names chosen by council.
All of the candidates will be limited to a one-hour interview on Thursday, June 10, in council chambers.
All of the interviews will be televised.
The question of whether the interviews should conducted via teleconference for candidates who reside outside of Florida was volleyed, but ultimately dropped when it was decided that face-to-face interviews, along with conducting them them in the public forum, was more prudent.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes Leetz suggested that candidates who were serious about the position would make themselves available, and anything less would be considered a clear sign they didn’t truly want the job.
“If there’s an extraordinary reason they can’t attend they would be withdrawing their candidacy of their own volition,” Chulakes-Leetz said.
Chulakes-Leetz also said that if an offer is made to the new city manager before council’s “work hiatus”, and that person is not City Manager Carl Schwing, then Schwing and the new manager could act as a team and the new person could be brought up to speed during the five-week window of the break.
Schwing, who served previously as the city’s assistant city manager, was tapped for the manger’s job and given a one-year contract with the understanding council would continue to look for a permanent manager. He took the place of former city manger Terry Stewart, who resigned after the election in November.
Councilmember Derrick Donnell said it is unwise to rush the city manager selection, saying the upcoming budgetary work should take precedent over the need to fill the position occupied by Schwing.
“I think it’s a mistake to force this in the next month or so,” Donnell said.