Manager applicants down to four
Four of six finalists will interview for the city manager position on Thursday, June 10, beginning at noon in council chambers.
Each candidate will have an hour-long interview with city council, which will be televised.
The information below was taken from the candidates’ application materials, except for direct quotes, which were taken either in person or via brief phone interviews.
Candidates Duncan Ballantyne and Charles R. Oliver withdrew but are included here as they were council-selected finalists for the position.
Gary R. King
Education: Master’s Degree in General Management, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts; Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Most recently President and Owner of Cape Coral based Innovative Mortgage, LLC, providing commercial financing nationwide, offering a broad set of mainline and niche products with advantageous correspondent pricing and competitive underwriting guidelines.
Previous administration experience: Senior Vice President, Strategy and Network Services, State Street Bank and Trust, Boston, Massachusetts; Vice President, Corporate Telecommunications, Bank of New England Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts; Vice President, Telecommunications, Republicbank Corporation, Dallas, Texas; Manager, Telecommunications, The Gillette Company, Boston, Massachusetts; qualified nuclear power plant operator/supervisor, US Army Corp of Engineers, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and Ft. Greely, Arkansas.
King said he’s demonstrated strong management skills throughout his career in the private sector.
“I consider that an advantage,” King said of his background.
King, among those who contributed to The Road Ahead contract with Cape Coral, denounced any notion that he will automatically be placed in the seat, and believes the managerial race is an “open competition.”
He also said he does not think it’s a two- person race between him and current city manager, Carl Schwing.
He said if he is chosen, he’s eager to start working.
“I’m looking forward to being appointed and moving ahead,” he said. “I’m looking forward to moving the city in the direction I think we need to move.”
Education: Master’s Degree in Public Administration – City Management Concentration, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut; Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Bryant University, North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Most recently the president and owner of The Budget Experts, based in Coral Springs, Florida. which performs management and operational studies for local governments.
Previous administration experience: City manager for Parkland, Florida; assistant city manager for the City of Pompano Beach, Pompano Beach, Florida; senior budget and management analyst for Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Lauzier, 48 said he was attracted to both Cape Coral and Lee County because of its beauty, adding that Lee County is one of the nicest areas in the state.
Asked what separates him from the other candidates Lauzier said, “I believe my combination of management experience and leadership, and the private sector vision and innovation can help the city head in the right direction. It appears the city wants to seek innovative solutions to their problems and that’s right up my alley.”
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Peter G. Sands
Education, Master’s Degree in strategic studies, United States Air Force War College Air University, Montgomery, Alabama; Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana; Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont.
Most recently Sands was Commander, 407th Air Expeditionary Group, Ali Air Base, Iraq, providing airfield support for United States and coalition forces, meeting with diplomats, international officers and high level officials, coordinated airfield operations and logistics for $780 million in aviation assets.
Previous administration experience: Chief, combat support division at Langly Air Force Base, Hampton, Virginia; Commander, 319th Mission Support group, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Deputy Commander, Mission Support Group, McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington; Deputy Chief, Strategy and Policy Division, United States Strategic Command, Bellevue, Nebraska; Commander, Maintenance, Logistics and Aircraft Generation Squadrons, Air Mobility COmmand, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Executive Officer to Director, Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, Illinois.
Sands, 51, said he and his wife recently built a home in Cape Coral, adding that he has a vested interest in the community.
“For a few years we’ve been looking forward to coming down and immersing ourselves in the community,” he said.
After 28 years with the Department of Defense, Sands said he’s looking to switch careers, and his background is suited for the city manager position.
“I have a hybrid of experience, from the Department of Defense to working with other cities, and I find that to be important,” Sands said. “I’ve dealt with large budgets and large staffs and I have a blend of emergency management experience. I’m well qualified to do the job.”
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Education: Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri; Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Marketing, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Most recently City Manager/Interim City Manager, Cape Coral, Florida.
Previous administration experience: Assistant City Manager/Chief of Staff, City of Cape Coral, Cape Coral, Fla; Director of Community Development, City of Cape Coral, Cape Coral, Florida; Municipal Consulting, St. Petersburg, Florida; City Manager, City of St. Pete Beach, St. Pete Beach, Florida; City Manager, City Manager, City of Richmond Heights, Richmond Heights, Missouri; City Manager, City of St. John, St. John, Missouri; Assistant to the City Manager, City of Berkeley, Berkeley, Missouri.
Schwing, who was assistant city manager under former city manager Terry Stewart, says he carries no baggage from the previous administration.
“I’m not carrying any baggage,” he said. “I’m my own man and have worked as a city manager 16 years before coming here.”
Schwing said he has not inspected the resumes of the other applicants for the job he holds, nor does he think it’s simply a two-person race between him and Gary King, a Cape resident.
He said he simply wants the best for the city, regardless of the outcome.
“I’m competing against myself, with myself,” he said. “I want the council to pick the best manager to run the city, even if its not me.”
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Charles R. Oliver
Education, Master’s Degree in civil engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Master’s Degree in management, Frostburg State College, Frostburg, Maryland; Bachelor’s Degree in building construction, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.
Most recently City Manager of Surprise, Arizona, overseeing 850 employees and a budget of approximately $300 million.
Previous administration experience: city manager, Surprise, Arizona; City manager, Peoria, Illinois; City Manager, Greenville, South Carolina, Chief Executive Officer hired to consolidate the city of Augusta, GA and Richmond County, GA into the Augusta-Richmond County Consolidated Government; Assistant County Manager/Assistant for Special Projects, Polk County, Florida; Assistant to the county administrator, Lee County, Florida; Director of Program Support for the City of Richmond’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Richmond, Virginia.
Between 1988 and 1991 Oliver was involved in Lee County projects including Hammond Stadium and land acquisition for the mid point bridge.
Oliver, 58, said he lived in Cape Coral for 10 years, and still has family in the area.
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Education: Master’s Degree in Public Administration, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Most recently county administrator, Martin County, Fla.
Previous administration experience: City Manager, City of Concord, Concord, New Hampshire; City Manager, City of Bath, Bath, Maine; Assistant City Manager, City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ballantyne did not return phone calls seeking comment.
In a letter to Mayor John Sullivan and City Council Ballantyne wrote: “I have spent fifteen years as the city manager for full service communities and five years serving as an assistant city manager for a large urban city. Based upon this history and a brief review of your website, I believe that it is safe to say that I have overseen all services currently provided by Cape Coral.”