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Council interviews King for manager’s position

By Staff | Jun 10, 2010

Gary King

Cape Coral City Council continues its city manager interviews with the second candidate scheduled, Gary King.
King previously was senior vice president, Strategy and Network Services, State Street Bank and Trust, Boston, Massachusetts. Most recently King is 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, according to his application materials.
King said he does not have a background is collective bargaining, but said his negotiation skills from his past profession would would serve the needs of the city.
Offering his opinion on economic development, King said he understands the scope and limitations of the city’s economic development plan.
He said that different entities within the city – including city council, civic organizations and the construction industry – need to work together to forge a new economic development “model.”
“We need a model that’s going to attract 21st century businesses,” King said.
King said he would be a partner to city council on initiatives they would want to explore.
He said he believes his job would be to put the best ideas in front of council as possible. He said he describes himself as a collaborative style of manager, saying he regularly held “town hall” style meetings with his staff during his time in the private sector.
He said that citizens are at the top of a pyramid of people he would serve.
“The quality of life…the cost of living, are all things we are committed to on behalf of the citizens,” he said.
King said he participated in the drafting of the Road Ahead Contract with Cape Coral but was not the author. He said he subscribed to the principals of the contract.
King said he only attended one “meet-and-greet” style campaign function for Mayor John Sullivan at $25 a person.
Said he openly supported the mayor and Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz during last year’s election.
King said despite this, he will be able to serve the entirety of council despite those election year affiliations.
He said his strongest trait as a manager is transformational leadership, a skill he honed during his time with State Street Bank.
King does not want to raise the millage rates, and instead wants to bring the budget down.
“It’s some tough medicine, but I believe it’s what we have to do,” King said.
On the subject of overtime, King said all overtime approval would go through him, and he would create a system that watches overtime pay closely.
Pete Brandt asked King his thoughts on Arizona’s new immigration law, and global warming. He also asked the same questions of Lauzier.
King answered by saying, there’s a fine line with the immigration law, but border security needs to be improved, while the country needs to be careful about racial profiling.
In regards to global warming, he said the concept has been overblown. He said volcanoes have created more havoc on the environment than anything man made.
King says that his background in the private sector is an advantage. He said he did not financially support Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz.
Asked by Chulakes-Leetz if he would accept a salary on the lower end of the pay scale. He did not cite a specific amount as he did with Mark Lauzier.
King said he’s OK with a pay-performance model, but thinks there should be a middle ground where the performance and compensation are recognized.
He said the city has run up an “enormous debt load” and must find a way to start operating from a “much finer focus”.
“We have to get our house in order,” King said.