Consultant interviews to begin next week
Seven applicants have been selected to be interviewed for the Organizational Effectiveness Program Consultant positions created by City Manager Gary King.
With the application deadline for the position set for Sunday, that number could grow, according to city spokeswoman Connie Barron.
So far, the individuals selected to be interviewed are: Bill Towler, Jim Martin, James W. Powers, Michael Vitelli, Robert E. Norris, Brian W.T. Moffit, Ed.D., and Gerard Via.
Jim Martin is probably the most well known of the candidates. Not only is he currently the vice-chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency, but also ran for the District 1 City council seat, and was one of four candidates who signed the “Contract with Cape Coral” during last year’s municipal election.
City spokeswoman Connie Barron did not know if Martin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physical science and math from Long Beach State College, would have to vacate his seat on the CRA Board if hired by the city, but said an answer would be available from the city attorney’s office on Monday.
CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen said the same thing, but did point out that in 2008 a city employee named Steven Streder applied, interviewed, and was ultimately passed for a seat on the board did not cause a conflict of interest.
Ultimately, though, Jacobsen was unsure.
“I don’t know what the answer is,” Jacobsen said. “But I don’t believe it’s a problem.”
Jim Martin said he spoke with city attorney Dolores Menendez, as well as CRA attorney Bob Pritt, and both assured him that being employed by the city while sitting on the CRA board would not cause a conflict of interest.
If forced to choose, however, Martin said he wants to be in the place where he could effect the most change.
“I would want to be in the place where I could help the city the most,” Martin said. “I’m trying to turn this city around and get taxes down any way I can.”
Bill Towler is the only applicant sheduled for interview who does not possess the minimum education requirements for the job.
As advertised on the city’s website, the minimum qualifications are a “bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business or extensive equivalent experience with five or more years of executive management experience in a large organization, and completion of related professional training in organizational development, strategic planning, staff development, and implementation of organizational change.”
Towler’s application listed a high school diploma as his highest level of education.
City spokeswoman Connie Barron said he made it to the interview phase because of his executive experience. Most recently Towler was the CEO of National Claim Resources Inc.
“Based on how he answered the questions in the application process, he has all the extensive executive experience,” Barron added.
Barron also said that Towler and Martin’s affiliations with the so-called “Road Ahead” group were, at this point, moot, and does not necessarily indicate a conflict of interest.
Towler was editor of grassrootsdailynews.com, a website that strongly supported Mayor John Sullivan, Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz, and candidates John Cataldi and Jim Martin during the election last year.
“I think it’s way too early to speculate on that,” Barron said of a possible conflict.
Gerard Via, who holds a Master’s Degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, is most recently the principal owner of Fort Myers based SFG Solutions, a management consulting firm.
Robert E. Norris holds a bachelor’s degree administrative management/marketing from the University of Iowa, and a Master’s degree in finance from the Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. Most recently Norris was the SAP Application Manager for Chicago based Ubiquity Brands.
Michael Vitelli holds a Bachelor’s degree in computers from Dominican College in Blauvelt, New York. Most recently Vitelli was the IT director for Columbia University in New York City.
James W. Powers holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/public administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and a master’s degree in police and correctional administration/public administration from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Most recently Powers was the Chief of Police for the city of Fredricksburg, Virginia.
Brian W.T. Moffit, Ed.D. holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, a master’s degree in communication studies from Bridgewater State College, and a doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego. Most recently Moffit was the producer and host of a weekly webcast called “Good Work NOW!”, as well as an organizational development manager for the city of Sacramento California.
Barron said applicants will begin interviewing for the position next week.
Barron expects the interview process to be fairly short.
“He (Gary King) wants to get these two folks on board as quickly as possible,” Barron said. “He may have his choices lined up by the end of next week.”
All information about applicants educational and professional background has been taken from their application materials.