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Council cements city manager dates

By Staff | Feb 28, 2012

The planning stage for picking a new city manager has finally ended after much haggling and concern over union involvement.

The candidates will gather in Cape Coral from March 21-23, where they will take tours of the city, meet and greet their potential new constituents and interview with city council members before the elected board will gather for a special meeting on March 26 at 2 p.m. to make its decision.

But there was some concern among the council over the decision by Councilmember Rana Erbrick to allow the union to pitch in for a scheduled meet-and-greet reception on March 22.

“Union support for the reception was offered. I’m not certain we should tell them to go away,” Erbrick said.

But Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz said he was “uncomfortable” about it.

“All the money should come from the general fund so there’s no feeling of impropriety,” Chulakes-Leetz said.

After Mayor John Sullivan expressed his concerns as well, Erbrick consented to use money from the general fund, to the tune of about $250.

“We’re going to take $250 from the union to give them soda and cheese?” Councilman Kevin McGrail said.

The candidates are expected to arrive in Cape Coral on March 21. They will be given transportation and reasonable airfare to get to town and be given a per-diem for meals.

They will have customized tours of the city that day. On the 22nd, the candidates will have private interviews and meet the people at a reception, tentatively set for the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

The applicants will meet with individual council membres for the first half of the 23rd before meeting the council as a group starting at 4 p.m.

The final decision will come on March 26 at a special meeting at City Hall at 2 p.m., before its regularly scheduled meeting.

Council member schedules gummed up the works. Chulakes-Leetz has jury duty on the 20th and his availability is in the air.

Councilman Derrick Donnell quashed a plan to hold the special meeting at 9 a.m. because of a personal commitment.

The council had hoped to hold the meeting in the morning to avoid a potential marathon session.

“We need time to make a decision. The selection could turn into a midnight session,” McGrail said.