homepage logo

Cape Coral City Council to discuss city manager contract

By Staff | Nov 14, 2019

The Cape Coral City Council will continue its consideration Monday of how to handle the imminent retirement of City Manager John Szerlag.

At the Nov. 4 Council meeting, Szerlag indicated he will retire next November, and the city council is expected to offer the manager a partial-year contract the city can hire his replacement and get that person up to speed before Szerlag departs.

Szerlag and Mayor Joe Coviello were expected to get together this week to work out an exit strategy. Coviello was then expected bring that to Council for its consideration.

Councilmember John Gunter said what happens then will be a slow process that leads them to the Cape’s next city manager.

“That will be a process that we will have to talk about. I would say at the beginning of the year we would hire a firm to do the search through an RFP (Request for Proposal) and then we would have them establish the parameters and pay range we’re looking for in that individual,” Gunter said. “That firm would then conduct a national search.”

Gunter expects several meetings for the picture to come into focus. He said by March or April that firm would start the search, about a three-month process.

Szerlag’s contract year begins in May, however, negotiations for annual contract renewal have been made in November. If the city council cannot come to an agreement, it would trigger an automatic full-year contract for the city manager. Monday’s meeting would assure that doesn’t happen, and thus cost the city money.

Council also is expected to consider what boards and committees members will serve on for the next year.

In November of each year, City Council reviews the existing boards, committees, and commission liaisons and members to determine if they are interested in any changes. This includes the appointing of a mayor pro-tem, who is currently Councilmember John Carioscia.

The city council also will consider the annual dues the city pays to be part of certain organizations, such as the Florida League of Cities, and approve its 2020 meeting calendar.

Also, city council will recognize Lora Guglielmini as Fire Inspector of the Year, presented by the Florida Fire Marshals Association, and appoint a chair and co-chair for the Community Redevelopment Agency.

City Council meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

Meetings, which are open to the public, begin at 4:30 p.m.