Vacant town manager post attracts 10 applicants

The search for a new Melbourne Beach town manager to replace Tim Day progressed to the next level this week when the posting for resumes closed on Tuesday. As of the middle of last week, 10 people had applied for the position vacated by Day on Aug. 11.

Elizabeth Mascaro, the current finance manager, serves as interim town manager.

Day resigned to be back with his family in Lee County after 19 months on the job. Since 2006, the town has had four managers, with the longest tenure being four years. Day’s predecessor lasted just 17 months.

The town commission turned the resumes over to consultant Oel Wingo, a volunteer from an organization of former town managers known as International City Managers Association Senior Advisors, formerly known as the “Range Riders” program because they are called on to travel from city to city when and where they are needed. The group works with cities that have a population under 20,000.

“We work with the commission to determine what their primary goals are and what they are looking for in a manager,” said Wingo, who helped draft a profile, an advertisement and job description with agreed upon attributes.

According to Melbourne Beach clerk Nancy Wilson, the town advertised with the Florida League of Cities and the Florida City and County Management Association, as well as on the municipal website. Most of the applicants have a Florida connection, but there is one from Georgia and another from Ohio, however with a history in Florida.

Wingo will rank the resumes based on knowledge, experience and credentials.

“Then we’ll meet to discuss the rankings,” Mayor Jim Simmons said.

Still to be determined is whether to schedule interviews with those receiving the highest rankings. Wingo also provides guidelines for interviewing and suggested interview questions, but does not participate in the interviews. “We are not involved in the final selection, negotiations and hiring either.”

In the end, the process may yield no viable candidates. The recent turnover history doesn’t help.

“I’m happy we have engaged the ICMA Senior Advisors program to help us define our needs,” Simmons said. “But it could come back we’re not happy with anyone. And we’ll have to take a different path.”

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