Vero Beach City Council to seal deal for temporary City Manager

VERO BEACH – The Vero Beach City Council today is expected to sign an agreement with Public Works Director Monte Falls, who has been tapped to serve as the interim city manager.

As part of the agreement, Falls will receive a temporary 5 percent raise effective until the city hires a permanent city manager to replace out-going Jim Gabbard. The four-point agreement also includes considerations for time off, job expectations, and benefits.

Gabbard announced this summer that he planned to retire as of Oct. 15.

The city council plans to hire a search firm at a cost of approximately $20,000 to recruit and evaluate qualified candidates for the job.

The last time the city conducted a wide search for a new City Manager was when Rex Taylor was forced to resign in 2003. Gabbard was promoted from within as he’d served for two decades as Police Chief.

About five years ago, Gabbard was appointed Interim City Manager when David Mekarsky was terminated by the City Council and Mayor Mary Beth McDonald. A few months later, Gabbard was hired into the job officially.

As Public Works Director, he has supervised several major projects for the city, including the Humiston Park renovations. Falls has also taken on extra duties in the area of employee benefits, as he spearheaded efforts to reform the city’s pension and health insurance plans over the past few months.

Falls also served on the now-defunct committee formed to investigate options for either consolidating water and sewer services with the county or forming some sort of cooperative alliance or utility authority, so he is versed in those issues as well.



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