MILTON — At the April 10 City Council Meeting, City Manager Brian Watkins was terminated from his position in a split vote made by city council members. Since that time, City Planner Randy Jorgenson has been fulfilling the duties of the city manager.
At a specially called meeting Monday, the council met to discuss the process of the recruitment of a new city manager. All council members attended except Peggi Smith.
Speaking at the meeting was Steve Garman, who Mayor Wesley Meiss invited. Garman, who has worked with the city of Gulf Breeze among others, provided several options for methods for recruiting a manager in which he stated there were “pros and cons to each.”
Garman's proposal included an independent contractor to serve in the role. “Milton has a great deal to offer," he said.
Prior to the meeting, Jorgenson issued a memo to the council in which he offered a proposal for recruiting a new city manager. In it he suggested two options. The first option was using a professional search firm to screen qualified candidates, which could cost between $15,000 and $20,000. The second option was to advertise the position and have council members screen qualified candidates.
After discussion, Councilman Casey Powell said that based on the information received he felt that the second option was best.
Councilwoman Sharon Holley motioned to accept this option, which the council approved 6 – 1. Councilman Alan Lowery cast the single nay vote.
Following the meeting, Holley said why she did not want to use a professional search firm.
“I don’t think we need to spend that kind of money,” she said.
At 3 p.m. Thursday will be the Committee of the Whole meeting in the council chambers during which the council will discuss the next steps in the selection process.