City Manager Search
During the Feb. 17, 2021 meeting, the City Commission narrowed the field of candidates in their search for a new city manager. The five finalists are Deric Feacher, Caryn Gardner-Young, Thomas J. Hutka, Terrence R. Moore and Terry K. Suggs.
A candidate forum is being planned for Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m., at the city’s Midtown Cultural & Educational Center located at 925 George W. Engram Blvd. At the forum, the public will have an opportunity to hear from the candidates and also ask questions. For those who are unable to attend in person, plans are being made for the forum on www.codb.us/DBTV and Spectrum Channel 490.
Citizens planning to attend the candidate forum are encouraged to register in advance to assist with planning efforts. Physical distancing of chairs is planned in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All attendees are asked to wear a face covering when inside the building. Citizens can register online or by calling (386) 671-8018.
The vacancy for city manager was created when current City Manager Jim Chisholm announced last March his planned retirement following nearly 17 years of service to the city. The City Commission selected executive search firm Slavin Management to conduct and manage the nationwide search that resulted in an outstanding pool of candidates. The city received 57 applications with five candidates selected for the interview process. Candidate vetting included a comprehensive questionnaire and a background investigation. Formal, one-on-one interviews with members of the City Commission are slated for Saturday, March 27, followed by a special City Commission meeting to discuss and select the top candidate.
A city manager acts as the chief executive officer for the city, executing the policy goals set by the City Commission, overseeing all daily operations, representing the city to other governments and performing other executive duties as outlined in the City Charter. The city manager is hired directly by the City Commission.
Feacher, 44, has 20 years of senior level executive experience managing local government. He is currently employed as city manager of Haines City, Florida.
- During his tenure as city manager of Winter Haven, Florida, the city experienced major residential and commercial growth, and received an increase in grant funding
- Winter Haven received its first audit with no findings or management concerns in more than 10 years under his leadership
- At Haines City, Feacher instituted an affordable housing program to assist nonprofits, individuals and groups
- Evaluating operations and identifying the strengths and skills of employees
- Revitalizing downtown neighborhoods
- Working with local entities to build affordable workforce housing
- Bachelor’s degree in political science from Bethune-Cookman University
- Completion of Harvard University’s senior executive in state and local government executive education program
Gardner-Young, 60, has 15 years of senior level executive experience managing local government. She is currently employed as a planning supervisor for Florida Department of Transportation.
- Incorporated 1,900 acres in Broward County from Palm Beach County, moving Broward County’s line for the first time in more than 60 years
- At Delray Beach, she obtained a $300,000 grant from the State of Florida for construction of a pavilion along the city’s beachfront
- At Parkland’s regional park, she added two new fire stations as well as ball fields, playgrounds, bathrooms and multi-use fields
- High-level knowledge of government policies relating to budgeting, city planning, development, transparency and municipal elections
- Developing communication styles for each commissioner and the community
- Strategic planning for staff and city commission
- Master’s degree in public administration from Florida Atlantic University
- Bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from SUNY Binghamton
Hutka, 63, has 25 years of senior level executive experience managing local government. His latest position was director of public works at Broward County.
- While city manager at Port Huron, Michigan, he implemented a “Downtown Action Plan” to rebuild streetscapes, attract new investment and reduce downtown vacancy from 40 to 8 percent.
- By introducing the concept of strategic planning at Port Huron, he helped implement the city’s first ever strategic plan
- Served on the Indy 500 planning committee.
- Attracting new investment in downtown areas to reduce building vacancies
- Increasing efficiencies and service quality for public works projects
- Rebuilding local economies while preserving communities through pressures from rapid growth
- Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.
- Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University.
Moore, 50, has 25 years of senior level executive experience managing local government. He was most recently employed as city manager of College Park, Atlanta, Georgia.
- While city manager at College Park, Moore secured the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Dream and the National Basketball Association’s Developmental League Team, the College Park Seahawks, as long-term tenants at the Georgia International Convention Center Complex’s Multipurpose Arena
- At College Park, Moore directed business retention efforts, resulting in Chick-fil-A Corporate Headquarters expanding its operations presence in College Park
- While city manager at Morgantown, West Virginia, Moore initiated fund balance policy that yielded an increase in municipal reserves by 90 percent
- Cultivating high performance organizations through a collaborative approach to leadership and management
- Implementing no tax increases while steadily expanding services to residents and businesses
- Directing business and industry incorporation retention efforts
- Master’s degree in public administration from University of Illinois
- Bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Illinois
Suggs, 55, has 16 years of senior level executive experience managing local government. He is currently employed as Putnam County Administrator at Putnam County.
- While at Putnam County, Suggs restructured 22 general government offices into six departments/divisions
- He increased general fund unrestricted reserves from $4.9 to $16.4 million at Putnam County
- While city manager at Palatka City, Suggs improved the bond rating from A- to A+
- Increasing levels of reputation, responsibility and leadership on a municipal level
- Updating utilities and roads to create affordable housing as well as improve education quality to attract a viable workforce
- Attracting businesses to relocate to local area and therefore increasing jobs available
- Master’s degree in public administration from Barry University
- Bachelor’s degrees in public administration from Barry University