Beach town narrows its manager list to top four

Officials hope to have a decision made on a new manager by March 1.

Published February 18, 2007

TREASURE ISLAND - All four finalists for the city's top management post have experience in Florida, two of them in Pinellas County.

City commissioners plan to interview the top four candidates Feb. 28 and have a new city manager selected by March 1.

The finalists are:

-Lester Baird of LaBelle, who retired Feb. 1 as county administrator of Hendry County. Baird described himself as a team leader with an open-door policy in a questionnaire he filled out for Treasure Island. He said he currently earns $106,687 a year and would expect to be paid about $95,000 in Treasure Island.

-Stephen Cottrell of Dunedin, who was the town manager of Belleair for nine years until August 2006. Cottrell said he is a consensus builder who does not micromanage his employees. He currently earns about $95,300 a year and hopes to earn at least that much if hired.

-Reid Silverboard of Seminole, who is the current city manager of Belleair Beach. The husband of Madeira Beach manager Jill Silverboard, he said he believes he has a flexible management style. He said he likes to give employees freedom to do their jobs and to foster professionalism in his staff. He currently earns $63,500 in Belleair and would like to be paid $110,000 in Treasure Island.

-Gary L. Word of Islamorada, who is village manager of Islamorada until April. Word described his management style as "participatory," saying he makes decisions based on collaboration and debate among department heads. Word makes $115,000 in Islamorada and does not want to take a pay cut to come to Treasure Island.

City commissioners picked the four finalists Feb. 13 after reviewing 50 resumes. They are looking for a manager to replace Ralph Stone, who resigned in December to move to South Florida.

Stone, who was hired in August 2004, was receiving an annual salary of $106,362 when he left in January. He replaced Chuck Coward, who served as city manager from 1997 to 2004.

Meanwhile, fire Chief Charlie Fant is serving as acting city manager.