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City manager position reopens for two weeks
The Dade City commission hopes to have a short list of job contenders by July 10.
By MOLLY MOORHEAD and HELEN ANNE TRAVIS
Published June 27, 2007
DADE CITY - After failing to reach a deal with their top choice for city manager, city commissioners on Tuesday voted to re-advertise the position and move forward on a compressed time line.
Commissioners voted last month to hire Richard Reade, the former city manager of Davenport, to replace outgoing manager Harold Sample, who leaves at the end of this week. But Mayor Hutch Brock could not agree on a contract with Reade, 36, who sought extra benefits including family medical coverage and a beefed-up contribution to his retirement plan.
Brock and Reade declared an impasse late Friday.
The commission decided Tuesday to reopen the position for two weeks, hoping to attract new applicants. They will also consider people who applied the first time around, including James Gallagher, recently the town manager of Dundee and the second choice behind Reade. Commissioners hope to have a short list of contenders to consider at their July 10 meeting.
"I don't really want us to string it along, " Commissioner Scott Black said.
In the meantime, city finance director Jim Class will serve as the interim manager and Sample, 58, will remain on as a part-time consultant. He starts Monday as vice president of development at the Dade City Business Center.
The manager vacancy lingers as the city enters the new budget season, not knowing how its financial picture will look following local property tax cuts decreed in Tallahassee.
"It's a difficult time and all the more reason not to be hasty, " said Commissioner Camille Hernandez, who favored delaying the new application process.
Class estimated the city will need to carve $55, 000 out of its general fund in the 2007-08 budget to comply with the state cuts.
Tuesday was Sample's final meeting as the full-time city manager. He joined Dade City in 2003, extending a 30-year career in public service. He served eight years as then-Sheriff Lee Cannon's top administrator and has been a sheriff's deputy, court administrator, county grants planner, director of human services, code enforcement director and assistant county administrator for public works.
He became choked up Tuesday as he thanked commissioners for keeping him on part time.