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Class doesn't want to be manager
Dade City narrows 19 applicants to three after the interim manager expresses his wishes.
By HELEN ANNE TRAVIS, Times Staff Writer
Published November 14, 2007
DADE CITY - Mayor Hutch Brock called it the elephant in the room.
At the last City Commission meeting, officials decided Interim City Manager and Finance Clerk Jim Class could be included as a finalist for the city manager position, even though he did not formally apply.
Since then, city staff members have wondered if Class might be appointed to the position this week, or continue serving as interim until after the April municipal elections.
But Tuesday night, Class, who has served the city for 20 years, said he did not want to be a candidate for city manager.
"At this time I don't think it's in the best interest for me to be considered," he said, but did not elaborate.
So in their third attempt to fill the position, which has been vacant since June, commissioners narrowed down the 19 latest applicants to three, they are:
Bruce Behrens, former city manager of Minneola.
Robert Mearns, former city manager of Fernandina Beach.
Matthew Brock, no relation to the mayor, a former city administrator for Live Oak.
Commissioners will interview the three men Nov. 29.
Tuesday night commissioners also discussed housing development Flanagan-Hillpot that LLC wants to build on about 56 acres on the west side of U.S. 301 behind the new Hampton Inn.
Developers want to annex the land into the city and build about 300 townhomes and single-family homes.
Commissioners said they would like to see about half as many homes on the property and planned on talking to the developers, who were present at the meeting, again in the future.
This is the Flanagan-Hillpot, LLC's third revision to its development. The new plan will not include a road connecting U.S. 301 and State Road 52, as the previous plan did. The developers also say they will construct, at no charge to the city, a continuation of the rails-to-trails pathway through existing city right of way on the property. A 20-foot buffer is planned along the development's northern boundary and nearby houses.
In other news:
An arborist hired by the city agreed with the Florida Department of Transportation's recommendation to remove 13 laurel oak trees on State Road 52. Commissioners said they will talk to civic organizations, including the Dade City Garden Club, and discuss it further at the next meeting.
Commissioner Camille Hernandez asked commissioners if they thought the city's charter should be revised to have the mayor elected by citizens. Currently, the mayor is appointed by the commission.
She also said that members of the community have recommended to her that the city limit commissioners to three consecutive terms.
Commissioners will discuss the issues further at the next meeting.
The city is forming a review committee to interview applicants for the city's police chief.