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New Port Richey restarts search for city manager

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NEW PORT RICHEY — After more than a year of searching for a city manager, City Council members have once again re-started the search for candidates.

Preliminary interviews of the most recent final four candidates were scheduled for Nov. 26, at City Hall through Skype videoconferencing. The interviews were canceled when council members decided to start the search over.

In addition to deciding to restart the search for a successor to former City Manager John Schneiger, council members discussed the possibility of hiring a talent “headhunter” instead of just opening up the candidate process to whoever is interested.

The council decided to narrow the city manager search parameters, which includes job experience and education, by the Dec. 17 City Council meeting.

Mayor Bob Consalvo proposed letting the city’s Human Resources Department take over the task of seeking out a headhunter after the parameters are established.

Former Mayor Peter Altman, hired by the city in October as the finance and human resources director, was in the running for city manager before the hiring process was restarted.

He suggested looking at top four candidates around the state who vied for similar city manager positions elsewhere. “That might get those same people the headhunters would find,” Altman said.

Other council members agreed that the process needed to be pared down and the city needed to look to hire someone outside to find better candidates.

“I want the pool (of candidate) next time to feel like it has a little more depth and width,” said Councilman Bill Philips.

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In addition, council members voted to increase interim City Manager Susan Dillinger’s salary from $89,000 per year to $105,000.

The extra money is to compensate her for continuing to handle her duties as library director.

The city has already saved money by having one person do both jobs instead of paying two salaries, council members argued.

The last four city managers made $109,720, Consalvo said.

“Miss Dillinger has been doing the job now for $89,000 and I don’t think that’s a fair figure considering what we did the last nine years,” Consalvo told council members.

The pay range for the new city manager will be between $105,000 and $130,000, council members said.

dmiller@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1067

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