By Brandy Volovecky
The search for a new Escambia County Administrator has begun anew. The Escambia County Board of Commissioners passed a motion reopening the search for county administrator and allowing for the solicitation of an outside search firm to assist in the recruitment process at its regular meeting on July 25.
The motion specified a goal of obtaining “qualified candidates with racial, ethnic and gender diversity.” The motion also set a target date of Dec. 1 to have a new county administrator in place, with Feb. 28, 2014 being the absolute deadline, and made interim county administrator George Touart inapplicable for the position.
There had previously been some debate over whether Touart should be considered for the job with Commissioners Wilson Robertson and Gene Valentino showing support for keeping him in the position. There was also some concern over the legality of the motion, but county attorney Alison Rogers said removing Touart from the applicant pool is legal so long as the removal is for “a non-discriminatory – or at least a legal – reason.”
.Several community members came before the board to ask for an ordinance amending the county’s noise ordinance. The ordinance described Santa Rosa Island and the Perdido Key areas of the county as “unique” and held them to decibel-based noise regulations instead of the standard residential noise regulations of the rest of the county.
The board voted to adopt the ordinance and ask the Santa Rosa Island Authority to report back to the BCC a level of noise that is consistent with residential uses. The board also recommended that noise-level readings be taken from the offending home rather than the reporting home to avoid identifying the person filing the complaint and minimize any concerns of retaliation.
The Escambia County BCC will hold its next regular meeting August 8 at 5:30 p.m.