Other Florida cities have dozens apply for city administrator jobs

Before he was hired as the Pensacola City Manager in 1998, Tom Bonfield served as the city manager of Temple Terrace, Fla. for 13 years.

Temple Terrace is looking for a new city manager. The Mercer Group, a management consultant firm, was paid $14,750 to conduct a nationwide search. Out of a field of 61 applicants, eight semi-finalists were chosen, and the city council—Temple Terrace has a manager-council form of government—narrowed the list down to three candidates to be interviewed.

The contenders are interim city manager Charles Stephenson, who has worked for the city for 12 years and has been director of Temple Temple’s Development Department since 2008; Robert Francis of Hood River, Ore., who spent nine years as the city manager prior to leaving the post last year; and John Shepherd of North Huntingdon, Pa., who has served as the township’s manager for more than eight years.

Temple Terrace has a population of 25,731.

The City of Pensacola’s population is 53,193. Mayor Hayward conducted a nationwide search for his first city administrator, Bill Reynolds, but the process was not conducted transparently. The public was not told how many applicants were reviewed or who were the finalists.

When Hayward fired Reynolds in July 2013, he selected one of the city’s lobbyists, Colleen Castille, as interim. He did not do a nationwide search and named Castille the city administrator a little over a month later.

When Castille’s contract ended in August 2014, Mayor Hayward named CFO Dick Barker as interim and promoted Eric Olson, his initiative coordinator who had worked for that city a year, to assistant administrator.

No nationwide search was done. Six months later, Olson was named city administrator.

Why does Temple Terrace have 61 applicants and Pensacola had only one?

With all the great things happening in the City of Pensacola, one would think Mayor Hayward would have hundreds applying for city administrator, fire chief, airport director and other jobs in his administration.