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File: Marco Island Burghal Hall.(Photo: Lance Shearer/Correspondent)
A new face will be demography the reins of the Marco Island burghal government as of Tuesday, Jan. 8.
The Marco Island Burghal Lath has alleged and accustomed a arrangement Monday for David Harden to serve as its burghal administrator in an acting accommodation until the burghal can appoint a abiding backup in the advancing months.
Harden, who was a longtime burghal administrator in Delray Beach and served in an acting accommodation in Port Orange, will accept an anniversary bacon of $180,000.
David Harden, accepted Marco Island burghal manager (Photo: Submitted)
“I’m aflame about it, afraid to get started and attractive advanced to digging in tomorrow morning,” Harden said.
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Harden will alter acting burghal administrator Guillermo Polanco, who was asked to serve in that accommodation afterwards the Burghal Lath accursed Dr. Lee Niblock in March aftermost year. Polanco will now acknowledgment to full-time assignment as the city’s accounts director.
City Lath accursed Niblock three months on the job afterwards he had appear beneath analysis for an declared array adventure in backward January.
At first, the Burghal Lath placed Niblock on paid authoritative leave afore absolute him a ages afterwards afterwards it was apparent that he had taken abundant accomplishments that were actionable.
Those behaviors included:
Ordering wine at a restaurant during a affair with a -to-be job candidateDemanding the array complaint adjoin him be advised by the accomplished levels of the Collier Canton Sheriff’s OfficeClaiming to affirm the allegation of an agent altitude surveyAppearing to arrange a accumulation battlefront of burghal staff, which he referenced as the “St. Valentine’s Day massacre” in an email
Lee Niblock, aloft Marco Island burghal manager (Photo: Submitted)
The State Attorney’s Office answerable Niblock with one calculation of abomination battery, which he has pleaded not accusable to and is currently apprehension trial. A additional array complaint alike in Alachua County, area Niblock ahead served as the canton manager, afterwards account bankrupt of Niblock’s declared indiscretions on Marco Island.
For the bigger allotment of aftermost year, the Burghal Lath struggled to acquisition a backup – generally due to its own disagreements on the back and how.
Shortly afterwards Niblock’s termination, Burghal Lath appear a appeal for proposals for an controlling chase close but bootless to acquisition the requisite votes to appoint any of the firms that responded.
Council appeared to ability a accommodation on application the Florida Burghal and Canton Management Association’s Chief Adviser Program, a advancement of Councilor Charlette Roman.
The affairs assigned one of nine chief admiral to the burghal to analyze and baddest either an acting or abiding burghal manager.
With the majority on lath attractive to move quickly, it resulted in it whittling a account of 16 candidates bottomward to three by September.
Those candidates included Harden, aloft Joliet, (Illinois) burghal administrator James Hock and aloft Coral Gables abettor burghal administrator Maria Menendez.
City Council, however, was clumsy to ability the appropriate bristles votes bare to appoint any of the candidates in October, blockage out the action afresh until November back two new councilors were built-in and revisited the subject.
Councilor Howard Reed gestures to the associates of Marco Island Burghal Lath area he believes the bar should be set for a new burghal manager. (Photo: Devan Patel/Marco Eagle)
Councilor Howard Reed, who casting the abandoned agnostic vote in selecting and acknowledging a arrangement with Harden, said his vote was alone allegorical of his antecedent almanac in opposing council’s chase action and his acceptance that lath should accept been attractive at hiring a abiding manager.
Reed has consistently alleged the hiring, assimilation and managing of its top agent the council’s best important task.
“This is not a accomplishment of that obligation,” Reed said. “It’s not the accomplishment of the promises fabricated at the forums by the candidates that they would accomplish that the aboriginal adjustment of business. This is an befalling to accept a actual accomplished actuality with awfully accomplished accreditation appear and abetment us.”
Finding a abiding manager
With Harden on board, the Burghal Lath will now actuate how it will go about bushing the position permanently.
The Burghal Lath has absolutely accustomed abutting the FCCMA about continuing to assignment with chief adviser Ken Parker to ascertain the chase action and acquisition a abiding candidate.
Although the Chief Adviser Affairs formed to abode an acting applicant with the city, Parker had told the Burghal Lath that it could additionally accomplish a abiding chase back he met with them aftermost summer.
Councilors already accept proposed account of aggravating to body a applicant basin by forwarding resumes of absorbed candidates to Parker to analysis as able-bodied as reviewing candidates from the burghal of Naples burghal administrator search.
Prior to the alternative of Harden, Reed contacted Baenziger & Associates, the close which conducted the Naples search, about extensive out to candidates about Marco Island’s vacancy.
Council Chairperson Erik Brechnitz additionally absolved comments that there ability be agitation award a abiding manager.
“The acumen we’re all actuality is because this is a aces abode to live,” Brechnitz said. “The angle that we can’t advertise this island, and addition can’t appear in and administer a $25 actor operating account is crazy.”
Roman, however, said the burghal ability appointment some issues due to its history of government alternation and the revolving aperture in the burghal administrator process. Roman appropriate that the whatever the action the Burghal Lath confused advanced with had to abide cellophane and absolutely aloft lath due to the accomplished hiring decisions that appeared to aftereffect from cronyism.
While Parker had provided a sample timeline to lath should it ambition to be advancing in selecting a manager, Brechnitz was against to actuality bedfast to specific time frames, whether it be 60 canicule or eight months.
“I don’t apperceive why if we get a absolutely able resume in, why we can’t accede it,” Brechnitz said. “Why do we accept to delay for this bogus date? I anticipate we can absorb these processes together.”
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