Elected officials will soon get to pick their favorites out of a batch of candidates vying to be Gainesville's next city manager, following the departure of Anthony Lyons earlier this year.
The city received 55 applicants during its search from July 9-31.
Some of the candidates include a church pastor, a CVS store manager, a Walmart pharmacy technician, a youth corrections officer, and a host of municipal managers and county managers, some of whom were recently fired.
Fred Murry, one of two assistant city managers for Gainesville, is the city’s only internal candidate. Interim Deborah Bowie, who previously served as chief of staff, has repeatedly said she wouldn’t apply.
Earlier this year, Murry turned in his resignation to Lyons. Commissioners took issue with the news of his sudden departure and began questioning other resignations from top officials overseen by Lyons. Before commissioners voted to fire Lyons, he resigned and Murry rescinded his resignation.
Commissioners then approved Bowie as interim, a suggestion made by Murry, Bowie and Assistant City Manager Dan Hoffman.
Following Lyons' departure, commissioners have stressed the importance of their next manager having great communication skills — a concern that partly led to Lyons' resignation — and someone who has knowledge in smart city technologies, in hopes of building off some of the success Lyons had during his tenure.
Commissioners will trim their list down to semi-finalists, then finalists before making a decision. They have previously said they would like to make a hire before the year ends.
Candidates with experience at high-ranking government positions around the country include:
• William Shanahan Jr., county manager of York County, South Carolina
• Howard Lazarus, city administrator of Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Fred Murry, Gainesville assistant city manager
• J.J. Murphy, assistant city manager of Palmdale, California
• Jim Palenick, city administrator of Racine, Wisconsin
• Anne Fritz, a chief financial officer for St. Petersburg, Florida
• Craig Coffey, former county administrator of Flagler County, Florida
• Lee Feldman, former city manager of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
• Leonard Sossamon, former county administrator of Hernando County, Florida
• Patrick Thompson, a county administrator for St. Croix County, Wisconsin
• Kristina Wright, the CRA and development director of High Springs, Florida
• Ryan Snow, city manager of Roosevelt City, Utah.
• Scott Andrews, assistant city administrator of Smyrna, Georgia
• Patrick Burtch, city manager of Jackson, Michigan
• William Daniel, an infrastructure division director of Ascension Parish, Louisiana
• Angelo DiPierro, financial management division manager of Palm Beach County, Florida
• Michael Dutton, town manager of Bridgewater, Massachusetts
• Reggie Edwards, deputy city manager for Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
• Beau Falgout, assistant city manager for Palm Coast, Florida
• Charles Jacien, former town manager of Castleton, Vermont
• Odis Jones, city manager of Hutto, Texas
• Joseph LaMargo, former Orland Park, Illinois village manager
• Rudolf Liebenberg, chief administrative officer for Summer Village of Sandy Beach, Alberta, Canada.
• Louis Martinez, waterworks director at Newport News, Virginia
• Richard McAlister, chief administrative officer of Meridian, Mississippi
• James McGuire, environmental quality and sustainability director of Dallas, Texas
• Jarvis Middleton, a former public works director for Palm Bay, Florida
• Robert Milie, safety and compliance officer for Savannah, Georgia
• Anthony O'Rourke, a former city administrator for Cañon City, Colorado
• Christopher Pike, economic development director of South Fulton, Georgia
• Martin Shanahan, corporation counsel for the city of Joliet, Illinois
• Dana Souza, community services director for Naples, Florida
• Edward Troy, treasurer for Burlington County, New Jersey
• Bradley Vath, assistant city manager of Tipp City, Ohio
The 21 candidates with a wide range of experience outside local government include:
• Calvin Anderson, a chief audit executive of Internal Audit Business Consulting based in Coconut Creek, Florida
• Adesina Adeniyi, who is in the U.S. Army
• Susan Atwell, the project director of Rescare Workforce Services, based in Thomasville, Georgia
• David Basel, executive pastor of Church of All Nations Assembly of God, in Boca Raton, Florida
• George Beckhart, vice president of Cenvill Recreation in Pembroke Pines, Florida
• Ted Berry, a business development manager for George Byers and Sons Inc. based in Grove City, Ohio
• Harry Black, general manager of Maximus Management Group in Cincinnati, Ohio
• Jesse Bremers, a former unit caseworker for the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility based in Omaha, Nebraska
• Ferris Brown, a chief fiscal officer for Atlantic Pallet Exchange in Albany, Georgia
• John Brown, a consultant with John Brown Leadership Solutions in Bangor, Pennsylvania
• Cynthia Curry, the vice president for Florida Memorial University, Miami Lakes, Florida
• Zeriah Folston, chief operating officer for North Central Florida Diagnostics and DNA Technologies in New Brunswick, New Jersey
• Michael Hogan, a Gainesville-based consultant
• Levis Hughes, an agency executive of the department of K-20 education for the state of Florida
• Janice Jackson, principal of Janice Allen Jackson and Associates in Augusta, Georgia
• Christopher Lowden, a former Walmart pharmacy technician in Morgantown, West Virginia.
• Terry Marasco, CEO of Spressyrself.com in Salt Lake City, Utah
• Lauren Shivley, a CVS store manager in Alachua
• Robert Stacy, an IT manager at RTI Surgical in Alachua
• Ramses Vargas, the vice president of Pembroke Pines-based Global Partnerships
• Jim Walker, president of Black Swan Digital Forensics in Ringgold, Georgia.
Andrew Caplan is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.