City Council set to discuss top administrator position this Tuesday

City Council set to discuss top administrator position this Tuesday

Resumes for deputy city manager collected from near and far

Marathon City Manager Mike Puto has a collection of resumes for the position of deputy manager. He’s divided them into two categories — nine from Florida and 13 from out of state and while city officials have estimated there is between $75,000 and $78,000 in the budget for the new hire, however, Puto said he is still researching what other cities pay in salary for similar positions.

“I’m working with human resources to review the resumes and come up with who we want to interview,” he added.

Councilman Dan Zieg has placed the subject on the agenda of the next city meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

“We are going to continue the discussion,” said Zieg of the idea first raised by Councilman Mark Senmartin in December of 2014. “We keep running into roadblocks because things aren’t getting done. It is important that we continue to pursue this.”

The hiring of a deputy city manager is the purview of Puto, not the council. Only the city manager and city attorney positions are decided by the elected council.

Puto was hired as a temporary city manager 14 months ago. He continues to serve month-to-month and has said in public and private that he doesn’t plan to stay longer than two years. During the most recent election campaign season, several candidates voiced an idea that Puto could hire a deputy city manager and groom him or her as a successor before stepping down.

“Frankly I’m not sure what the goal is,” Zieg said. “The order of succession was discussed before: bring in a deputy, spend six months showing him around and introduce him to the political factions in the city. And then graciously retire.”

Councilman Bill Kelly said he’s uncertain what direction the city will take.

“We know that Puto’s gig is temporary. He only wanted two years and he’s already been at it for 14 months,” Kelly said. “He’s doing a good job. My only concern is his health. It’s a stressful job and I know that Mike wants to do his very best.”

Kelly added that finding a deputy city manager is challenging due to the nature of the city’s housing costs. The current council has expressed a preference for in-state candidates for various positions including city attorney and city finance director.

“It may take a while,” Kelly said.


Box out:

Following is a partial list of candidates for deputy city manager who applied from in-state.

  • Kathleen Dailey Weiser is the former town manager from Highland Beach who stepped down after a no-confidence vote from a newly elected council. She has held various government positions at other Florida cities including Punta Gorda, Oakland Park, Ocean Ridge, Boca Raton and Venice.
  • Bob Vitas is the former city manager of Key West. He stepped down in July of 2014 after a disagreement with the city attorney over a legal contract for a new utilities director. Vitas has held positions in government in Maine, Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • Phillip Schaper suggests the city roll the city deputy manager and in-house financial director into one position. He is a certified public accountant and a former business professor at Georgetown University. He has held positions overseeing the finances of health care organizations, professional service organizations, associations, manufacturing firms and nonprofits.
  • Joseph Pennisi is the former department head (resource management) for Seminole County. The rest of his work experience is from New York state where he held positions ranging from New York Senate Finance Committee to the Worker’s Compensation Board to five years as the county administrator for Albany County.
  • John Ketteringham is a former commercial real estate agent in central Florida, although he spent four years as an assistant county administrator in Escambia County and nine years as an assistant to the mayor of the City of Jacksonville.
  • Robert Kellogg was the town manager for Sewall’s Point near Stuart, Florida, from 2006 to 2013. He stepped down after a no-confidence vote from the elected council. He also has experience as a county administrator, state development specialist and city manager — all in Ohio.
  • Kristina Gulick has 22 years of government experience ranging from the Palm Beach Tax Collector’s Office to Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Bach County Criminal Justice Commission.
  • Trina Gibbs is a veteran of the U.S. army with more than 20 years of service before retiring in 2014. She has served as a CEO and human resources officer at a number of installations in the United States, Kuwait, Japan and the Netherlands. Her past experience includes the oversight of 50 employees and a $2.5 million budget.
  • Donald Cochran currently serves as the assistant city manager in Winter Park. He’s also held positions in local government in Leesburg and West Palm Beach. He has extensive experience in wastewater management as well as management certifications in that field.



One Response to "City Council set to discuss top administrator position this Tuesday"

  1. Bruce Schmitt  April 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    It looks as if we have some interesting choices and alternatives to move the City of Marathon forward. An open and honest discussion is most refreshing and the best way to proceed. My hat is off to this Marathon City Council for their focus and willingness to address many issues that have needed to be addressed for some time. Mike Puto is the best City Manager Marathon has ever had and we are fortunate that he has agreed to return to help get Marathon back on track. We all must think about the future and what kind of Community Marathon will evolve into for our Children and our Children’s Children.


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