ISLAMORADA VILLAGE MANAGER TO RESIGN 6 MONTHS AFTER STARTING THE JOB

Then-Village Clerk Kelly Toth administers the oath of office to Greg Oravec in July 2021. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

Islamorada Village Manager Gregory J. Oravec has resigned just six months after taking the position. The Village Council unanimously approved the selection of Oravec in June 2021. 

The Keys Weekly obtained Oravec’s resignation letter that was dated Jan. 10 and addressed to Mayor Pete Bacheler, the village council and staff informing them of his decision to resign. In the letter, Oravec expresses gratitude for the opportunity to work with “some incredible people” and live in one of the world’s most beautiful places. 

“After reflecting on the last six months and considering the year ahead, I have come to believe that the Village Council would be better served by another Village Manager. Accordingly, this letter serves to tender my resignation and inform you that my last day will be no later than March 31, 2022. Please know that I am open to negotiating alternate terms and timing,” Oravec said in the letter. “I look forward to helping you however I can during the transition and to the Village continuing its journey to realize its greater potential.”

A June 2, 2021 meeting saw council members approve the hiring of Oravec, 46. A nationwide search for Islamorada’s manager commenced following the resignation of Seth Lawless in summer 2020 due to health reasons. Maria Bassett, current finance director, took the helm on an interim basis. Initial recruitment of candidates a few months ago saw just over 80 applicants for the position

From 12 candidates, the list of finalists for Islamorada’s next manager then narrowed to five during a May 19, 2021 special meeting of the village council. Andrea Agha, Guillermo Olmedillo, Oravec, Terry Suggs and David Baird were selected as finalists. 

In his pitch to the dais, Oravec said he wanted to share his passion with a community he called a “special place” and an “incredible waterfront village.” 

Islamorada Village Manager Greg Oravec speaks to the dais during a June 2, 2021 special meeting. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

With a July 1 start date, Oravec’s contract provided an annual salary of $169,500 and relocation reimbursement of $13,500. He also received a housing allowance of $2,000 per month, which started during his third month of employment. Other benefits include sick leave and health care that’s the same for all village employees.

In his time as manager, Oravec tackled everything from getting more properties connected to the public wastewater system, to regulating the Fills area and initiating public meetings. 

Oravec had recently made several hires, including Daniel Gulizio as village planning director. 

Bacheler declined to comment on the news of Oravec’s resignation. Oravec said in a text to the Keys Weekly that he doesn’t have any additional comments until he hears back from the mayor and village council. 

Islamorada Village Council is set to hold a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Founders Park Community Center to discuss a request by Monroe County to identify village priorities for the U.S. 1 Transportation Master Plan. 

 

 

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.