HELP WANTED: ISLAMORADA GATHERING APPLICATIONS FOR VILLAGE CLERK & MANAGER

Islamorada is seeking a village manager and a village clerk. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

Two top-tier positions within Islamorada village government seek qualified candidates.

A job posted on Feb. 7 for the Islamorada Village Clerk shows an annual salary of $80,000. As the official record keeper, the village clerk provides the council with information and background material on matters that need a vote during meetings. 

The clerk also serves as the village’s election coordinator and works directly with the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections. This year, all five seats on the dais are up for election.

In December, Kelly Toth announced her retirement following her many years serving the public. She started as human resource clerk in 2004 before leaving town and returning to Islamorada as an employee within the finance department in 2009. Toth eventually transitioned to village clerk and served her last day on Dec. 21. 

Deputy Clerk Stephanie Conde is serving as acting village clerk.

A search for a new village clerk began last November. Human Resources Manager Evie Engelmeyer said the village manager is the only one with hiring authority. With a busy end to 2021 and then-manager Greg Oravec’s departure, Engelmeyer said the village opted to renew the effort and advertise the village clerk position again under Acting Village Manager and Finance Director Maria Bassett. 

“Time to fill positions at the village varies, and filling any position has become more challenging as cost of living in the Keys continues to rise,” Engelmeyer said. “We had 19 applicants in the first round of advertising, and those applicants may still be considered.”  

Two new applicants responded to the advertisement posted on Feb. 7, Engelmeyer said.

Islamorada is also seeking the next village manager, following Oravec’s departure six months into the job. Per a separation agreement, Oravec is receiving pay and benefits through March 31. 

Interested applicants have until Feb. 18 to submit their resumes to the search firm, Colin Baenziger & Associates, which ultimately assisted the village in picking Oravec. Village council members agreed to a job posting with a salary range between $150,000 and $200,000. 

Council members will hear from Colin Baenziger on the search effort at a Feb. 17 meeting inside Founders Park Community Center. The search firm hopes to have a list of candidates for council’s consideration no later than March 31.

Twenty-three applications sent to Colin Baenziger & Associates as of Feb. 23 shows strong interest in the job, Baenziger said. 

“If our normal pattern occurs here, we will get at least 100 applications and probably more,” he said.

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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.