a woman in a red jacket and glasses standing in front of an american flag
Key West Mayor Teri Johnston is sharply criticized in City Attorney Shawn Smith’s resignation letter. CONTRIBUTED

Teri Johnston, the outgoing mayor of Key West is among the applicants for the newly devised Monroe County Tourist Development Council president/CEO position, saying she has the skills and experience for the leadership position created after the TDC failed a series of financial audits and fired its top marketing director.

“I don’t know who else could do it better than me,” Johnston told Keys Weekly on Friday. “I have my finger on the pulse of the citizens of Key West. I have the skill set.”

Johnston chose not to seek another term as mayor. She could have served one final 2-year term.

Dee Dee Henriquez was elected Key West mayor this month after running uncontested.

“It was just time,” Johnston said, of her decision.

Johnston noted she has been managing businesses for 45 years, including at her current contractor business in Key West and earlier in her career she worked in marketing, which included traveling internationally.

The TDC president/CEO job’s salary range is $210,000 to $250,000. In addition to a list of responsibilities, the 8-page job description, put together by the SearchGlobal recruiting firm, lists a number of personal characteristics wanted in a candidate.

“I’ve been in Key West politics for 14 years,” Johnston said. “That’s probably the thing people appreciate about me the most is I’m transparent. I’ll call a spade a spade. When we’re doing something wrong, I point it out. When we’re doing something right, I give praise.”

The selection committee appointed by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners began a 1 p.m. meeting Friday at the Marathon Government Center, 2798 Overseas Highway. The meeting is available on Zoom and by phone.

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Gwen Filosa
Gwen Filosa is The Keys Weekly’s Digital Editor, and has covered Key West news, culture and assorted oddities since she moved to the island in 2011. She was previously a reporter for the Miami Herald and WLRN public radio. Before moving to the Keys, Gwen was in New Orleans for a decade, covering criminal courts for The Times-Picayune. In 2006, the paper’s staff won the Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and the Public Service Medal for their coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She remains a devout Saints fan. She has a side hustle as a standup comedian, and has been a regular at Comedy Key West since 2017. She is also an acclaimed dogsitter, professional Bingo caller and a dedicated Wilco fan.