City manager short list released

The Sarasota city commissioners have received the list of finalists recommended for the position of city manager. Photo by Norman Schimmel

Late this afternoon, May 30, the City of Sarasota released its short list of finalists for the position of city manager.

The list contains the names of the eight candidates recommended by the city’s headhunter, Colin Baenziger, whose firm is based in Wellington. No locals made the cut, despite some pressure to consider Sarasota banker Joseph “Jody” Hudgins.

All but three of the finalists are currently city managers. One is a deputy city manager; one is a county administrator; and one is a former city manager who now works for Homeland Security. The finalists follow:

• No. 1: Thomas Barwin, village manager from Oak Park, Ill.

• No. 2: Rick Chaffin, deputy city manager of McKinney, Texas.

• No. 3: James Chisholm , city manager of Daytona Beach, who was a semi-finalist last fall for the position of Sarasota County administrator.

• No. 4: John Gabor, city manager of Marine City, Mich.

• No. 5: Michael Hein, director of emergency management and homeland security in Pima County, Ariz.

• No. 6: Barbara Lipscomb, city manager of Casselberry.

• No. 7: Andrew Mair, county administrator of Mercer County, N.J.

• No. 8: Ed Mitchell, city manager of West Palm Beach, another finalist for county administrator last fall.

Former City Manager Bob Bartolotta resigned in January following allegations he had erased email from his city computer. The charge was never substantiated.

He was replaced on an interim basis by Terry Lewis, who had just finished a stint as the interim Sarasota County manager.