Two city manager finalists drop out

The “frolicsome” race to be Sarasota’s next city manager took yet another Alice-in-Wonderland turn on – appropriately – Friday the 13th. Two of the four finalists have dropped out as of this morning.

Both Rick Chaffin of Texas and James Chisholm of Daytona Beach have withdrawn from contention, according to City of Sarasota Human Resources Director Kurt Hoverter.

Still in the race are Ed Mitchell of West Palm Beach and Tom Barwin of Oak Park, Ill.

The choice between two surviving finalists will come Monday, July 16, at the afternoon session of the Sarasota City Commission. Two weeks ago, commissioners looked over three finalists – Barwin, Mitchell and Chisholm – but voted instead for “none of the above.” Discussion lasted barely 10 minutes.

At that time, they instructed the headhunting consultant to begin a new search. A timeline offered by the consultant indicated the earliest date a new search could put new finalists before the commission was Oct. 1.

However, there was a change of heart among the commissioners about that new search when they learned Interim City Manager Terry Lewis would be leaving on Aug. 3.

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