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Manatee County selects firm to conduct national search for county administrator

Manatee County is conducting a national search to find a successor for County Administrator Ed Hunzeker.
Manatee County is conducting a national search to find a successor for County Administrator Ed Hunzeker.

Following Manatee County government’s success with a national search for a redevelopment and economic opportunity director, the county will rely on the same search firm to find the county’s next county administrator.

On Tuesday afternoon, an evaluation committee recommended the county use Springsted Waters & Company of Kansas City to conduct the national search. The committee, which met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the merits of each proposal, consisted of Rodney Barnes, Manatee County’s human resources director; Dennis Wallace, Manatee County’s contract manager; and Chris Louria, Sarasota County’s human resources director.

“For this county, this is so important and this is high stake,” Barnes said. “We absolutely want to make sure we get it right.”

Last month, Manatee County received five proposals from executive search firms to conduct the national search for the next county administrator.

The firms that submitted proposals are: David Gomez & Associates of Oak Brook, Ill.; Springsted Waters & Company of Kansas City; Slavin Management Consultants of Norcross, Ga.; S. Renee Narloch & Associates of Georgetown, Texas; and Colin Baenziger & Associates of Dayton Beach Shores.

The search will be to replace County Administrator Ed Hunzeker, whose current contract expires Jan. 29, 2018. In December, the commission voted 4-3 to proceed with a national search to replace Hunzeker rather than extend his contract.

The commissioners voting in favor of a national search were Vanessa Baugh, Robin DiSabatino, Steve Jonsson and Charles Smith. Voting against a search were commissioners Betsy Benac, Priscilla Whisenant Trace and Carol Whitmore.

The salary range for the new county administrator will be between $155,708.80 to $249,142.40, according to a county document.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

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