TREASURE ISLAND — While a unanimous consensus of city commissioners voiced the strong belief that Assistant City Manager and Finance Director Amy Davis is the best choice for Treasure Island’s next city manager, at least two board members felt the need to indulge a few constituents who want to open up the process before making a decision.
At an April 20 work session, Commissioner Saleene Partridge and Mayor Tyler Payne told fellow commissioners while they believe Davis is best and most likely choice for the position, they also want to respect views from business people and constituents they did not name who favor seeking other candidates.
Human Resources Director Tiffany Makras provided city commissioners with options in their search for city manager. They included the appointment of an internal candidate or a formal statewide hunt through a professional city manager organization or with an executive search firm.
Meanwhile, Commissioner John Doctor advised fellow commissioners that with 15 city manager positions open in the state, and four vacancies in the Tampa Bay area, he would hate to lose Davis because the city conducted a search. He noted with her experience, Davis could apply and likely be chosen for some of those positions. “I can place my trust in Amy; she’s worked with me since finding out I was commissioner-elect,” he said. “I’ve come to warm up to her and to say she is doing a great job.”
Commissioner Deborah Toth said promoting Davis “is a way to kind of move forward and keep our consistency with the way we are going. (She’s) familiar with our leadership and our policies, the building process, the FEMA changes. We’re moving forward nicely, so I actually support … moving (Davis) forward to city manager.”
Commissioner MaryBeth Wetzel said she agrees with Toth “because (Davis) is well qualified, very invested in our city already, and knows the ins and outs of everything … I think that is extremely valuable to have a tested product. Bringing someone new in is going into uncharted waters. Not that someone couldn’t do a good job, but we have someone right in front of us who is doing a great job in her current position. My position would be to appoint Amy as the new city manager.”
Partridge said she received quite a few emails and calls after the last meeting. “I think the overwhelming feeling is Amy is doing a great job, but I did have some business owners and residents saying that we owe it to the residents to at least collect some other candidates and make a decision in a process. I think any opportunity to let other candidates apply would serve the feedback I got,” she said.
“I’m not leaning toward any option, I’m just representing what I was asked to share at the meeting by my constituents and a couple of business owners. They want to see other candidates at least have an option to apply,” Partridge added.
Payne said he heard some of the same opinions from constituents that Partridge expressed. “I understand the desire to at least open it up,” the mayor said. “I don’t think we need to spend any money to do that. At least … if there is someone interested in applying, allow them to apply and then we could go through the standard process.”
With a 3-2 consensus, the commission will move forward with consideration of internal candidate Davis. Her status will be discussed further at the council’s May 4 regular meeting. Payne said at that time, residents can express concerns with the process or share support for Davis.