Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JEDC Executive Search Narrows to 4 Candidates; Second Interviews Are Next, and Then the Mayor Will Make the Decision

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JEDC Executive Search Narrows to 4 Candidates; Second Interviews Are Next, and Then the Mayor Will Make the Decision

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA

Four people are on a short list for consideration as the next executive director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, JEDC chairman Ceree Harden said Wednesday.

The only local candidate is interim executive director Jeanne Miller. Others coming in for second interviews within the next couple weeks are Richard Reinhard of Buffalo, N.Y., Ronald Barton of St. Petersburg, and Joan Goodrich of Coral Springs.

Harden said he hopes to rank the candidates soon for Mayor John Peyton, who will make the appointment.

Harden said he is looking for someone with strong leadership skills, management experience and someone who has "more vision than technical skills."

The goal is to find someone who can help the city build a healthy and vibrant downtown, create more high-wage jobs, expand the tax base and increase small businesses in distressed areas, Harden said.

Harden said he interviewed seven or eight people for the position. The only other local person interviewed for the job was Peyton's military affairs director, Dan McCarthy, who said he was happy with his current position.

The new executive director will run a staff that Peyton has ordered cut from 40 to 32. Just within the last week, four project managers and the agency spokeswoman were let go as part of the reorganization plan.

Three of the project managers were: Robert Olson, hired in 1993, who was being paid about $79,600; Felice Franklin, 1999, $81,400; and Valerie Williams, 1999, $64,400.

Project manager William Sweet was removed from his $54,000 position but has been reassigned to the planning department because he has civil service protection. His new salary is about $36,300.

Also cut was JEDC spokeswoman Jean Moyer, who has been with the city since 2002 and was being paid about $69,000.

The severance packages for each of the four people leaving city government was between $2,700 and $6,000.

Three other people assigned to work on the Super Bowl were let go after the February event.

The JEDC recently submitted a budget proposal for next year that included eliminating two more positions, which haven't been named yet. …

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