When the Escambia County Commission meets this (Thurs) evening, it’s expected to narrow the list of candidates for County Administrator.
The names of 20 applicants have been submitted by the Dallas-based headhunting firm Waters Consulting. Lead consultant Andrea Sims says the list reflects a nationwide search and wide diversity – six African-Americans, including one woman, and a diversity of professional backgrounds.
One of the issues to be resolved is whether the Commission will again use a citizen’s committee to come up with the five to seven finalists. The panel worked with Waters Consulting to develop the current list.
Among the candidates are ex-Pensacola City Administrator Bill Reynolds – who was fired earlier this year over his handling of a public records request – and Interim Administrator George Touart – who served for five years before stepping down in 2007 amid reports concerning his personal business dealings.
Touart warned that the negative publicity arising from Administrator Randy Oliver’s firing last year – and subsequent Commission battles over other issues -- may have prevented many who are qualified from applying.
The meeting kicks off at 5:30 in the County Commission’s chambers. The candidates who emerge from the semifinalists will be interviewed next month, with February the target date to have the permanent county administrator on board.