The following opinions are mine *Karin A. Griffin) solely and have no reflection on the decisions the Town of White Springs Council Members may make when choosing their Town Manager
JAMES W. SMITH
is currently the General Manager/CEO of the Third Taxing District which has 4,000 customers and 12 employees with a three member Board of Commissioners. At a current salary of $151,000 and a desire to return back to the southeastern part of US.
Mr. Smith has been an experienced General Manager and CEO mainly with electric water, wastewater, and overall utility operations. He would be an excellent fit for a bit larger city; perhaps Ocala or Valdosta or even working for Duke Energy. I have no doubt he can manage and has an extensive background in utilities; however, we need someone familiar with not only running a utility company.
Mr. Smith has just started the current position in 2012 and his prior General Manager/CEO position at College Park Power for which he worked less than two years ended because of contract issues. He also worked as the Utility Director, promoted to Interim City Manager from 12/2001 to 7/2010 at a salary of $105,000.
His statement “my background includes extensive experiences in collaborative board/management relationships in a diverse and multicultural environment, developing and implementing short and long range strategic plans, establishing internal and external municipal customer focused communication and outreach programs, developing and implementing utility based sustainability initiatives, established economic development incentive based utility rates, attracting and retaining senior-level management talent and establishing sound fiscal policy with emphasis on GAAP and GASB/FERC based budgeting and accounting along with short and long term municipal bond financing and grant funding administration”
With his credentials, I believe he would be looking for a position more comparable to what he is currently doing; Why the move so soon after starting in 2012? I really could not gather that but there is no way we could offer the type of salary he is asking. All utilities represented revenues from $12 million to $100,000 million which would support that type of salary with employees from 12-30.
With his statement” On a personal note, my wife and I are extremely excited about returning back to the South to enjoy all it has to offer. We have had the pleasure of experiencing southern life for 12+ years and are excited to do it again!” I am fearful this is just a stepping stone to something better.
He had employees previously to do the actual work but if he wished to do the accounting, and the town manager position, then we could be at least half of his salary requirement.
KENNETH L. STANLEY
wrote “I am writing to convey my heartfelt interest in the position of Town Manager, White Springs, Florida. I have researched the geography, demographic composition, crime statistics and economic development potential of White Springs and the surrounding area and I’m impressed by the town’s efficient operation of public works and cooperative spirit between departments. I am equally impressed, however, by White Springs’ investment in improving the quality of life of its citizens.”
Mr. Stanley has also written that he has had meaningful exposure to industrial and residential development, water resource and waste water management and community revitalization including knowledge of alternative sources of funding such as bonding, grant acquisition and Tax Increment Financing.”
He currently lives in IA and is familiar with Midwestern Laws. His reason for leaving his Chief of Police Position which was only started in 2014 is “Seeking Greater Opportunities”. FYI he is currently making $59,000 and I am not certain what he has read ab out White Springs other than possibly the articles on Helen Miller for most of which are either pie in the sky or failed programs, in my opinion. Nevertheless his handwriting shows that he is aggressive and has the ability to secure what he seeks…so you be the Judge on this but I would worry about these statements being similar to a salesperson’s fluff. But, apparently White Springs looks good on line. If he looked on line, did he really look at the financials and how some of the areas are handled? I think not.
It may be mentioned that the Job he worked for in WI prior to moving to Iowa had an annual salary of $2,000 less as Chief of police and he lasted one year to move out of the area. Since he spent 32 years as a California Highway Patrol with an annual salary of $128,000, he is looking for the perfect job to retire in and White Springs looks progressive to him. How long will he last when he finds out and realizes this area of the south is definitely not as welcoming as the Midwest?
He would have to take not only the Town Manager position but like Townsend handle the Wastewater position to make the salary he wishes.
DROPPED PHILLIP WILLIAMS
- is available for interview but asks that he be a serious consideration for the position before a local disruption in Lake Placid is caused by the Town’s investigation. He also understood that his application is a public record.
This man is extremely talented and is famous because his criminal investigations. He was interviewed and featured in a TV episode “Crime Stories: on the Biography Channel and in 2015 a television show “Twisted” featured one of the cases he was involved with. With polography, fingerprinting, crime scene and forensics as well as being a Fireman, EMT, and four Masters, One Bachelors and one Associate Degree, I am curious why he is applying for a position here.
He apparently has lived in Lake Placid FL responsible for 42+ in staff members and preparing materials for the Town Council. He believes in a responsive and accessible Town Hall Government and he has hired Department Heads and disciplined them in the quest for accountability. He has applied for and received grants, etc.
His resume has all the right perks but again, he started as the Town Administrator in Lake Placid in February 2013. What makes him want to leave the area when it is obvious he is well liked, probably makes a salary to commiserate with the size of Lake Placid and he is relatively famous. Is he striving for more money? This one I am a loss at.