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North Bay Village starts over search for manager

 

Special to the Miami Herald

The North Bay Village commission has decided to start over its village-manager search process.

In a 3-1 vote taken during the commission’s Tuesday-night meeting, officials agreed to begin the search from scratch. The village’s staff will rewrite and issue a new job advertisement calling for stronger qualifications. While applicants have 60 days to turn in their candidacy documents, Interim Village Manager Jenice Rosado will email commissioners updates about the applicants. That means that if the commission decides there are enough suitable candidates who have applied before the 60-day deadline runs out, the application process may be closed sooner.

“Two candidates was basically not enough to make an informed and adequate decision, and I wanted to definitely take a look at additional candidates. … The sample size wasn’t large enough,” said Commissioner Wendy Duvall, who sponsored the motion, adding that the amount of experience of the two finalists also played a role in her decision.

About 25 hopefuls had applied for the village manager position. That pool of applicants was narrowed down to three: attorney Frank Bocanegra, Dania Beach Assistant City Manager Colin Donnelly and a third applicant who withdrew from the race.

Bocanegra is an attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, he said. For several years, he had a law firm, Miami Lakes-based Frank C. Bocanegra P.A., which is now dormant. For about two years, he served as town manager for Miami Lakes. Bocanegra held various positions as part of the Miami-Dade Police Department, including police major, captain, first lieutenant and Miami Lakes town commander, according to his résumé.

Prior to his position in Dania Beach, Donnelly was the manager of the New Jersey town of Newton for about three years, according to his résumé.

North Bay Village began their manager-search process in April after the commission approved the termination of former manager Dennis Kelly’s employment agreement.

Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and Commissioner Jorge Gonzalez agreed with Duvall’s proposal to begin the process anew.

“I wasn’t impressed,” said Gonzalez, referring to the job applicants. “Two candidates is not a good sample. I’d like to see more.”

Commissioner Richard Chervony voted against the motion to start the village-manager selection process from scratch, saying that commissioners should not rush into the decision because they need to smooth out details such as the cost of restarting the process.

Rosado, the interim village manager, did not return a call or an email Thursday seeking estimates of how much reissuing the job advertisement will cost the village.

But during Tuesday's meeting, Leon-Kreps said that delaying the process in order to find the best suitable candidate is also cost-effective, as the village is not paying for the full-time position of a manager.

A special meeting that had been scheduled for Monday to make a final selection between Bocanegra and Donnelly has been canceled.

Candidates interested in applying for the North Bay Village manager position can call the village at 305-756-7171 for more information.

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