And the search continues: The City of Doral has narrowed its hunt for a city clerk from 81 applicants to seven top contenders.
On March 16, the search committee — composed of three council members and two residents — will interview the seven at city hall during a public meeting. However, because three of the contenders are from out of state, the committee is asking the city manager to consider flying them in for the first round of interviews. Otherwise, the questioning will be done via web conference.
The process began after the city fired its longtime city clerk, Barbara Herrera, on Dec. 10. In January, the committee unanimously decided that the search will be conducted through the city’s human resources department instead of a recruiting agency or search firm. The application deadline was mid-February.
Minimum requirements for the job are either a four-year degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, four years of city clerk experience, or currently pursuing certification to become a city clerk. The salary range is $75,000 to $113,000.
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Applicants are from Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Tennessee, Rhode Island, California, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, and from all over Florida. There’s even one from Papua New Guinea, a tiny country north of Australia.
“I’m impressed,” said committee member and Doral resident Pierre Christ, who said that the farflung applications show that Doral is becoming well-known.
Another member, Eduardo Gomez, followed up with: “That might have been an influence of Miss Universe?”
The committee giggled.
But most applicants — including the current interim city clerk , Constanza “Connie” Diaz — are from South Florida.
According to the city’s human resources department, these are the seven most qualified applicants:
▪ Billy Urquia has been a deputy city clerk at the City of Coral Gables since 2007. He has a master’s degree in management of information systems.
▪ Diaz, the current interim city clerk, was previously Doral’s deputy city clerk. She has an associate’s degree in public administration.
▪ Queenester Nieves, from West Palm Beach, is a public records officer for the South Florida Water Management Districtand was previously a deputy city clerk at the agency for four years. Nieves has a master’s in business administration.
▪ Rayetta Floyd resides in Americus, Georgia, and is on her county’s board of commissioners. Before that, she was a county clerk. She has a master’s degree in business administration and criminal justice.
▪ Sherry Henderson is city clerk and elections superintendent of Riverdale, Georgia and was previously an assistant city clerk. She has a bachelor’s degree in airway computer science.
▪ Brenda Pree is city clerk of Jackson, Mississippi and was previously a justice court clerk. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
City of Miami Elections Coordinator Dwight Danie also applied but didn’t make the cut.
“Please note that the information provided in the attached spreadsheet was generated using information provided by the applicants through their application or résumé,” said Human Resources Director Francisco Rios in an email to council members. “Additionally, no background checks or reference checks have been conducted at this stage of the recruitment process.”
Besides Christ and Gomez, the others on the search committee are Councilman Pete Cabrera, Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz and Councilwoman Ana Maria Rodriguez. According to the city’s charter, each council member gets to appoint one member to the search committee. Cabrera, Ruiz and Rodriguez appointed themselves.
The job listing was posted on Feb 1. on the websites of: the Florida City and County Management Association, Florida League of Cities, Florida Public Human Resources Association, Florida Association of City Clerks, Government Jobs, and Doral’s website.