Sunday, May 06, 2007

S.Stanton Top of City's List

"Sex change official moves up on city list

SARASOTA -- One of the front-runners for Sarasota's city manager position is the former Largo city manager who was fired after commissioners there learned of his plans to have a sex change.Steven Stanton, who applied as Susan Stanton while noting that the name change is not yet official, was one of three applicants that all five Sarasota city commissioners chose Wednesday among their top candidates.

The commissioners had intended to whittle down the pool of 18 semifinalists to eight, but by the end of a two-hour meeting had settled on 11.A consultant will narrow the 11 down to four to six finalists after conducting background checks and checking references. The commissioners will interview them May 29.The three candidates who won unanimous support from the commission have all served as city managers in Florida.Stanton was Largo city manager for 14 years before he was ousted in March. Patrick Salerno has been the city manager of Sunrise since 1990. Robert Bartolotta was city manager of Jupiter until resigning in 2004 to care for his ailing wife, who has since passed away."I'm interested in getting back into Florida management," Bartolotta said in a telephone interview from Savannah, Ga., on Wednesday. "Service is in my blood."Stanton plans to interview as a woman if he makes the final cut."It would be a dream job," said Stanton, who has visited Sarasota many times during the past few years, as Steven and as Susan."Being part of the community would be such an outstanding ending to what started out as a very unpleasant journey 40-some days ago," Stanton said. Sarasota commissioners' choice "contrasts how one community dealt with diversity and how another is planning to," he said."The fact that the commission has enough faith to look at someone for their credentials speaks miles of the inclusive nature of Sarasota."Salerno could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, but the city's consultant, Tom Freijo of The Mercer Group Inc., told the commissioners that Salerno had expressed interest in the Sarasota job before The Mercer Group started advertising for it.Each commissioner selected his or her top eight candidates from a stack of 18 resumes, while Freijo tallied up their nominations on a 2-foot-by-2-foot Post-It.Another three of the 11 contenders now up for review got the support of four commissioners:Daniel Fitzpatrick has been the city manager of Peekskill, N.Y., for the past four years.Marsha Segal-George has been deputy chief administrative officer of Orlando since June 2006.Michael Wright is assistant city manager for development and transportation in Tallahassee."I would certainly be paying a great deal of attention to them," Freijo said of the candidates with four or five commissioners' support.Five other applicants, who made it on two commissioners' lists, would serve more as backups, he said. They are:James Baker, director of administration for St. Louis County in Missouri.Matt Carlson, city administrator of Delafield, Wis.Dennis Kelly, deputy city manager of North Miami.James Palenick, city manager of Rio Rancho, N.M.Terry Zerkle, president of Local Government Network Inc., a consulting business in Cave Creek, Ariz.Commissioners will make a final selection May 30.
Last modified: May 03. 2007 4:31AM
SARASOTA -- One of the front-runners for Sarasota's city manager position is the former Largo city manager who was fired after commissioners there learned of his plans to have a sex change."

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