Sunday, May 27, 2007

Change of Command

The Key West Citizen editorializes today on the selection of Jim Scholl as City Manager It's an optimistic view, one that I believe will be fulfilled by Scholl. Key West junkie that I am, I watched as much of the Commission meeting at which the candidates were interviewed as I could, some of it in person but mostly on Channel 77, the City's cable channel outlet for coverage of [some] public meetings.

I was actually a little surprised at how well each of the six candidates came across. The committee that narrowed the choices down to these six did a great job of skimming the cream of the crop from the 100+ applications they considered. The six are shown here, flanked on the left by outgoing City Manager Julio Avael and on the right by Mayor Morgan McPherson.

The two top finalists were both military. Scholl (next to McPherson in the photo), is the recent past commander of NAS Key West. First runner up was Coast Guard Admiral Jeff Hathaway (next to Scholl), who is retiring as Commander of Joint Interagency Task Force South, located at Truman Annex, a part of NAS Key West.

The Citizen also carried an interview with School in today's edition, but it's not available on the Citizen site without a paid subscription. Scholl was tentative in most of his answers, understandably, because his contract with the City and assumption of the office awaits final Commission approval, based on a successful negotiation on salary with Commissioner Bethel. I expect that will come at the Commission's June 5 meeting.

Asked about recent comments in the Citizens' Voice about being seen "drinking in bars on Duval Street", Scholl gave a long answer that said in part:
"If [people] are just saying stuff to stir up controversy, that's their right ... Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution and I swore to support and defend the Constitution for almost 28 years and I am not done yet. So people can exercise their freedoms anyway they see fit."

It does seem to me that the 'long knives' are out and being brandished at the Citizens' Voice, against the Commission in general, Mayor McPherson in particular, and now against the City-Manager elect. You might think that there's an election coming with all the attacks.

And, imagine that, a sailor drinking in bars. How odd.


Anonymous said...

I think that the Admiral probably would have been a better choice, but Scholl looks like he'll do the job okay. Gonna be interesting...

jipzeecab said...

Admirals are more theoretical, CO's more operational.. CO was a better choice.

Anonymous said...

The Admiral was a CO of several bases in the past. My comment was based on the overall credentials and experience, not just on what's an "operational" rank. I still think that Capt. Scholl should have been second choice, IMO.

However we've got what we've got, and I'd like to see Dagwood succeed in this role...

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