Home News Indiantown Village Council split in search for interim and permanent managers

Indiantown Village Council split in search for interim and permanent managers

Indiantown Village Council split in search for interim and permanent managers

INDIANTOWN — After a split discussion and vote during a recent Village Council meeting, potential candidates for the interim village manager position were given two weeks to submit their applications after the abrupt resignation of Howard Brown this month.

He resigned Dec. 8 after almost four years in the position. He was the village’s first manager after its incorporation in late 2017; hired in January 2019 after a nationwide search.

Former Indiantown Village Manager Howard Brown resigned on Dec. 8, 2022 after serving almost four years in the position

In a 3-2 vote at a special meeting Dec. 15, the council approved a search for the temporary position with the help of the Florida City and County Management Association and the Florida League of Cities. Candidates have until Dec. 29 to apply, and the council will discuss applications at its Jan. 12 meeting.

Mayor Susan Gibbs Thomas and Council Member Carmine Dipaolo voted against the search after a tense discussion about village staff’s recommendation to appoint Parks and Recreation Director Deborah Resos as the interim village manager.

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Council Member Guyton Stone told Gibbs Thomas he felt that she deceived the public by asking staff to discuss an internal recommendation for interim manager without notifying council members beforehand. Village Attorney Wade Vose confirmed he was not notified of the direction given by Gibbs Thomas.

“I’m truly disappointed in that. I feel like you’re trying to take things in your own hands, and not having the council do what needs to be done. And that’s not how this government is supposed to be running,” Stone said at the meeting.

When Gibbs Thomas asked Vose if she had done anything wrong when asking staff to discuss a recommendation, Vose said it was at the discretion of Acting Village Manager Susan Owens “to determine whether or not to bring it up, discuss it, come back with any sort of recommendation or what have you.”

Council Member Janet Hernández agreed with Stone’s comments, adding that existing village staff are already overloaded and should stay in their current position.

“I thank Ms. Resos for trying to step in, but I really think that Indiantown is too new to have someone that does not have the experience. We can’t afford one penny or one decision to go wrong, and then it just will all crumble down,” Hernández said.

Dipaolo and Gibbs Thomas both voiced support for Resos.

“I know that staff is definitely overworked, but your staff has come together, and the council is not listening to what your overwhelmed staff has requested, what they have said, and what their recommendation is,” Gibbs Thomas said.

Moreover, the council was split in its decision on how to recruit a permanent village manager.

Council members pushed the discussion to the Jan. 12 meeting after a motion failed, in a 3-2 vote, to have the Florida City and County Management Association spearhead the search.

Stone and Hernández were the two votes in favor of using the association.



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