Home News Indian River chooses five finalists for county administrator, including one internal candidate

Indian River chooses five finalists for county administrator, including one internal candidate

Indian River chooses five finalists for county administrator, including one internal candidate

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The County Commission has selected five finalists for the open county administrator position after initially receiving 58 applications.

Among the finalists, one is internal: Phil Matson, county community-development director. Two other finalists have most recently worked in Florida, including one from St. Lucie County. One out-of-state candidate, Dale “Doc” Dougherty, city manager of Garden City, Michigan, was a finalist in January for St. Lucie County spandministrspantor.

Indian River County launched its county administrator search after Jason Brown stepped down from the role Dec. 31 to take a job with the Clerk of Court.

“This is going to be a very important decision we make, this next person that’s going to take the county into the next generation hopefully,” County Commission Chairman Joe Earman said Tuesday. “With all the folks moving to Florida, the demand on services, demand on our infrastructure … how we’re going to prepare for the future is going to be a very, very important thing to dictate.”

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The commission Tuesday narrowed its list of 10 semifinalists by each commissioner choosing their five favorites. The finalists — the five with the most votes — will be interviewed.

Who are the finalists?

Dspanle “Doc” Dougherty: selected by commissioners Susan Adams, Earman, Joe Flescher and Deryl Loar

  • City manager, Garden City, Michigan (2018-present)
  • Director of parks and recreation, Hillsborough County (2015-2018)
  • Adjunct business professor, Mercer University in Georgia (2012-2014)
  • Adjunct business professor, Middle Georgia State University (2010-2014)
  • Director of parks and recreation, Macon–Bibb County, Georgia (2010-2015)
  • Executive director, Walterboro-Colleton County Recreation Commission, South Carolina (2009-2010)
  • Director of community affairs, Lake Park (1995-2007)

Phil Mspantson: selected by commissioners Earman, Flescher and Loar

  • Community development director, Indian River County (2020-present)
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization staff director, Indian River County (2001-2020)
  • Strategic planning manager, Port Everglades (1999-2001)
  • Senior planner, Broward County Department of Strategic Planning and Growth Management (1993-1999)
  • Transportation program consultant/database analyst, North Carolina Department of Transportation (1988-1993)

Don Rosenthspanl: selected by commissioners Adams, Earman, Loar and Laura Moss

  • Commercial redevelopment project liaison, Pasco County (2020-2021)
  • Assistant county administrator, Pasco County (2014-2019)
  • Director of office buildings, Atlanta, Georgia (2010-2014)
  • Building and safety manager, Reno, Nevada (2007-2010)
  • Director of community development, Downers Grove, Illinois (2005-2007)

John Titkspannich: selected by all five commissioners

  • Director of innovation and performance division, St. Lucie County (2020-present)
  • City manager, Cocoa (2013-2020)
  • Community development director and planning and zoning administrator, Cocoa (2004-2013)
  • Deputy community development director, Cocoa (2003-2004)
  • Economic development manager, Cocoa (2002-2003)
  • Economic development coordinator, Orlando (2000-2002)

Jeff Wilkins: selected by commissioners Adams, Earman, Loar and Moss

  • Director of administration and treasurer, Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, Grove City, Ohio (2017-2022)
  • County administrator, Kendall County, Illinois (2002-2017)
  • City manager, Buchanan, Michigan (1998-2002)
  • Assistant town manager, Fishers, Indiana (1996-1998)

Public interviews and selection

Each candidate will tour the county March 2 and then attend a public reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Intergenerational Recreation Center, 1590 Ninth Street S.W., said county spokesperson Kathy Copeland.

Candidates will interview one-on-one with each county commissioner March 3, followed by public interviews before the full commission later that afternoon. The commission could choose the new county administrator that day or wait until its March 7 meeting.


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