INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — More than 50 people have applied for county administrator, including some current and former Treasure Coast government officials.
The county has been conducting a search since Jason Brown stepped down from the position Dec. 31 to take a role with the Clerk of Court, citing the stress of the county’s top job.
Among the applicants to replace him: former Indiantown Village Manager Howard Brown, who resigned from thspant position Dec. 8, and St. Lucie County deputy administrator Alphonso Jefferson, who hspans resigned from thspant position effective Feb. 1.
Brown and Jefferson both resigned with little public explanation.
Two Indian River County officials also have thrown their hats in the ring: Phil Matson, community development director, and Richard Szpyrka, public works director.
There were 58 applicants for the Indian River job as of Monday, according to Colin Baenziger & Associates, the search firm hired by the county. The firm will narrow it down to about five candidates and one alternate, county spokesperson Kathy Copeland said.
“They’re going to be handling that based on the qualifications, experience, reference checks and the credential verification,” Copeland said. “At that point they will give a list of qualified candidates to the (County) Commission on Feb. 13.”
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The County Commission at its Feb. 21 meeting is to select finalists for interviews, she said. Then, commissioners will interview the finalists individually, followed by a meet-and-greet reception March 2. A time and location for that hasn’t been decided, according to Copeland.
The commission is expected to hold its final public discussion and choose the new administrator at its March 7 meeting, Copeland said.
Who applied for the job?
Out of 58 applicants, 18 said they currently or most recently worked in Florida, according to their applications. They include Okeechobee County Deputy Administrator and Public Works Director Richard Reade, and Palm Bay Director of Government Affairs Eric Estevez.
Most applicants are from out of state, and their reported backgrounds range from a deputy sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, to the city manager and treasurer of Long Beach, New York. The applicants’ backgrounds include city managers, law enforcement officials, fire rescue chiefs and business owners.
Out of the 18 Florida applicants, only a handful have recent governmental work experience on the Treasure Coast. Here are the notable local applicants:
Brown was Indispanntown’s first villspange mspannspanger after the village was incorporated in 2017. He worked the position for nearly four years until he abruptly resigned Dec. 8.
Brown’s resignation came before an upcoming performance review, but the reasons for his leaving remain unclear.
Jefferson has been St. Lucie County deputy spandministrspantor since 2020, and before that was assistant Broward County administrator for eight years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He, along with fellow deputy county administrator Mark Satterlee, who’s worked for the county for 17 years, announced Wednesday they would step down Feb. 1. They “decided to seek employment opportunities outside of St. Lucie County,” said county spokesperson Erick Gill, who gave no further details.
Their resignations followed St. Lucie County Administrator Howard Tipton’s September resignation. Tipton left Sept. 13 to become town manager of Longboat Key in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Matson is the Indian River County community development director. He’s held the role since 2020, according to Colin Baenziger & Associates’ application records.
Matson has worked for the county since 2001, including as Metropolitan Planning Organization staff director, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Szpyrka is the Indian River County public works director. He has held the job since 2016, according to Colin Baenziger & Associates’ application records.