Mary Esther appoints new manager

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TONY JUDNICH @Tonyjnwfdn

MARY ESTHER — A familiar face is expected to soon take over the city manager’s job.

During the City Council’s Aug. 30 workshop, the council agreed to appoint Steve Holsinger to the position for one year. His first day on the job is Oct. 2.

Holsinger is a retiree from Punta Gorda whose work experience includes a stint as city manager of Willows, California. He served as Mary Esther’s interim city manager from July until November 2016, when the city hired Taylor Brown as manager.

A majority of the council, however, agreed to fire Brown on Aug. 21. Among other concerns, Councilman Jim Kitchens Jr., who made the motion to fire Brown, said Brown did not return residents’ phone calls, was absent from City Hall too often and seemed to work for the mayor rather than the council.

After Brown was ousted, the council appointed City Clerk Dana Williams as acting city manager. In his manager position, Holsinger will receive a monthly salary of $5,500, plus $1,800 per month for travel and housing expenses, for a total of $87,600 for his one year of service, Williams said.

She said Holsinger has declined other benefits, such as retirement and insurance benefits.

Holsinger’s first official day on the job will take place two weeks after the council conducts its final public budget hearing on Sept. 18. At the hearing, the council will vote on whether to give final approval to adopting the city’s fiscal 2018 budget and millage rate. The hearing will start at 5:30 p.m. and take place at City Hall, 195 Christobal Road.

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