NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: City Manager Pick May Have No Other Choice But To Accept OC Job

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OCEAN CITY — The choice of the next city manager has been made in Ocean City, leaving a government in Florida in a confused state and awaiting word on whether its chief executive is heading north or not.

After a 90-minute closed session yesterday, Council President Jim Hall reported the council voted 4-3 –  Brent Ashley, Joe Hall, Jim Hall and Margaret Pillas in support and Doug Cymek, Mary Knight and Lloyd Martin in opposition — to instruct Springsted, its hired consulting firm, to begin negotiations with the selected candidate.

While no official has publicly confirmed the pick, Ft. Pierce, Fla. City Manager David Recor has been chosen by the council, and Springsted was expected to have contacted him yesterday to begin contract talks.

Springsted client representative John Anzivino was not immediately available for comment this morning on whether Recor was contacted yesterday as expected and whether he plans to accept the job.

While the Ocean City vote on Recor was all but a certainty prior to yesterday’s meeting, tensions appear to be running high in Ft. Pierce, Fla. as Recor is playing both sides in this ongoing situation.

In a March 6 email to Anzivino, Recor withdrew his name from consideration from the Ocean City process as well as a similar process in Boynton Beach, Fla. However, at some point Recor must have reconsidered because he was in Ocean City on April 13 for a second interview and had breakfast with the Mayor and Council at the Captain’s Table Restaurant.

Additionally, on April 11, Councilman Joe Hall called Recor on his cell phone to discuss the city manager vacancy in Ocean City. Public records obtained from The Dispatch confirm a 13-minute conversation was had between Recor and Joe Hall, who said he called to have a one-on-one talk with the candidate he considered the “front runner” about the council-manager form of government, fishing and other topics.

On Friday, April 27, after the TCPalm newspaper reported Recor was being considered for the Ocean City post, Recor forwarded in an email, obtained by TCPalm, to Commissioner Tom Perona the message he sent to Anzivino, announcing his withdrawal from the Ocean City process.

“… I originally withdrew from OC at the same time I withdrew from Boynton. We can discuss in more detail at your convenience.  Nothing to hide,” he wrote to Perona.

In that March 6 email to Anzivino, Recor wrote, “After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the Ocean City, Maryland, City Manager recruitment.  I want you to know that this was a very difficult decision however out of respect for you, the Town of Ocean City and fairness to the other candidates in the recruitment I believe it is important to share my decision now in advance of your presentation of candidates to the City Council.  I sincerely appreciate your consideration of me as a candidate and particularly the opportunity to clarify the facts regarding several newspaper articles that appeared about me on the Internet.

“This is an exciting time in the Fort Pierce community.  With unanimous support from the Fort Pierce City Commission, I was recently accepted in the 2012 class of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.  In addition, the City is making measured progress on our adopted strategic planning initiatives.  The long anticipated $28 million marina reconstruction project begins this week and next week I am presenting the City Commission with a two-year balanced budget proposal.  I also have tremendous respect and confidence in the dedicated City staff that continuously provide dependable quality services to our residents and make this such a wonderful community to live.

While the November 2012 general election has a majority of my City Commissioners up for re-election, including the Mayor’s seat, I have decided to remain committed to my role and responsibilities as City Manager in Fort Pierce as we aspire to transform ourselves into a high performance local government organization.

Thank you again, John.  Perhaps our paths will cross again when the time is right.

At some point, Recor had a change of heart, as he traveled to Ocean City on April 13. However, Recor told Perona, according to TCPalm, he came to Ocean City for the second interview just as a courtesy.

"I had no idea," Perona said in an interview with TCPalm. "How do you resign from something, withdraw your name, and then show up for an interview? I don’t know."

What all this means for Ocean City is unclear at the moment, but the job is Recor’s if he wants it. Actually, he may have no other choice to take the Ocean City job as city commissioners have expressed disappointment and shock over hearing of Recor again job hunting. Recor told the commission in March Ft. Pierce was where he wanted to be and where he saw his future after being interested in at least two other Florida jobs.

At least one member of the community in Florida is seeking to close Recor’s storied chapter in Ft. Pierce, where he was hired in 2005 and became city manager in 2008.

Linda Hudson, a candidate for mayor of Ft. Pierce, has requested an agenda item for the Monday, May 7 meeting in Ft. Pierce to include a discussion of the termination of Recor’s contract. It’s unclear whether the support of the commission is there for that, but Recor did barely escape a contract termination in a 3-2 vote last October.

In a Monday email to the Ft. Pierce Commission obtained by The Dispatch from Hudson, she said, “How many times can Mr. Recor say one thing, and do the opposite, before the Commission has had enough?  Let me assure you, the voting public in Fort Pierce has had enough. Do the right thing for the taxpayers of Fort Pierce.”

Recor responded in an email to Hudson a few hours later on Monday, addressing the issue and the request for the meeting agenda item.

“If you are in fact elected mayor of the City of Fort Pierce, I hope that you serve the people of this community better by understanding that there is always more to the story than what is printed in the newspaper,” Recor wrote to Hudson. “However, since you have called for a nonsense agenda item seeking termination of my contract on the May 7 Commission agenda, I would be happy to meet with you and discuss my March 6 written withdrawal from the Ocean City City Manager recruitment, the same time I withdrew as a finalist in Boynton Beach City Manager recruitment.”

Recor’s annual salary with Ft. Pierce is approximately $133,640. He works on an annual contract, which renews itself each year. Recor must give 90 days’ notice, according to his contract.

6 comments on “NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: City Manager Pick May Have No Other Choice But To Accept OC Job

  1. As more information surfaces on Mr. Recor it is becoming obvious the man is a very intelligent compulsive liar. How could Springsted Inc., specifically Mr. Anzivino submit this candidate with a straight face, and how could the majority on the council think this man is a good fit for OC. Perhaps the contract negotiations will falter, but since the man will probably be looking for a job by next Tuesday I’m sure we’ll be stuck with him.

  2. Please, please, please take him!!!!
    As much as we hate to see you stuck with him, we can’t wait to get this sandbox bully out of town. Those who have dealings with him know he has many assets but to be wary and always on the move because he will have target practice with anyone who disagrees with him. Mr. Recor will be smiling all the while he is micromanaging, figuring the angles, and talking out of both sides of his mouth. Good Luck to you OC!

  3. Does OC really want to have a manager like this guy? He told his current employer he wasn’t interested in the job but showed up for the interview “as a courtesy.” Hire him. One day you’ll be the town on the receiving end of his lies.

  4. One thing is a definite – Never a Dull Moment in OC Politics!!!!

    Gonna be a very interesting next 150 days in the political OC arena!!!! ~BUSHMAN!

  5. I am a business owner here in Fort Pierce and know Mr. Recor and his family personally. I have also worked with him on several projects and I can tell you firsthand that he will be sorely missed here. Ocean City is very fortunate to have him as its next City Manager.

    Mr. Recor has cleaned up the mess in Fort Pierce City Hall addressing a number of challenging issues, generally not of his making, including long-term problematic internal conditions as well as transitioning the City from a boom economy to and through the current economic challenge. My taxes have not increased since 2005 and in fact Mr. Recor has reduced the City’s budget by more than $20 million dollars.

    Mr. Recor also eliminated excess staff and underperforming departments. He held the organization to high standards and he initiated outside investigations of questionable practices. He supported innovative City initiatives, such as the creation of an eco-tourism program, to build capacity and sustainability of local businesses. He transformed a reactionary method of budgeting into a proactive, forward-looking multi-year process and sponsored a civic visioning process to assist the City Commission in setting goals and priorities for future growth.

    He is a big man with broad shoulders but given the constant assault he is under I can understand how he has had enough in Fort Pierce. Best of luck to you, Mr. Recor. I hope you and your wonderful family find peace and happiness in Ocean City.

  6. If David Recor is indeed the final candidate, do not judge David Recor by the negative articles in the TC Palm paper or by anything that Linda Hudson says. He is nothing like the paper makes him out to be. TC Palm’s goal job is to sell papers and they choose to print negative articles about local government.

    I know David personally, and he is a dedicated employee, loving husband and father. He has made many positive changes in Fort Pierce and many that love working with him. But those people are busy working, doing their jobs, not posting negative comments on the Internet.

    If he leaves, Fort Pierce loss will be Ocean City’s gain as he has so much to offer. Fort Pierce will suffer because there are not many individuals that could tolerate the negative and personal attacks which is a prevalent mindset here in Florida.

    If David is the candidate, give him a chance, he will impress you!

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