NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: City Manager Candidate To Resign From Fla. Post?

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OCEAN CITY — Although city officials are mum on where the process is currently, negotiations are continuing between Ocean City and David Recor, who could officially become the resort’s next city manager by the end of the week.

In a letter to the Mayor and Commissioners dated today at 10 a.m., Ft. Pierce, Fla. City Clerk Cassandra Steele announced there will be a special meeting at 5 p.m. today for the “consideration of offer to accept City Manager’s resignation” and appoint an interim city manager and discuss the recruitment process for a new city manager. That letter was obtained by the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Four Ocean City elected officials have confirmed off the record that negotiations are currently continuing between the city and Recor, who has been the city manager of Ft. Pierce since 2008.

“We are still in the contract negotiations stage with an applicant, nothing has been finalized on that at this point,” said Mayor Rick Meehan, who has been serving as acting city manager since last September. “No final agreement is in place as of right now.”

Recor’s apparent resignation comes just two days after he said at the Ft. Pierce Commission meeting his future was in the Florida coastal town.

Last Tuesday in Ocean City, the council voted in typical 4-3 fashion — Brent Ashley, Jim Hall, Joe Hall and Margaret Pillas in support and Doug Cymek, Mary Knight and Lloyd Martin opposed — to offer the job to Recor and for Springsted Inc., the city’s city manager search process consultant, to begin negotiations.

Early contract talks did not go well reportedly and at several points in the process it appeared Recor, who has local roots on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and the city were not going to be able to come to terms. That’s why Council President Jim Hall said yesterday a deadline was set for today at 5:30 p.m. for Recor to decide whether he would accept the city’s latest offer.

“We have negotiated in good faith. We went back and forth a couple times. We are not changing our offer. If we don’t hear something by Wednesday at 5:30, we will go back and re-advertise and get a new pool of candidates. There’s no charge from the consultant to do that,” Jim Hall said.

At no point did it look more like this deal would not become reality than at Monday’s Ft. Pierce, Fla. Commission meeting where Recor reported he was staying put.

At that meeting, Recor broke his public silence and discussed the Ocean City job, saying it was tempting to consider coming back to his home area.

“My future is in Fort Pierce," Recor said. "So, I think that should put a period on the issue that we have been discussing, at least from my perspective. … Because the call of home was so strong, I felt that I owed it to myself and to my family to take one last hard look at professional opportunity, which I have now done. In doing so, what I discovered was that home has two meanings for me. One is that place that I will forever hold in my memories and the other is the future. As I have said before, mayor and commissioners, my future is in Ft. Pierce.”

In a statement read at that same meeting in Ft. Pierce, Perona said, “It is not the fact that David Recor is looking for a new job that bothers me. It’s not being truthful that I cannot tolerate. Lying to the commission and the public that we serve is inexcusable. We as commissioners cannot task our city staff individually, which makes us dependent upon an open and truthful ongoing dialogue with our city manager. We pay Mr. Recor $133,640 plus benefits each year to tell us the truth and we our bound by our constraints to rely on his statements as factual. I am convinced that he has intentionally violated this basic obligation and is not to be trusted.”

The Dispatch will provide updates when available on this story.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.