Tuesday, October 19, 2021

City Hall Staff Changes and Challenges

Photo by Steve Stefanides

Photo by Steve Stefanides

By Steve “Stef” Stefanides

Since the departure of former City Manager Roger Hernstadt a number of changes have occurred within City Hall, with departures of personnel and some shuffling of the chairs on the deck to insure the functions to service residents’ needs are still being met.

Guillermo Polanco was assigned the responsibilities as Interim City Manager in February, in addition to his responsibilities overseeing the city’s Finance Department.

Ms. Tammy Scott who oversaw the operations within the Growth Management Department resigned in February, and late in March Polanco assigned Lina Upham, who was working in finance, temporary duties overseeing that department. From 2010 to 2013 Upham had worked in zoning and planning for the city. In addition to Upham, Jason Smalley and Paula Roldos work within Growth Management on day-to-day activities assisting residents and builders.

The city is presently interviewing for the position of Growth Management Director and two interviews were held the week of April 3rd, with another scheduled for the week of April 10th.

In the meantime, the city has contracted with the services of LaRue Planning and Management Services of Ft. Myers to assist with any large proposals being brought forward for review by the city.

Polanco also reassigned Samantha Malloy to a new position he created, Supervisor of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Events for the city. She had previously served as the Special Events Coordinator for the city. Since that reshuffle, Alex Galiana, who had previously served as the Facilities Manager for Parks and Recreation has resigned, and that position is open with active recruiting underway for a replacement.

Important LDC Review Continues

Chairman of the Planning Board Eric Brechnitz, along with Interim Growth Management Supervisor Lina Upham are encouraging residents to become involved with the Planning Board’s review of the Land Development Code, as the board meets on the third Friday of every month in a workshop session to review language and issues within the document.

“We need the input from all sections of the community, whether a resident, businesses, commercial property owners or a builder. The code represents an important segment of the building blocks for how our community will look moving forward,” said Brechnitz.

The Planning Board will meet on April 21st at 9 AM in council chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive to continue its work on the document, and the public is encouraged to attend and participate.

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