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Baenziger continues search for director

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  • | 5:00 a.m. March 2, 2011
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — The search for a new executive director for Lakewood Ranch Town Hall is under way.

Executive recruiter Colin Baenziger on Feb. 26 began the recruitment process by posting the position on his website and e-mailing it to more than 7,000 local government professionals. On Monday, Baenziger said he already had received about 40 applications, including what supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority board received unsolicited since former Executive Director Bob Fernandez announced his resignation in late January.

“I’ve had more (unsolicited) inquiries about this job in the limited time it’s been out there than I normally get for city manager job over the whole recruiting period,” Baenziger said.

The IDA board hired Baenziger on Feb. 10 to conduct the search for Lakewood Ranch’s new executive director, and also have asked Baenziger to recruit candidates as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the quality of candidates. Baenziger is working to have a new director selected by the end of April, although the typical recruitment process takes three months.

Supervisors on the IDA, which oversees matters that affect the existing community’s four resident-controlled Community Development Districts, invited representatives from Lakewood Ranch’s various homeowners associations and CDD boards to meet with Baenziger Feb. 21 and share expectations for the new hire.

Baenziger said the meetings gave him more insight into the complexities of the position — particularly the tension that exists between the CDD boards, IDA and homeowners associations.

“The person I look for is going to have to truly be a people person and someone who can bring people together,” Baenziger said. “The individual will be someone who has outstanding listening skills, who recognizes the different interest and who is good at building consensus.”

Baenziger noted the individual also would be expected to attend almost every meeting of the homeowners associations and CDD boards, at least for the first year.

“If a candidate is not comfortable doing that, then that individual is probably not a good fit with the Lakewood Ranch IDA,” Baenziger said. “It will be a tricky balance because the job will require a person who is achievement oriented but also someone who is comfortable in a crowd and going to meetings.”

The new director is expected to have at least 10 years of experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, engineering or a related field. Starting salary will be between $120,000 and $160,000.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

March 11 — Closing date for submission of applications
March 16 — Baenziger reports the results of the recruiting effort to the IDA board.
April 11 — Baenziger forwards the finalist materials to the IDA. Information includes candidates’ resumes, a summary of his interviews with candidates, the results of background and reference checks and Internet/newspaper archive results. Materials scheduled to arrive April 12.
April 15 — Baenziger reviews finalists with IDA.
April 28 — IDA members interview candidates one-on-one and as a group.


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