City Manager Finalists at City Hall

Gary Lavenia was ultimately picked as city manager, he will relocate from Garden Grove, New Jersey in January.

Career public administrator Gary La Venia was ultimately picked as city manager, he will relocate from Maple Shade, New Jersey in January.

Fruitland Park — Oct. 8, 2013 — Fruitland Park residents are invited to join an informal reception on Friday, October 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to meet all five finalists for the City Manager position.

Mayor Chris Bell said the reception—which is free and open to the public, punch and snacks will be provided—is a chance for residents to meet candidates and help commissioners decide who should be appointed City Manager.

City commissioners will formally interview candidates immediately following the reception, Bell said.

“We are about to choose the city’s chief operating officer at perhaps the most critical time in this city’s history,” Bell said. “We would like our residents to join us and help us make this important decision.”

Interim City Manager Rick Conner, who will leave his post as soon as a permanent City Manager is appointed, said city commissioners have a tough decision to make.

“I’ve devoted my entire adult life to public administration and my professional judgment is that any one of these candidates will make Fruitland Park proud,” Conner said.

Finalists for the position are:

Leroy Alsup, former City Manager of Catoosa, Oklahoma;

Konrad Hildebrandt a consultant and former City Manager of Cedar Hill, Utah;

Gary LaVenia, Township Manager of Maple Shade, New Jersey;

Donald Levans, City Administrator in Cokato, Minnesota; and

Arthur Sciorra, former City Manager of Ogdensburg, New York

Bell said the city commission plans to vote on the new City Manager at its regular October 17 meeting.

“We hope residents will make their preferences known to their commissioners prior to October 17,” Bell said.
Fruitland Park Café will sponsor the reception in the lobby of City Hall at 506 West Berckman St.

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