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No interviews, no replacement yet for Kelly at center

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

The search for a replacement for retiring Anna Maria Island Community Center executive director Pierrette Kelly continues more than four months after she submitted her resignation.

Greg Ross, president of the center board of directors, said the executive board was scheduled to interview five finalists from the second round of applicants on Aug. 25, but those plans were canceled due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Ross said he has not set dates for the board to interview the candidates or the next board meeting, but he hoped to have the board interview the five finalists within the next two weeks. Those interviews will be closed to the public.

Kelly submitted her resignation in late April and planned to leave the center by June 30. She also agreed to stay until the board selected a replacement.

A committee headed by West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Andy Price was appointed by the executive board to review applications for the job and submit a short list of candidates.

In early July, the board rejected everyone on the committee’s short list and again called for applications.

As previously reported, among the rejected applicants were the center’s assistant executive director Scott Dell and board secretary Monica Simpson, and Simpson was restricted from the executive board review.

The review committee again began the process of reviewing the second round of applications and preparing a new short list.

The committee has now submitted a second priority list of five prospective candidates to the board, but Ross said scheduling difficulties and Isaac prevented a special meeting from taking place to interview finalists.

The board “usually takes off in August,” Ross said, and a number of board members were unavailable for a meeting earlier that month. Then came TS Isaac.

Ross said the board officers now plan to interview the five candidates individually, then discuss each candidate’s merits and take a vote. The name of the new director will — hopefully — be announced at the next board meeting, probably in early October, said Ross.

The board usually meets at 8 a.m. at the community center on the first Monday of each month, although in September, that day was Labor Day.

Kelly resigned after more than 22 years as executive director of the community center, which is at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

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