New center director choice narrows

It may have taken longer than Pierrette Kelly planned, but her replacement as executive director of the Anna Maria Island Community Center should be announced in the next few weeks, said center board president Greg Ross.

“We’ve narrowed it down to two people,” Ross said.

He said the entire board of directors was to meet early this week and vote on their candidate of choice. The candidate with the most votes will be offered the position.

If an offer is accepted, Ross said, the board would give the candidate time to give his or her current employer proper notice before announcing the appointment.

Ross said there may be a problem getting a quorum for the meeting to vote on a new executive director.

“I’ve been trying all week to arrange a meeting date,” Ross said Sept. 28. He said as soon as he’s got a firm date for the meeting he’ll announce that.

Kelly submitted her resignation April 23, but agreed to stay until June 30 while the board found a replacement.

A screening committee headed by West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Andy Price and including restaurateur Ed Chiles and Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, was formed to short-list the original 46 applicants down to three.

However, the board was unable to agree on a satisfactory replacement from among those applicants, and put out a call for more applications.

This time, the screening committee came up with several people who were acceptable to the executive board.

Ross declined to say how many names were on the second list, but said the board has narrowed its choice down to two people.

“We interviewed those two candidates last week and we will make a decision once we have a meeting with a quorum,” he said. “It will be as soon as I can get enough people to make a quorum.”

Kelly has been executive director of the center for 23 years.

She said she wanted to move on to other things in her life and quit while she was ahead.

Kelly said she would spend a few days training her replacement, particularly regarding grant writing.

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