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Bradenton Beach mayor proffers new clerk

By Charmaine Engelsman, Islander Reporter

In the turmoil that has surrounded the Bradenton Beach administration since June, it seems the mayor has found one solution to smooth the path.

Mayor Bill Shearon appears to have found the city clerk of his dreams, and he just can’t say enough good things about her.

Now all he needs is approval from the city commission, and he feels confident they will grant it in the Aug. 7 commission meeting.

The mayor’s choice is Gia Lancaster, who came to the mayor’s attention as a result of the ad on the Florida League of Cities website.

Her resume, says Shearon, is “impressive” and her references strong, but it was mostly the July 31 “outstanding phone interview” that the mayor and the city attorney co-conducted with her that sealed the deal.

“In my 27 years in business prior to this, I have rarely offered an applicant an employment opportunity at the end of the interview,” said Shearon. “She meets all the criteria and is a part of the national clerk association. I’m looking forward to her being part of the team.”

Shearon appeared to be confident that they will approve his choice and none too soon.

“Our clerk pro tem, Terry, has been doing a fantastic job,” the mayor said, “but I’m looking forward to having someone in place permanently.”

While Shearon had no official start date, he said it can’t be too soon, noting also that no changes are anticipated in the city clerk job description and classification.

Of course, this all hinges on the commissioners giving Lancaster the official thumbs-up in the Aug. 7 meeting.

Shearon said Lancaster was formerly the city clerk for Arcadia — east of Myakka City on State Road 70.

The Islander confirmed Lancaster served Arcadia until October 2013 when many of the city’s department heads made an unanticipated mass exodus following the resignation of city administrator Judi Jankowski.

Resignations, including those of Jankowski and Lancaster, were tendered without notice, which resulted in interim city administrator Tom Slaughter describing “a stunned and frustrated city council,” to the Arcadian newspaper.

Many of the city’s remaining employees were given raises by the administrator before her surprise departure, and some of the departing employees were designated by Jankowski to receive severance packages, including health benefits and vacation pay.

The city later held a special meeting to deny the exit packages.

The commission will convene at 6 p.m. at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

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