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Date of Issue: February 23, 2006

New department head formed in Bradenton Beach

A new department position has been created in Bradenton Beach, with a familiar face taking its helm.

Dottie Poindexter, longtime director of the city’s public works department, is now taking over as the project/program manager. A department head position, she will ramrod the city’s various capital improvement projects as well as attempt to secure grants for the city. She will also manage the city’s Waterfronts Florida program, a two-year plan enabled by a state grant to develop the city’s waterfront.

Tom Woodard, the city’s public works foreman, will step up to the position as director of that department.

The project/program manager department has a budget of $86,373, of which $57,000 is devoted to Poindexter’s salary.

The new department already has a host of projects in the works, including the city pier, mooring field, sidewalks, a multi-use path through Cortez Beach and Coquina Beach, landscaping improvements along Gulf Drive, beach street-end enhancements and lighting.

Poindexter has already begun to earn her keep as the city’s newest department head: She told city commissioners last week the city has been notified that it has received a $128,700 grant from the state’s boater improvement trust fund for floating docks at the city pier.

Creation of the new position was approved by commissioners 4-1, with Commissioner Bill Shearon voting against the move. "I’m not against the department head herself," he said, "but I have problems with creating a new position without creating some form of written documents."

He cited the lack of a formal list of duties and responsibilities for the department. Shearon also said that the project/program manager post "is getting close to a city manager position, which the voters have turned down."

Mayor John Chappie said he would oversee the department head, as he does all others, and that the department would in no way function as management.

Vice Mayor Lisa Marie Phillips agreed that there are "points to be fine-tuned, that it may not be exactly the way you want, but we need the position right now. We need this person right now. I cannot see any sort of correlation with a city manager. In no way are we going against the voters regarding a city manager, and I’d like to see that term taken off the table."