DESTIN — A city consultant recommends longtime Destin Parks and Recreation Director Lance Johnson to serve as interim city manager.
Johnson is one of three interim manager candidates who will be considered by the Destin City Council on Monday. The other two are former Destin Code Enforcement Officer Joseph Forgione and Rodney Lucas, who most recently served as the interim city manager of Groveland in Central Florida.
After citing issues such as a lack of trust in current City Manager Carisse LeJeune and a division between staff and the council, a majority of the council voted July 2 to ask LeJeune to resign. Council members accepted her resignation and the revised terms of her employment contract two weeks later.
LeJeune’s resignation would take effect immediately following the council’s appointment of the interim manager.
Johnson began working for the city in late 2003 and has served as its parks and recreation director since 2006. He is being recommended for the interim job by Buz Eddy, a senior adviser with the Florida City and County Management Association and International City/County Management Association.
Eddy’s services are provided at no cost.
At its special meeting last week, the council approved having Eddy work with Human Resources Manager Karen Jankowski to find candidates for the interim position.
Eddy recommends Johnson based on Johnson’s knowledge, skills and abilities, according to information in Monday’s meeting agenda.
At the council’s recent special meeting, Councilman Rodney Braden made a motion to have Forgione serve as interim manager, but the vote failed. Forgione served as a Destin code enforcement officer from late 2012 to mid-2017, and currently is the maintenance director for Sun-Kissed Cleaning and Maintenance in Santa Rosa Beach, according to his résumé.
The city's agreement with the appointed interim manager probably will include an open-ended length of service, Jankowski said Thursday. In addition to selecting its top pick, the council plans to set the pay and benefits for the temporary position.
While the interim job was not advertised to the public, the full-time city manager job will be, Jankowski said. The council will be asked to consider allowing Jankowski and Eddy to advertise for the full-time position.