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Town completes contract with next manager

STEVE REID

HARMER


Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Longboat Key has pulled another star out of its farm system, otherwise known as Sarasota County.

Last week, the town commission voted 6-1 to hire the current Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer, as Town Manager to replace Dave Bullock who will retire in January.

Longboat Key plucked Bullock from Sarasota County six years ago and it was Bullock who honed in on Harmer as his ideal replacement.

The town will pay Harmer $187,000 per year in a five-year contract.

Harmer said he is excited at the opportunity to work on Longboat Key and all seven of the town commissioners praised his experience, knowledge, and accomplishments. The one criticism came from Vice Mayor Ed Zunz who was critical not of Harmer, but said that he felt the taxpayers deserved a more comprehensive search with several highly qualified candidates to choose between.

Specifically, Zunz was referring to the fact that the commission said it would entail on a larger search, but first they wanted Bullock to pursue any candidates he felt would make a strong match for the position as well as any candidates any individual commissioner may want to suggest. Bullock said that he had three potential candidates in mind, but two were unavailable and his top choice was Harmer who accepted the job.

Harmer will officially begin in the new role in December.

Harmer spent eight years as City Manager of Titusville on Florida’s Space Coast. He has served as Sarasota County’s Top Administrator since 2014 and spent several years in the private sector.

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