Town of Palm Beach News

Palm Beach Town Council Names Kirk Blouin as Town Manager

The Town of Palm Beach can now officially check a box to mark “done” on its laundry list of things-to-do, as it names Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin successor to Tom Bradford as the new Town Manager. The decision came in on Tuesday with a 3-2 vote and a strong sense of urgency behind the resolution, with even more pressing matters to be addressed close ahead.

Council members agreed in large part on the notion to move forward quickly; citing the need for new leadership, however not all members voted to name a successor so fast. Voting in the minority, Council Member Danielle Moore, and Council President Richard Kleid addressed the council, in favor of having internal candidates Paul Brazil, Public Works Director and Jay Boodheshwar, Deputy Town Manager, vetted before finalizing the decision.

The majority voters Zeidman, Araskog and Lindsay indicated that they would not have either the time nor interest in meeting with other interested candidates in a future meeting, believing Blouin to be capable.

Mayor Gail Coniglio, displeased with the process of the determination, proclaimed, “…what has happened today is very distressful to me.”

Council Member Bobbie Lindsay, who told of how the responsibility of selecting the Town Manager falls squarely on the shoulders of the council and not the public, remains,  “I don’t have a problem with public vetting…I just don’t know that it is necessary.”

Palm Beach Town Council Names Kirk Blouin as Town Manager

As of Tuesday, the Town Manager position opening had not yet been posted publicly and according to Human Resources, no other applications had been on file. Moore and Kleid voting against the council naming Blouin as Town Manager, was not directed toward Bloun’s capabilities, but in the effort of due process. Moore stated, “A decision made today would be one made in haste and one without a full, open transparent discussion.”

In December 2017, the council agreed to go in the direction of finding new leadership by conducting a national search for Tom Bradford’s replacement. Upon further review, it was later determined that a candidate search, and the hiring process could take up to 8 months before a new Town Manager’s contract is in place—costing the town time and money it does not have for the wasting.

Bloun’s 29-year work history and knowledge of the town’s interworking, could undoubtedly serve as an asset but will not be effective until the terms of Bradford’s contract is negotiated and approved by the council. Bradford could remain on as a consultant during the transitional phase and is working with John Randolph, Town Attorney to establish the terms. Because of his extensive working knowledge, the plan is to have Bradford stay on to assist with the major ongoing projects such as the comprehensive review of town operations, and the underground utilities overhaul.

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Next on the list, the Town is tasked with finding a replacement for Director of Planning, Zoning and Building John Page, who is now retired as of January 12th. A position several other internal candidates have applied for, one of which is rumored to be Tom Bradford.

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Jeanette

Jeanette

Jeanette has written for online magazines run by some of the biggest regional newspapers, college newspapers, and for various companies. She is most interested in local politics, music, and the 'foodie' scene of Palm Beach.

2 Comments

  1. February 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm — Reply

    […] Palm Beach Town Council Names Kirk Blouin as Town Manager […]

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