By Mike Lednovich
Citizens can meet and ask questions Monday of the four final candidates for the vacant Fernandina Beach City Manager position. A “meet and greet” event is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Fernandina Municipal Golf Course clubhouse, 2800 Bill Melton Road.
The finalists are Andy Butterfield, Lee Smith, Mark Rooney and Ty Ross. They will be formally interviewed by city commissioners on Tuesday, the next step in the process.
Butterfield has never been a city manager. He is the operations manager for the city of St. Pete Beach, Florida (population 8,700) since 2019. He is a former Deputy Joint Base Commander in the U.S. Navy.
Smith boasts the most extensive experience, having been county administrator for Chatham County, Georgia (population 296,000) for eight years. Prior to that, Smith was Wayne County Manager, North Carolina (population 124,000) for 13 years.
Ross has been the city manager of Loudon, Tennessee (population 6,700) since 2017. He previously served as the city administrator for Dalton, Georgia (population 33,000) for seven years.
Rooney recently served as the village administrator for Round Beach Lake, Illinois (population 27,000). Rooney previously had been the town manager for Westerly, Rhode Island (population 22,000) for three years, the village manager for Carpentersville, Illinois (population 38,000) for eight years, and also held the chief of staff position for North Chicago, Illinois (population 32,000) for just one year.