Caryn Miller and Scott Janke, who whirled in and out of Flagler Beach’s chaotic—and still unresolved—thrashing around for a new city manager last year, are two of the five candidates invited for interviews to be city manager in Polk City, a small burg 134 miles west of Flagler Beach. Miller was the only one chosen by all five of Polk City’s council members for the $70,000-a-year job. Polk City’s population of 1,500 is less than a third that of Flagler Beach.
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- Janke Offers to Withdraw from Flagler Beach Manager’s Job Amid New X-Rated Allegations
A third Flagler Beach alumni, Bill Veach, the city manager in Flagler Beach from January 2005 to August 2006 (when he was replaced with Bernie Murphy), had made an earlier shortlist of 12 in Polk City, only to withdraw his name from contention. Veach is division director of hotels and restaurants with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, though his job, like many state jobs since Gov. Rick Scott’s election, may be in jeopardy.
Miller abruptly resigned as director of Flagler Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency on Feb. 25, after five years on the job. She’d applied to be city manager, made that shortlist, but didn’t make it past the interviews. When the Flagler Beach City Commission stalemated over a permanent choice, she was picked as acting city manager on Sept. 30, only to be bumped off that job on Jan. 2, as commissioners, in a split vote, appointed Bruce Campbell acting manager in her place. Campbell is essentially auditioning for a permanent appointment, and has the clear support of three commissioners. He needs a fourth. There is no majority on the commission for a new manager search. When she resigned from her 51,000-a-year job the morning of Feb. 25, Miller, who lives in DeLand, cited personal reasons and her health.
Scott Janke never held a job in Flagler Beach. But the city for several weeks was spellbound as his name topped the list of commission favorites until his candidacy unraveled when his wife’s past as a porn star, which had cost Janke his former job as city manager in Fort Myers Beach two years ago, derailed his chances locally. The fact that his wife (from whom Janke said he was separated) was starring in X-rated movies was no longer the issue. The commission was willing to look past the story and not hold Janke himself responsible. But in mid-September allegations arose that Janke himself was allegedly in one of the movies, called “The Councilman’s Wife.” He offered to withdraw his candidacy, and the commission looked past him. Janke also failed to land a job in Bonita Springs, among other places.
The Polk City opening drew just 65 applicants (compared to Flagler Beach attracting 140 applicants). Polk City is unusual, in that many responsibilities normally managed by city departments, including utilities, law enforcement and fire services, have been contracted out. There’s also a possibility that the city would be dissolved. The council whittled the list down to five applicants Monday evening. It’s not offering the applicants more than mileage—55 cents a mile—should they decide to interview.
According to The Ledger in Lakeland, which covers Polk City, “Several candidates were eliminated because they had raised their salary expectations beyond what they indicated with their applications.”Why do we need to pay someone more than $60,000 to manage a city with no departments?” Don Kimsey, one of the council members, asked. He chose only Miller and Waldron for interviews, according to The Ledger, “and I don’t really like them,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience.