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Slaton a Finalist for New Smyrna Beach Position, Gets High Marks From Treasure Island Commission in New Job Search

Lake Wales Manager Seeks Opportunities Elsewhere

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Lake Wales City Manager James Slaton is a semi-finalist in two other cities' searches for a new manager, indicating his time in Lake Wales is likely drawing to a close. Slaton has worked in city government here for more than 20 years.

Lake Wales City manager James is among a group of five finalists and two alternates that have been winnowed from a long list of candidates being considered for the city manager's job there following a Thursday evening special meeting of the beach town's city commission.

The discussion among that city's board focused on the mechanisms that will be employed in interviewing the candidates, some of whom come from distant states and will fly in to inte4rviews.

Discussion within the city commission of the Pinellas County community of Treasure Island Wednesday indicates that Slaton is being given very serious consideration for a job offer there as well.

His potential departure from Lake Wales comes at a pivotal time as work is underway on the ambitious Connected plan, as well as multiple other efforts, many of which he has initiated.

Slaton, 47, is considered a semi-finalist for city manager in Treasure Island. Slaton is being represented in both cities by Doug Thomas, executive vice president of recruitment and leadership development for Strategic Government Resources. SGR is a widely used "headhunter" firm that assists government and private businesses fill key roles. Thomas, a former city manager of Lakeland, explained to commissioners there that he is personally familiar with Slaton.

Slaton has a Masters degree in Management and Leadership, a Bachelors degree in Public Administration, and holds a certification from the International City managers Association (ICMA-CA) from the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia. Those credentials have given him a boost in his job search.

Among his competitors for the New Smyrna Beach position is Patrick Marsh, ICMA – CM, who now lives in Port Charlotte, FL, but has worked in city management in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nevada, and Jeff Mihelich, ICMA-CM of Bozeman, MT, who has experience in western states including Colorado and Arizona.

Other candidates include Kevin Cowper of Dothan, AL, Douglas K. Maxeiner of Moline, IL, Carmen Y. Davis of Lake Worth Beach, FL, and Bilal Iftikhar, P.E., Esq., MPA, of Longwood, FL.

Slaton has spent his entire career in city government in Lake Wales, rising from an internship to become the Internet technologies director. He moved through a variety of positions and duties before becoming the deputy city manager under Ken Fields. When Fields was asked to resign in 2020, Slaton served as interim manager for six months before signing the long-term contract on November 20 that year.

City of Treasure Island

A video of commission discussion from the Treasure Island city commission on Wednesday indicates that Slaton is receiving serious consideration there.


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