The community is invited to meet and greet the five candidates for City Manager of Key West. On February 13th from 4-7 p.m. they will be on hand to talk with community members. The Meet and Greet will be held upstairs at the Waterfront Brewery at the Historic Seaport.
The finalists for the position are David Burke, Albert Childress, Thaddeus Cohen, Abraham Conn, and Lisa Hendrickson.
This gathering is one of the final steps in a process that began last August with the retention of the Mercer Group, who headed up the search. That same month, the mayor and commissioners appointed members of the community to a selection committee that honed down the list of finalists.
The committee provided their recommendations, and now it’s up to the mayor and commissioners to select the next city manager. The candidates will be meeting one on one with the commissioners and meeting department directors. The meetings will culminate in this great opportunity for all of the community to meet with the candidates and ask them questions.
The commission intends to name a new city manager on Wednesday, February 15th at a special meeting that begins at 5 p.m. in City Hall.
The City’s current City Manager Patti McLauchlin’s contract expires in July. She told the commission last July that she intended to retire when the contract expires after having served more than 40 years with the City of Key West.
In response to community requests, and to ensure pedestrian safety on the busy Eaton Street, the City of Key West has improved center line markings and signage in the area of Elizabeth, Margaret, and William streets.
Eaton Street is a county road, so our engineering and community services departments met with the county to ensure there were no objections.
Given the green light, the improvements were made.
“We are happy to do all we can to improve the safety of our residents and visitors,” said City Manager Patti McLaughlin. “This part of Old Town is quite congested, and we need to remind people to yield to pedestrians.”
Chief Sean Brandenburg last week swore in a newly promoted lieutenant and a newly promoted sergeant. Lt. Bill Vazquez was promoted from Special Investigations Sergeant to Night Watch Patrol Lieutenant. Sgt. Karl Malsheimer was promoted from General Case Detective to Night Watch Sergeant.
Both gentlemen were born and raised in Key West. Lt. Vazquez joined the department in 2012 and is following in his father Alfredo Vazquez’s shoes in law enforcement. Capt. Alfredo Vazquez retired from the Key West Police Department after 30 years of service.
Sgt. Malsheimer came to the department in 2011 and has served with distinction. Both he and Lt. Vazquez have garnered numerous commendations, including the Life Saving Award.
“Lt. Vazquez and Sgt. Malsheimer have earned these positions,” said Chief Brandenburg. “I’m proud of their service and have full confidence in their leadership of the men and women of the Key West Police Department.”
City Manager Patti McLauchlin named Lead Maintenance Worker Christopher Coleman Employee of the Quarter.
“Christopher is the epitome of a hard, hard worker,” McLauchlin said. “Anything he’s asked to do, he does it well and he does it fast.”
Coleman joined Community Services in May of 2019 and worked his way up to his current position.
McLauchlin noted that she really got to know him when the pandemic hit. Coleman’s role was to keep the surfaces and microphones sterile during City meetings. She noted that, no matter how long the meetings lasted, Coleman maintained a smiling, positive attitude.
“Christopher is a great example to other employees of the City,” she said.
City Manager Patti McLauchlin was recently awarded The Zonta Club of Key West’s Community Service Award.
“Zonta is a service organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women through service and advocacy,” said outgoing Zonta President Amber Shaffer.
“This year’s selection for Zonta's Community Service award holds the top executive position in the City,” she said as she presented the award. “She works every day to improve our City and the lives of our residents.”
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