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Islamorada Community alliance

Advocacy For Residents, Education and Preservation


New Manager Selected May 6, 2022

Thomas “Ted” Yates was unanimously selected as our new Village Manager at a special call meeting held at 1:30 pm Friday May 6, 2022.  Ted is currently the Mayor of Twinsburg Ohio. 

When applying for the position with the Village he provided the principles and values that have led to his success as a city leader: Lead by example; utilize your team members; get your hands dirty; show compassion for others; create a positive organizational culture.

Ted is married to Sharon Yates and they have three children, two adults out on their own and one still in college. 

Next step: Vice Mayor Henry Rosenthal was selected by Council to immediately negotiate the terms of a contract with Yates. Yates expects to be able to start work here by July 1. 

When the process was finished Councilman Buddy Pinder commented about the fact that in the initial “straw” vote Yates received four first place votes and one second place vote.   “I prayed for unity in making this decision.  And we did work good together.  The outcome was spectacular.”

Village Manager Selection Again: 2022

In January 2022, we lost our tenth manager since 1999.  Greg Oravec left on January 27, 2022, after serving less than seven months. The council agreed to pay him through March 31, 2022.   

So, once again, Islamorada is seeking a new village manager -- the 11th in its 22-year history.  Prior to the resignation of Oravec, according to Acting Village Manager Maria Bassett, all former managers except one were asked to leave, including Lawless. The exception was Bernie LaPira, who retired.

The contract with the consulting firm of Colin Baenziger calls for the firm to provide a second selection process at no cost to the Village if the manager selected the first attempt does not stay for a full year.  The Council agreed to let the firm provide a new list of potential candidates.   

It was announced at the Thursday March 10, 2022 Village Council meeting that eight prospective new Village Managers have been selected by the Village consultant for consideration.  Consultant Colin Baenziger sent the Village detailed information about his top choices from over 50 applicants.  According to Baenziger, while the Council was hoping to find a candidate with local experience, several local candidates applied but were eliminated.   

The Council was provided a book to study: 2 inches of paper printed on both sides.  For each candidate, Baenziger provided a cover letter and resume, candidate introduction, background checks, CB&A reference notes, and Internet Search. 

The next step in the process will be decided at the next council meeting, March 31, 2022.

The follow list of candidates is in alphabetical order.  The dollar amount following their name is their current salary if provided in the council book.  Click on their name to see the complete documentation that was provided to the Village Council:  

  • Ted Blackburn, former resident and member of Village Council 
  • Matthew Garside ($110,000): town manager from Poland Maine, educated at Harvard, MIT, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, military background.
  • Julian Jackson ($177,000): extensive management experience, Georgia and South Carolina, runner up to manager position when Seth Lawless was hired
  • Joseph Kerby ($220,000): County Administrator from Benton, Oregon, and prior management experience in Colorado Springs
  • Don Rosenthal ($163,500): previously assistant County administrator Pasco Co Florida, and building official in Reno, Nevada and Atlanta Georgia 
  • Lee Staab ($165,000): West Point graduate, military background, county/city management 5 years, independent contractor specializing in business operations in the Middle East and other high risk areas. 
  • David Williams ($160,000): financial background, municipal management in Town of Sherborn, Massachusetts, since 2013
  • Thomas Yates ($122,000): attorney, mayor and public safety director in Twinsburg, Ohio for last 7 years, following 6 years on city council there

As the candidate information is studied, we will provide additional information and thoughts.

The other position council appoints is the village attorney.

Maria Bassett is serving as acting manager by the council, the third time she has stepped up and was selected to serve as acting manager.  She is also serving as the Finance Director.

Our vision

To enhance the community of Islamorada by preserving the quality of life of the residents as well as the beauty and vitality of the native ecosystems and to stop any further degradation of our community from over-development.

Mission statement

To provide the Islamorada residents with information about events occurring in our community that will impact our quality of life, preservation of our native ecosystems, land development, lawful and transparent governance.


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Islamorada Community Alliance

P.O. Box 1507

Tavernier, FL  33070-1507

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