By Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Clearwater is searching for its newest city manager, and one of the frontrunners is Tamarac City Manager Michael Cernech.
After 20 years, their city manager, Bill Horne, is retiring, and according to the Tampa Bay Times, the city’s recruiter received 91 applications, and have narrowed it down to five.
Michael Cernech, who has managed the City of Tamarac for 10 years and worked for the city for 20, is their top pick.
Cernech said he let the mayor and commissioners know he was selected as a finalist, and they knew he had been asked to apply.
The Clearwater Council praised the city’s exceptional services under his management, from various governmental awards, high customer satisfaction, and an AA+ bond rating, but most notably how he handled himself when controversy arose among the elected officials, especially after the Sun-Sentinel reported Tamarac city commissioners proposed a series of financial perks for themselves, including increased coverage of travel expenses and other stipends.
Commissioner Mike Gelin directed Cernech to pick apart the newspaper’s coverage, but he refused, saying the stories were accurate, the Sentinel reported.
“I appreciated that respecting the role of journalism and not going the fake news route was very important to me,” council member Mark Bunker said.
In 2019, Cernech was chosen for the top job leading Delray Beach; however, they could not come to an agreement, and he stayed with the City of Tamarac.
Besides his experience in city management, Cernech holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree in public administration from Trinity University. He has also attended the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Cernech sits on the Florida City/County Management’s Association (FCCMA) Board of Directors for District 5 and was newly appointed secretary/treasurer. He also recently served three terms as secretary/treasurer of the Broward City-County Management Association (BCCMA).
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Council members noted Cernech has been calling community leaders to gain insight about Clearwater. Mayor Frank Hibbard said he spotted Cernech at the downtown “Sip and Stroll” last weekend but that their introduction lasted less than 60 seconds, and they did not discuss the job.
“I have to admit I was impressed he was in town to at least see Clearwater,” Hibbard said.
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- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.