By Sharon Aron Baron
As the top pick out of five candidates, he was almost a shoo-in for the city manager position for Clearwater, FL, but on Monday, Michael Cernech announced he had changed his mind.
In a memo obtained by Tamarac Talk, Cernech told staff how difficult these decisions could be, but after doing a significant amount of community outreach in the Clearwater community and visiting the city multiple times with his family over the last ten weekends, he did a lot of soul-searching.
After discussing it with his family, he decided this was not the right time to pursue the opportunity and formally withdrew from the recruitment process.
Cernech, who lives in Parkland with his wife and two school-aged children, was previously city manager of Shavano Park, TX, before being hired as an assistant city manager in Tamarac in 2001 for $85,000 a year plus benefits. In 2011, he became city manager after Jeff Miller retired, starting at a $202,500 salary including a three and a six percent raise each January. In 2019 his salary was $256,520 plus benefits.
Cernech will have challenges ahead.
On Wednesday, Commissioner Mike Gelin penciled in a discussion “identifying potential candidates and hiring the new city manager.”
Cernech didn’t come to Gelin’s defense after the Sun-Sentinel exposed the commission’s outrageous spending. Nor did he allow the city attorney and city media person to accompany Gelin to an interview with the Sun-Sentinel.
Cernech wrote in a memo, “…I would also not expect them to back down from their position on the local travel allowance. … The editorial board will be very quick to call BS on an attempt to simply change the narrative.”
Gelin later canceled the interview.
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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.