At least one familiar face has jumped into the race to become Citrus County’s next county administrator.
Tobey Phillips, currently the deputy county administrator in Hernando County, was one of 20 people who submitted an application to Georgia-based Slavin Management Consultants, the headhunter firm vetting the position for the county.
Phillips said she remembers walking into the county courthouse more than 41 years ago with her father, who had been named the first county administrator of Citrus County.
“Even as a 4-year-old, I understood the importance of this position and did my best to help him hang pictures, arrange the furniture and load the stapler.”
Before taking the Hernando County position in 2019, she served as Citrus County Community Services Director from 2015-19 and the county’s public information officer from 2013-15. She was also executive assistant to the commissioners from 2012-13.
Phillips’ familiarity with the county is one reason she said she is qualified to take the top government spot.
“I have owned a home here for 24 years,” she wrote in her application. “I pay taxes here, I vote here, I sleep here.”
Phillips said this is “a critical time in Citrus County government,” especially with two new commissioners coming to the board. The past year has been “harrowing for this struggling and often contentious board,” she said.
She cites the battle over library displays in public libraries, questionable responses to employee satisfaction surveys, the demand for adequate facilities for sheltered pets, the COVID pandemic’s continuing effects, transportation debates and affordable housing shortages.
After more than seven years on the job, County Administrator Randy Oliver in February submitted his resignation and told the board he would stay no later than Nov. 29 for the county to find a replacement.
County commissioners hope to have the new administrator on board by Sept. 5, giving Oliver time to work with his replacement during the transition.
Oliver said all applications have not been screened as of yet and are not to be considered recommended candidates.
The first review of résumé is scheduled for Aug. 19, he said.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch at other candidates with their current or most recent full-time job listed:
Lee Daugherty, district manager with Hometowne Studios motel chain in Columbus, Ohio (August 2021 to present)
Jason Davis, a division director with Palm Beach County Water Utilities 2019 to present)
Angelo DiPierro, manager of the office of financial management & budget in Palm Beach County (February 1995 to present)
Brian Geoghegan, city manager for Howell Township, New Jersey (2017-22)
Susan Goebel-Canning, director of the Stormwater and Vegetation Division for Pinellas County (July 2019 to present)
Thomas Heeney, political science adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (August 2011 to present)
Steve Howard, county administrator in Camden County, Georgia (August 2007 to present)
Patrick Jordan, city manager in Escanaba, Michigan (June 2017 to present)
Benjamin Limmer, general manager, operations with RATP Development USA in Charlotte, North Carolina, a public transit transportation company (May 2020 to present).
Patrick Marsh, acting city manager with the city of Fernley in Nevada (Jan. 1, 2022 to present)
Scott McCord, director of McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department in Tennessee (2012-21); Working part-time now as a funeral director assistant in McMinnville.
Jeffrey McKittrick, housing program manager in Pasco County, Florida (2020 to present).
Patrick O’Connor, finance director for City of College Park (October 2017 to March 2018).
Kimberly Price, Director of Human Resources & Risk Management in Brooksville, Florida (October 2020 to present).
Hector Rivera Sr., consultant for Casals & Associates (a management consulting services firm) in Washington D.C. (February 2010 to present)
Rick Rudometkin, deputy city manager for the city of Huntsville, Texas (March 2021 to present).
Jane Shang, city manager for Deltona, Florida (June 2015 to January 2020)
Leonard Sossamon, interim city manager in Woodbury, New Jersey (2021 to present) He was also the county administrator in Hernando County from 2012-2019)
Robbi Stivers, chief fiscal officer and finance director for the city of Dayton in Ohio (October 2021 to present).