ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Florida -- Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton will be looking for a new job as St. Lucie County Administrator on April 8th and 9th, according to a St. Lucie County public notice.
Tipton is one of four final candidates vying for the St. Lucie position. The candidates will first meet with St. Lucie residents on Tuesday followed by interviews with each of the St. Lucie County Commissioners on Wednesday.
Last July, Tipton proposed that the Brevard County Commission designate Deputy County Manager Stockton Whitten as "County Manager In Waiting" following Tipton's announcement that he will retire from Brevard County in the fall of 2014.
But all of the Brevard County residents who spoke at last year's Commission meeting about the succession plan were opposed to it. "This succession plan is totally out of order," said Merritt Island resident John Weiler. "I recommend that you accept Tipton's resignation immediately. He [Mr. Whitten] should compete for it."
But Commissioner Chuck Nelson said that FLORIDA TODAY "got it right" in the paper's editorial in support of Tipton's succession plan.
Upset at what she sees as paying two people for the same position, Commissioner Trudie Infantini was the only one who voted against Tipton's plan. "It doesn't seem to be to the best interest of the taxpayer to pay for 15 months salary, plus 6 months severance pay on top of that, plus annual leave, sick leave, retirement and health benefits - its too much for the taxpayer to bear," said Infantini.