Deputy Mayor Wants to Be City Manager

Bill Phillips was disappointed with the pool of candidates for city manager of New Port Richey and now is putting his name in the running.

Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips didn’t find much to recommend in the last crop of candidates who applied to be city manager of New Port Richey. 

Now, he’s putting his own name in the running.

Phillips, 56, stood before the City Council Sept. 23 and told them he wants to apply for the job.

“I’m confident that I could make a positive contribution to the city of New Port Richey if you’d allow me to interview for the position,” Phillips told the council.

The city manager isn't the only role city leaders need to fill. Dillinger fired the city finance and human resource directors last week but has been mum on why.

Phillips was raised in New Port Richey and is a lead sales generator for a national roofing company. He touted decades of business management and sales experience to the councilmembers Monday, as well as a record of community involvement in Pasco. Phillips led the committee that originally crafted the Penny for Pasco 1-cent sales tax.  He also served a previous term on the city council in he 1990s.

The city embarked on a search for a new manager this year to replace John Schneiger, who left this past October after saying he felt he lost the support of the council at that time. Library director Susan Dillinger has been serving as interim city manager since Schneiger’s departure.

When presented last week with the short list of candidates for city manager, Phillips expressed disappointment. The only names he liked on there were Peter Altman, a former mayor of New Port Richey and former Pasco County commissioner, and Ron Rabun, a former administrator for Seminole and Manatee counties. He dropped out of the running.

City Council members decided that week to throw out the candidate pool and start the search from scratch.

Phillips wants to apply for the job by Oct. 4.

On Monday, Phllips pointed out that he had local knowledge, experience with working with city staff and the ability “hit the ground running and move the city forward with a team approach.” He also said he has “key insight” into the city’s relationship with the county, business community and the citizens of New Port Richey.

“This is my city,” he said. “And it’s always been the place I called home. I’m willing to make the minimum of a five-year commitment to New Port Richey.”

City Council members didn’t express any opinions Monday on whether they’ll accept Phillips’ resume. He’d likely have to give up his role on the council if he takes a job as city manager. He'll be able continue on as a council member through the selection process if city council members accept his application, but  he might have to refrain from city manager hiring deliberations.

Nancy MacDonald September 25, 2013 at 08:15 AM
I certainly would support Bill Phillips for city manager. I have been impressed with the capabilities of Mr. Phillips and Mr. Starkey. They have helped turn our city around. And, I approve of Chief Bogart. I think the direction we are taking is a 180 toward improving our community. Nancy
Connie Gorby September 25, 2013 at 08:27 AM
Got my vote
L V September 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Why didn't the Council think of promoting Phillips and why didn't Phillips put his name in the basket with all the other candidates before they were tossed? Something doesn't sound right!
Nancy MacDonald September 25, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Hi LV, no nothing sounds fishy; in fact Phillips probably was happy where he was and was looking forward to selecting a good city manager. When none appeared in the first round, he decided he might as well throw his hat in for the second round. There is a certain due process that has to be followed--he can't just throw his name in before they were tossed--process dictated that the majority of the people who had done the interviewing on the first basket of candidates and felt none was worthy of selection, had to request a second round of formal open to all interested candidates to make everything fair. Just thought I'd get that out in the open. Nancy


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