By DOTTY NIST
Walton County received four applications for its newly-created land use attorney position, according to Mark Davis, interim county attorney.
The application deadline for the position was April 24. Davis said he, Walton County Planning and Development Services Director Wayne Dyess, and Walton County Planning Manager Mac Carpenter would be reviewing the applications and making a recommendation to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) regarding the hiring of a land use attorney.
Applicants for the position include Ken Goldberg, Bryant Olive & Miller, and Nabors Giblin & Nickerson, all based in Tallahassee, along with Lois LaSeur of Santa Rosa Beach.
According to the job description included in the advertisement for the position, the land use attorney’s primary practice areas will be “representing and advising the Walton County Planning Department, Code Enforcement Department and other land use staffs regarding land use issues and development applications in Walton County.”
Davis said that the land use attorney position would be a contract position, at least initially, in order to see how the new position works out.
In response to an information request, Walton County Public Information Manager Louis Svehla relayed details from Walton County Human Resources on applicants to be interviewed for the vacant Walton County Public Works Director position. Human resources is serving as hiring authority for this position, according to Svehla.
Of the eight public works director candidates to be interviewed are several existing Walton County Public Works staff members. One of those is Wilmer C. Stafford, operations manager for public works administration, who is currently serving as interim public works director. Gregory H. Graham, engineering services manager for public works engineering, and Ryan A. Douglass, construction engineering manager for public works administration, have also applied.
Other public works director interviewees include Hector D. Castro of Pensacola, Chris E. Davezac of Zachary, La., Ramon D. Gavarrete of Sebring, and Robert B. Zaitooni of Orlando. Human resources did not provide the name of an additional person to be interviewed, place of residence DeFuniak Springs, stating that this information was exempt from disclosure based on Florida Statute 119.071.
As of May 2, no interview date(s) had been scheduled for the public works director interviewees. Svehla said a committee would be formed to interview the applicants and make a recommendation to the county administrator, who would make a selection. Gerry Demers is currently serving as interim county administrator.
Regarding the vacant South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC) director position, on May 2 Svehla reported that eight candidates had confirmed that they would be interviewing for the position. These candidates are: Douglas C. Traub, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Robert L. Warren, DeFuniak Springs; James “Jim” Bagby, Destin; Yan Baczkowski, Miami; Dennis A. Tracy, Jacksonville; Jessica L. Jarosz, Fort Walton Beach; Julie Morgan, Sweetwater, Tenn.; and Mary Chris Murry, Atlanta.
County commissioners are conducting one-on-one interviews with these applicants. Svehla said that Traub had been interviewed on April 26 and that the other TDC director candidates would be interviewed on May 8 and 9.