Scandals no secret to administrator applicants (DOCUMENT)

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM.

Still, the county’s history of corruption has not appeared to curb interest in the county administrator’s post, which offers a salary of $120,000 to $150,000.

Baenzinger received resumes from 101 people hoping to replace outgoing County Administrator Jim Curry. The deadline to apply was Feb. 8.

The search has drawn interest from as far away as Canada and Mozambique. Applicants also have responded from dozens of states, including California, Michigan, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona.

“I’m comfortable with the candidates we have,” Baenzinger said. “We’re going to get a really good county administrator. … There’s always going to be some that aren’t qualified and then there will be some that are well qualified but who aren’t the right fit.”

Most of the candidates are from Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Applicants from Northwest Florida include Don Turner, Okaloosa County’s director of facilities maintenance; Lawrence Johnson, a project manager at L-3 Communications in Niceville; former Walton County Commissioner Larry Jones; and interim Walton County Administrator Gerry A. Demers.

“You typically find that people like to stay in their own part of the country,” Baenzinger said. “I thought most of our candidates would come from the Southeast.”

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