TREASURE ISLAND — Interim city clerk Celine Kidwell has been unanimously chosen by the City Commission to fill the charter position post.
Under the city’s charter, commissioners are responsible for hiring three top employees — the city manager, city attorney, and city clerk.
During a July 19 meeting, at least one commissioner noted the city already knew it had a very qualified and well-trained candidate, but felt the need to appease residents who wanted to open up the hiring process to outside candidates.
Commissioner Saleene Partridge told Kidwell, “Thanks for being patient and being part of that process. I think we all knew, our gut was that you would prevail anyway.”
Human Resources Director Tiffany Makras said the city posted and recruited for the position and received seven applications. The commission then identified the top three candidates to interview.
Those candidates were interviewed July 11 by a committee consisting of Makras and the fire and police chiefs.
Following the interviews, it was a unanimous decision that Kidwell be offered the job. She was hired in March 2018 by former City Manager Garry Brumback as deputy city clerk and executive assistant to the city manager.
Kidwell was assigned the interim position after former City Clerk Ruth Nickerson, who was hired in June 2018, resigned this April.
“I am super grateful for the time I have spent here, serving this beautiful little city,” Nickerson wrote to city officials.
Kidwell came to the city after working as an executive administrator for Keller Williams in Miami Shores in 2017-18.
The selection committee’s second choice was Kristin Cook, a Dunedin resident who from May to October 2021 worked as deputy city clerk in Holmes Beach. In her application she wrote that she left the Holmes Beach position due to the commute. Before Holmes Beach, Cook was senior administrative assistant to the Dunedin city clerk from July 2019 to May 2021.
A third candidate who reportedly left the interview process early was David Yunk, a Tampa resident, who since 2018 has been managing the office of a Hillsborough County commissioner as an aide.
Commissioner Beth Wetzel pointed out that commissioners had individual discussions with City Manager Amy Davis and Makras regarding the qualifications of the candidates.
“Our internal person, Celine, was the best choice,” Wetzel added.
“I think Celine will be a fantastic replacement moving up,” said Mayor Tyler Payne. “She’s been training for it for a long time, and been doing very well at it her current duties. So, I think that’s exactly what succession planning is for and it’s great that we have someone in the barrel ready to take over, who has been filling those shoes for several weeks.”
In her application letter, Kidwell stated, “I would be proud to serve as the city clerk for Treasure Island residents.” She added ,“I further believe that my professional experience in both business and government, my temperament and people skills, will be an asset to the city of Treasure Island.”