Tarpon Springs commissioners take next step in city manager search

City Manager Mark LeCouris

TARPON SPRINGS — City commissioners unanimously approved the brochure that will be used by Slavin Management Consultants to conduct a search for Tarpon Springs’ next city manager.

The vote was made with no comment by commissioners, other than Commissioner Panagiotis Koulias noting he wished the brochure’s photos gave more emphasis to the Sponge Docks area.

In his report to city commissioners, Mayor Costa Vatikiotis said Slavin will be taking a comprehensive approach to the search for longtime City Manager Mark LeCouris' successor by means of traditional advertising and word of mouth through his contacts. The consultant does not intend to have an end date on the advertising, the mayor advised.

The brochure notes “While Tarpon Springs is open and amenable to new ideas, the community is seeking to continue and enhance an authentic direction for Tarpon Springs that builds on its historic character relating to the sponge industry located in its downtown retail center and areas along its waterways. Thus, the present challenge is that of maintaining an authentic, small-town experience for the residents, with amenities that reflect its historic context, as well as allow for new development that enhances the desires of the community but does not destroy its historic character.”

“The community has a number of challenges related to redevelopment, new development (limited opportunities), neighborhood preservation and enhancement, public works projects related to water intrusion from the bay, and funding and implementing various water and sewer rehabilitation and restoration projects,” it advises.

Among job requirements, the brochure notes a city manager candidate must “be respectful and value Tarpon Springs’ rich history and unique culture and be willing and respect the city’s Greek and Caribbean African American heritage.”

The candidate must “work effectively with environmental groups and be cognizant of their issues and concerns…Understand working waterfronts with knowledge of commercial waterfront preservation and development; (and) understand what is needed to maintain federal and navigable federal and recreational channels (Anclote River and various bayous in Tarpon Springs).”

A copy of the brochure is available from the City Clerk’s Office.

Tuition free SPC available to Tarpon High graduates in 2023

Graduating seniors from Tarpon Springs High School in 2023, and four other schools throughout the Pinellas County, are eligible for free tuition from the SPC Promise Scholarships Program.

During a May 9 presentation, Rodrigo Davis, provost of SPC College Tarpon Springs Campus told city commissioners, “SPC is offering scholarships to students graduating in key high schools and Tarpon happens to be one of those key high schools. This is a big, big, deal.”

The four other eligible high schools are Clearwater High School, Lakewood High School, Northeast High School and Pinellas Park High School.

In order to qualify, a high school student needs to have the minimum 2.0 GPA required for high school graduation. He explained under the scholarship program SPC will pay full tuition and fees for associates degrees and financial aid eligible certificates.

Students planning to graduate in 2023 can apply on the SPC website, complete the financial aid form, and the Promise Scholarship form. The college will also waive the $40 application fee.

In order to be eligible, they have to enroll in at least six credit hours for fall 2023 classes, which start Aug. 14.

SPC also offers “Last Mile Scholarships” for its students within 12 credit hours of obtaining their first associate or bachelor’s degree.

In order to be eligible students must be a Florida resident and have attended SPC within the last 8 years, meeting “satisfactory academic progress, a demonstrate need, or have a 3.0 Program GPA.

For more information visit the St Petersburg College website, the St Pete College Tarpon Campus Facebook page or call the college admissions office.