New town man­ager to be cho­sen

The Palm Beach Post - - IN YOUR COMMUNITY -

Af­ter start­ing with about 60 ap­pli­cants from around the na­tion, the Jupiter Town Coun­cil is sched­uled to se­lect a new town man­ager at 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day at the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

The two fi­nal­ists are:

■ Matt Benoit, city man­ager, Huntsville, Texas.

■ David Buck­ing­ham, city man­ager, Morro Bay, Calif.

Many Jupiter res­i­dents may be won­der­ing, what does a town man­ager do?

Ac­cord­ing to the ad placed by Keller, Texas-based Strate­gic Gov­ern­ment Re­sources (SGR) to find can­di­dates, the man­ager “pre­pares a rec­om­mended bud­get, re­cruits, hires, and man­ages the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment staff and ad­vises the coun­cil.”

In Jupiter’s case, that would mean the new man­ager would be in charge of a $90 mil­lion an­nual bud­get with about 380 em­ploy­ees. The man­ager makes the fi­nal de­ci­sion on fir­ing town em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

SGR was a big cheer­leader for Jupiter in the ad the com­pany placed for the job.

The cham­ber of com­merce couldn’t have done any bet­ter:

“Pris­tine beaches, un­matched recre­ational of­fer­ings, stun­ning scenic vis­tas, a high qual­ity of life, and ac­cess to world-class ameni­ties are just a few of the rea­sons roughly 60,000 peo­ple are proud to call Jupiter home. The Town of Jupiter has come a long way from its early days as a pioneer vil­lage for fish­er­men and an­i­mal trap­pers dur­ing the turn of the 20th cen­tury,” read the ad.

The ad also noted the Maltz Jupiter The­atre, Florida At­lantic Univer­sity, beaches, Roger Dean Sta­dium, Har­bour­side Place, River­bend Park, Scripps Re­search In­sti­tute and the Jupiter In­let Light­house,

“The red brick light­house (that) stands 105 feet in the sky.”

SGR was paid $18,500 to find ap­pli­cants. Ad­di­tional ex­penses are not to ex­ceed $8,500, ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment with the town.

Former Town Man­ager Andy Lukasik, 47, who was paid about $180,000 an­nu­ally, left March 18 to be vil­lage man­ager in North Palm Beach. Lukasik was in the Jupiter po­si­tion since 2004.

The new man­ager can ex­pect some im­me­di­ate chal­lenges, such as:

■ Whether to spend up to $36 mil­lion for a new Town Hall/po­lice com­plex, re­duc­ing traf­fic on In­diantown Road and how to han­dle water­front devel­op­ment.

■ De­ter­min­ing what con­struc­tion method to use for the new $120 mil­lion U.S. 1 bridge over the Lox­a­hatchee River, just north of the Burt Reynolds Bridge. Ar­gu­ments are brew­ing on what is a bet­ter idea: Keep the bridge open to traf­fic and fin­ish the job in about four years, or close the bridge for about a year and fin­ish the job in about three years. Busi­ness­peo­ple, lo­cals, boaters and res­i­dents all are ex­pected to reg­is­ter their ideas.

About 21,000 mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cles daily go over the draw­bridge, built in 1958.

The new bridge is ex­pected to last 75 years, ac­cord­ing to county records. Con­struc­tion is planned to start in

July 2021.

■ How to han­dle in­creas­ing traf­fic in In­diantown Road. Plans are un­der con­sid­er­a­tion to spend $2 mil­lion to add side­walks and bi­cy­cle lanes to In­diantown Road east of U.S. 1.

■ What to do with the 2 acres of va­cant Daniels Way prop­erty next to the Jupiter Com­mu­nity Cen­ter re­cently bought by the town for $3 mil­lion.

Pre­lim­i­nary plans call for build­ing a round­about on the par­cel on In­diantown Road at Daniels Way. Us­ing the land for re­cre­ation and mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices is another con­sid­er­a­tion.

■ Devel­op­ment of two large parcels on In­diantown Road:

One of them is a 58-acre par­cel strad­dling Is­land Way in Jupiter that was bought last sum­mer by Cross­roads 6101 LLC. The land, just east of In­ter­state 95 and north of In­diantown Road, was owned by DDR Jupiter Falls, an af­fil­i­ate of Beach­wood, Ohio-based DDR Corp. Ho­tels, restau­rants, ware­houses, clin­i­cal re­search, day care and light man­u­fac­tur­ing are among the uses al­lowed un­der the cur­rent zon­ing.

The other par­cel is the Hawk­eye prop­erty on 82 acres is just south of In­diantown Road and east of I-95. Pre­lim­i­nary plans call for 1 mil­lion square feet of cor­po­rate/high tech of­fice space.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Jupiter may spend up to $36 mil­lion to build a new Town Hall / po­lice depart­ment com­plex.

Bill DiPaolo

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