Okeechobee County to seek new administrator

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OKEECHOBEE – Okeechobee County Administrator Robbie Chartier announced her resignation this week. Her last day working for the county is Jan. 19, 2021. Beginning Feb.1, 2021, she will be the executive director of Public Risk Management of Florida.

“I am looking forward to living in my community, participating from a citizen perspective and will assist the Board with the transition to make it as smooth as possible,” she said.

“Our county administrator is going to be moving on to bigger and better opportunities,” Okeechobee County Commission Chair Terry Burroughs said at the Oct. 15 meeting. He suggested they start looking for a replacement.

He said the commissioners should put together a document detailing “what do we want to be the requirements for a county administrator?”

There are several options for finding a new administrator, he explained. They county could hire a consultant to help find a new administrator. They could use Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Recruitment services. They could hire an interim county administrator from Range Riders, which is a group of retired administrators who take on temporary jobs.

“We’ve got to get moving quickly,” said Commissioner Kelly Owens. “ I like the idea of using FAC to assist in some of the process. I know they’ve had success.

“Their process is not abdicating our responsibilities - we still have the final say,” she added. “This is going to be a huge decision for us, one of the most important decisions we can make as a governing board.”

“I don’t want to narrow our scope too much, but I do want to narrow it to Florida,” said Commissioner Brad Goodbread.

“The way Florida local governments and Florida counties work is unique,” agreed County Attorney Wade Vose. He said someone from out of state would have a greater learning curve.

“A lot of times out of state people don’t want to apply when they find out their application is public record,” said Owens. “That is one of the unique things about Florida.”

Burroughs suggested applicants have at least 10 years of administrative experience in government in the state of Florida.

The commissioners agreed to move forward with contacting FAC. Burroughs said FAC will come to the county commission to discuss requirements.

Public Risk Management of Florida (PRM) is a combined effort of local governmental entities designed exclusively for Florida counties, cities, towns, and special districts. They are a member-owned, self-insured, Not-For-Profit organization that solely exists to provide a consistent and stable alternative to the insurance needs of Florida governments in the fields of Property and Casualty and Health Insurance.

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