The Daytona Beach City Commission picked Deric Feacher, Haines City's manager to replace Jim Chisholm as city manager.

Over the next several weeks, an employment agreement will be negotiated with Mr. Feacher, 44, a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. He has 20 years of senior level experience in local government.

Mr. Feacher was selected after a national recruitment and selection process, which involved feedback from community members.

He listed his strengths as strategic planning, organizational management and development, collection problem solving, interpersonal relations, team building, community relations fiscal management and communications.

Mr. Chisholm will be retiring after almost 17 years.

The City Commission selected executive search firm Slavin Management to conduct a nationwide search for the position. The city received 57 applications with five candidates selected for the interview process. Two of the finalists, Caryn Gardner-Young and Thomas J. Hutka, withdrew their applications.

Candidate vetting included a comprehensive questionnaire and a background investigation.

The other two finalists were Terrence R. Moore, city manage of College Park, Ga., and Terry K. Suggs, Putnam County administrator.

A candidate forum for the public was conducted Saturday, March 20, at the city’s Midtown Cultural & Educational Center.

At the forum, Mr. Feacher said, “I believe that a city manager should be engaged in the community, sharing a vision of the policy of elected officials as to why they think things should be happening. Also, that information portal being as transparent as possible to communicate to all of the citizens and also the elected officials.”

Mayor Derrick Henry stated at the forum, “We have three excellent candidates remaining. I have received droves of correspondence by phone, some by messaging, email, related to each of the candidates. Our community meeting with the candidates was very well attended. The process from my perspective and from what I have heard from residents is open and they really appreciate the way that we’ve engaged them.”

Daytona Beach resident Jennifer Galloway wrote to Hometown News expressing some thoughts about what she would like to see happen.

Ms. Galloway is native of Daytona Beach and a 1991 graduate of Mainland High School.

“There are two African-American male candidates for the position. If an African-American is selected for the position the City of Daytona Beach will have the top three highest public official positions, featuring all African-Americans. Mayor, chief of police and the first black city manager be it Terrence Moore or Deric Feacher,” she stated.

“A (potential) remarkable story of political diversity right here in the World's Most Famous Beach,” Ms. Galloway said. “If a black city manager is selected, this will be the first time in the history of Daytona Beach (incorporated in 1876) that Daytona Beach has all three top government officials be all black males. I would love to see a very first black city manager for the first time to represent the World's Most Famous Beach.”

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