Escambia To Hire Wes Moreno As Permanent County Administrator

August 11, 2022

Escambia County will offer the permanent county administrator position to current interim Wes Moreno.

A total of 28 people applied to be Escambia County’s next administrator. The applicants ranged from numerous governmental leaders to a current part-time funeral director assistant.

After the commission terminated Janice Gilley from the administrator position in June 2021, deputy administrator Moreno was named interim.

Commissioner Steven Barry said he’s not interested in bringing candidates to Pensacola for an interview.

“To be candid, I think I’ve had a 13 or 14 month interview with the gentleman serving in the position now and have been extremely pleased and extremely happy with the performance,” he said of Moreno.

“I stepped into the role in an extremely tumultuous time,” Moreno said. Several key employees and directors had resigned, and there were “massive” vacancies. “At that time, I did the only thing I knew how to do. And that’s just show up and go to work.”

“I didn’t do it by myself,” he said. “I’ve had good people around me.”

Bergosh said while there were a few good applicants, there were many who work at cities and counties much smaller than Escambia County.

“You’ve even got a person that used to work at Waffle House,” he said

The former Waffle House employee, however, did not make the list of 13 finalists. But a former parks and recreation director that’s now a part-time funeral home director assistant did.

“I would be leaning much more heavily toward getting a contract with who we know,” Bergosh said. “We know Wes Moreno. He’s been here more than 30 years. I don’t want to use an expletive, so I won’t. But he’s kicked butt. That’s not the word I’d normally say…He loves this county, and I think he’s doing a great job.”

County Attorney Alison Rogers will negotiate a contract with Moreno and present it to the board next week for final consideration. The negotiable salary range for the administrator position is $173,000 to $195,000.

Commissioners decided in July 2021 not to hurry in finding a permanent replacement. Earlier this year, they hired search firm GovHR USA of Illinois.

Commissioner Doug Underhill stated that he believes the county should move forward with interviewing candidates from the GovHR list.

The county will consider GovHR’s work complete and pay them for their services.

GovHR’s report to the commission divides 13 top candidates into two tiers for consideration.

The top 13 candidates, as determined by GovHR, were:

TIER 1

  • Dale (Doc) T. Dougherty — city manager, City of Garden City, Michigan
  • Brian J. Geoghegan — former township manager, Howell Township, New Jersey
  • Joseph M. Kerby — county administrator, Benton County, Oregon
  • Christopher R. Miller — county administrator, King George County, Virginia
  • Rick J. Rudometkin — deputy city manager, City of Huntsville, Texas
  • Stanley (Stan) Z. Sunday — former deputy county administrator, Walton County (FL) Board of County Commissioners
  • Carlos F. Tobar — county manager, Baldwin County, Georgia

TIER 2

  • Sharon Hall — CFO, The Housing Authority for the City of Fort Myers, Florida
  • Don A. King, Jr. — chief of staff, Special Operations Command Europe, U.S. Army
  • John D. Manning — former assistant city administrator and director of community development, City of Branson, Missouri
  • William (Scott) S. McCord — former director, McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department, McMinnville, Tennessee*
  • Joshua (Josh) W. Ray — former city manager, City of Shelbyville, Tennessee
  • Jane K. Shang, former city manager, City of Deltona, Florida

*McCord is the candidate who is currently working as a part-time funeral director assistant.

Two Escambia County residents applied but were not named to the recommended tiers by GovHR. One is a consultant, and the other is employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Comments

19 Responses to “Escambia To Hire Wes Moreno As Permanent County Administrator”

  1. Cleo crane on August 15th, 2022 11:24 pm

    Congratulations Wes but that’s an oxi moron. No such thing as a permanent County Administrator in Escambia County. You’ll wind up being just another scapegoat

  2. SueB on August 14th, 2022 10:10 am

    Wes, you need to research George Touart the former Escambia County Administrator and his son Matthew. Read all about the corruption.
    You want to be the “good choice” then help the neighbors in Wildwood Lakes Subdivision, Bauer Road. Contacting District 1 Commissioner is not helping. But he came around when it was time to vote.

  3. Steve on August 13th, 2022 10:34 am

    Where else were we looking ? Seattle , LA ,NY , Minneapolis ; doesn’t work here . Good luck Wes .

  4. John Doe on August 12th, 2022 4:57 pm

    Wes is a fine man and a calm beacon in a stormy sea.

  5. Well on August 12th, 2022 3:36 pm

    @Dishearted
    They hired Mr. Moreno…

    You/We hired them.

  6. Dishearted on August 12th, 2022 1:11 pm

    He may be qualified but he like the county attorney both answer to the BOCC, there’s the problem… they should work for the PEOPLE…

  7. Willis on August 12th, 2022 11:49 am

    Sunny Beeches!!
    Congratulations and best of luck my friend.

  8. Fence Jumper on August 12th, 2022 9:23 am

    I am 100% for Wes. BUTT !!! What does this say about the county’s hiring process? All of the others applied for this job by the deadline and the job is being offered to someone who did not even apply nor by the deadline to apply. Will the other candidates be able to file any sort of grievances because of the turn of events.. Seems like there was a situation with the equestrian center when it was first built similar to this where one person was hired then fired to offer the job to the rightful person. Cant remember all the details about that but seemed familiar to this topic.

  9. Diane on August 12th, 2022 8:37 am

    Best man for the job! He has done alot for the County.

  10. Safebear on August 12th, 2022 8:25 am

    I’m sure Mr. Moreno is quite qualified. But how much money did they spend on the search firm for over a year to throw everything they did in the trash. I’ll be that money could have been better spent. Search firms aren’t cheap.

  11. D. Flowers on August 12th, 2022 2:33 am

    Had the pleasure to work with Wes Moreno when he was a project manager at the County Engineering Department. I doubt there is a better qualified man for the job of County Administrator. We are very lucky to have him.

  12. Susie on August 11th, 2022 10:06 pm

    I’ve known Wes for years. He’s always been a gentleman, never
    anything but a trustworthy, kind & caring man & a true friend. He does the right thing no matter what. I most certainly believe he IS the best person for the job. Best of luck & God bless you, Wes!!!!

  13. Anne on August 11th, 2022 6:57 pm

    FINALLY…a Brilliant move by the BoCC.
    Wes Moreno is the Perfect one for this job and is Highly Respected by those who work with him.
    Congratulations and Keep Doing Good for this County.

  14. jd on August 11th, 2022 6:26 pm

    Best wishes to Wes. Absolutely the best decision that this board has made in a long time.

  15. Citizen on August 11th, 2022 5:53 pm

    Beulahwood
    Look for a picture on the internet with him with a pink hat with the term “Captain Contrary” and that might give you a little insight.

    Wes has negotiated, contracts for public works maintenance, negotiated union contract brought talent back in and filled vacancies. He has worked hard without drama.
    Right man for the job.

  16. Beulahwood on August 11th, 2022 4:58 pm

    Spot on! Finally a great decision has been made! Wonder why one official is so interested in the “outside” company?

  17. Citizen on August 11th, 2022 4:16 pm

    You’re right fence jumper. After destructive D2 commissioner and medical director and COVID, Wes proved himself. Bergosh had him and public safety director on an early morning video yesterday.
    Now if D2 will pull in the commissioner who knows how to get state and oil spill dollars and not the do nothing guy or the guy with the same name as my toilet, maybe we can be getting somewhere.

  18. Fence Jumper on August 11th, 2022 3:02 pm

    If its not broke dont fix it. The best man for the job is already doing it. Wes has accomplished so much in just 1 year. He has a good head on his shoulders and makes wise well educated decisions. I just thank its a crime that money was squandered on paying a firm to search for a replacement.

  19. Citizen on August 11th, 2022 2:18 pm

    Good choice.





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