Top Candidate Withdraws Bid for Milton City Manager Position

Posted on July 18, 2023 by Romi White

Last Tuesday Councilman Jeff Snow recommended the City of Milton negotiate a contract with Scott Collins to serve as its new City Manager. Since Snow’s motion received unanimous Council support, he was “shocked” to discover Collins notified certain city officials on Saturday that he was withdrawing his name from consideration. He briefly recanted yesterday afternoon before again pressing forward with the withdrawal today. 

Collins  initially sent his withdrawal notification via email to Mayor Heather Lindsay, Councilman Mike Cusack and former Gulf Breeze City Manager Buz Eddy, who was serving as a consultant in the recruitment process.

In that July 14 email Collins stated he was aware “there is a coordinated undercurrent effort (not involving any of you) to make either this contract negotiation or my initial contract term unsuccessful. As such, I have decided to withdraw.”

According to a chain of related email correspondence, Cusack on Thursday asked City Clerk Dawn Molinero to inform the Council he had not been included in discussions with Collins by City Attorney Alex Andrade. 

Councilwoman Marilyn Farrow, whose husband recently made news after making a violent threat toward Snow during a Council meeting, was triggered into firing off an email to Andrade over it, accusing him of not including Cusack.

However, that same chain of emails reveals Andrade simply asked Collins questions regarding his preference on material items to be addressed in any proposal and that Cusack, as the Council’s designee, was being included in the development of contract terms, which were not formally proposed to Collins until Friday, July 14.

The offered contract, which was mostly based upon current City Manager Randy Jorgensen’s contract, included a $130,000 salary and a start date of August 21, 2023. Andrade, who copied Cusack on the July 14 offer to Collins, stated that after receiving input from Collins he would like to present the final proposal to the Council for discussion during its July 21 workshop.

“Our City Attorney is a capable and skilled negotiator,” Snow said, expressing frustration over the situation, considering current City Manager Randy Jorgensen’s last day before retirement is September 5.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but his issues aren’t with the contract,” stated Andrade. 

Collins did not respond to a request for comment from South Santa Rosa News.