The search for a new Clermont city manager concluded Sept. 14, when city council members unanimously made the offer to Brian Bulthuis (pronounced Bull-tice), one of the four finalists considered. The offer was made as Bulthuis listened in on a speaker phone at his home in Georgia, to which he thanked the mayor and city council members.
Based upon his credentials, and perhaps more so from his interview, Mayor Tim Murry and the rest of the council seized on several aspects about Bulthuis.
“There was just something about Bulthuis and the way he gravitated toward people during a recent meet and greet with the community,” said Murry during the Friday special meeting. “His experience as a city manager really shined through.”
That fact also gained the admiration of council member Ebo Entsuah.
“He’s been in that position for 25 years and that definitely stands out to me,” Entsuah said.
The other council members were also laudatory in their assessments of Bulthuis, including a comment by council member Jim Purvis, who described Bulthuis as having a “true fire in his belly,” adding he believes Bulthuis to be the right person at the right time to take charge of the needs of Clermont.
For council member Michele Pines, Bulthuis’ detailed responses to council questions is what sealed the deal for her.
He will begin his position no later than Dec. 1. He has started his home search process and he told council he would make himself available by phone or Zoom meeting as needed in order to address the needs of the city.
“I’m excited about starting,” Bulthuis said.
ABOUT THE POSITION/SELECTION PROCESS
The vacancy occurred in October 2020, when Darren Grey announced his resignation, leaving to take over as Orange County Deputy County Commissioner. His last day was Dec. 11, 2020.
On Dec. 12, 2020, Susan Dauderis stepped in as interim city manager. She held the position until Sept. 3, having announced this past July she was resigning as she and her family were moving out of the area.
“Family comes first,” said Mayor Murry at the July 27 meeting.
Current Parks and Recreation Director Scott Davidoff was asked to fill in until a new city manager could be appointed. That led one of the council members to quip to the bemusement of others that now the City of Clermont had an “interim” interim city manager.
According to the Aug. 11 edition of the News Leader, more than 70 applications were received as a result of a nationwide search; of that number, 70 were presented to city council. That number was eventually winnowed to 15 before whittled down to four, all of whom were interviewed Sept. 9-10.
In addition to Bulthuis, the remaining three candidates were Daniel Matthys, George Korthauer and Shawn Henessee. Originally there were five candidates, but one of them withdrew, having accepted a position elsewhere.
ABOUT BRIAN BULTHUIS
Bulthuis served as a city manager for the Ackworth, Ga., from 1996 until July 2021, when he retired.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Public Administration, both from Western Michigan University.
Bulthius is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Georgia City/County Management Association (GCCMA).
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Details of the contract were completed with City Attorney Dan Mantzaris and Strategic Government Resources (SGR) Consultant Doug Thomas.
• Bulthuis’ annual salary will be $175,000 and includes a 6-month evaluation period after which there will be a potential increase of $5,000, making his total salary $180,000.
• He will receive a $500 per month car allowance and a city-provided cell phone, or $125 per month credit to use his own cell phone.
• Vacation and sick leave would accrue the same as city employees
• A relocation reimbursement package will be capped at $30,000. Direct payment to a moving company would be paid by the city and based on three quotes obtained. If Bulthuis resigns within two years, he will be required to repay the city for the moving expenses.
City of Clermont Communications Officer Jennifer Clutts contributed to this article. Managing Editor Steve Steiner may be reached at: email@example.com