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Bishop Named Permanent County Administrator


BRADENTON — Manatee County Commissioners voted 6-1 at Tuesday's meeting to select Charlie Bishop as Manatee County Administrator. Bishop has served as acting administrator since early August. The board had been engaged in a national search and had named five finalists before pivoting in the 11th hour.

The county has not had a full-time administrator since parting ways with Scott Hopes back in January. Under Hopes, Bishop had been promoted to the role of deputy county administrator. The board then installed him in the acting administrator job after Lee Washington (who had been elevated to the post when the board got rid of Hopes) announced his departure from the county. Bishop had previously been the long-time director of property management.

There has been instability among the top ranks of the county administration since board members fired Cheri Coryea in 2021. Coryea had been in Manatee County government for more than three decades and had an outstanding record of service. Following the 2020 election, however, she was among many top administrators targeted by an incoming board of developer-backed commissioners.

The board assured the public that it would conduct a national search for Coryea's replacement only to hire Hopes, a school board member with no relevant experience in high-level public administration. Hopes' chaotic reign included a mass exodus of top-level administrative experience, and commissioners again vowed to the public that a national search would be conducted and that no one from within would be promoted to the top post.

Despite engaging an executive search firm to vet applicants and having advanced through the process until four finalists were flown into town last month for a final round of interviews, events took a sharp turn in late August, when a majority of commissioners suddenly said that they were no longer happy with the field of finalists they had previously been enamored by. As such, the board voted 6-1 to install Bishop as a second "finalist," alongside Andrew Butterfield, a retired Naval officer who currently works as an operation manager for the City of St. Pete Beach.

Multiple commissioners said that they would like to see Butterfield considered for another administrative position, and board chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge said that the candidate had told him he would be open to such an opportunity. However, earlier in Tuesday's meeting, the board approved the confirmation of Bryan Parnell as its newest deputy county administrator. At that point, Commissioner George Kruse asked why the board would be voting on a deputy while it was still considering who would be the county administrator.

The vote to select Bishop passed 6-1 with Commissioner George Kruse dissenting.  The vote to confirm Parnell passed unanimously.


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  • Charlene

    How much money did the BOCC waste in putting on this fraud of a search?

    Wednesday, September 13, 2023 Report this

  • Fishhead

    Being in a drunken stupor 99% of the day makes him an excellent pawn! Total farce this commission is.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2023 Report this

  • Mtmartin

    Pathetic. Another empty suit to complemente KVO and the carpetbaggers on the BOCC. Manatee County - the gift that keeps giving.

    Friday, September 15, 2023 Report this