Russell remains finalist for post

The search for a Sarasota County, Fla., administrator has narrowed, but the pool of finalists continues to include Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell.


On Sunday, finalist Jim Chisholm, city manager in Daytona Beach, Fla., withdrew his name from consideration, according to Sarasota County Communications Director Crystal Pruitt.

That leaves seven finalists, including Russell, for consideration at a Tuesday meeting of the five-member Sarasota County Commission.

The Mercer Group, an Atlanta-based executive search firm, conducted the search and included Russell among nine candidates it recommended from 49 who responded for the Sarasota Commission to review.

Chisholm’s withdrawal from consideration follows that of John Eskilson, county administrator of Sussex County, N.J.

Russell goes up against Eric Johnson, an assistant administrator in Hillsborough County, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla., City Administrator Edward Mitchell; Alachua County, Fla., Manager Randall Reid; former Longboat Key, Fla., manager Bruce St. Denis; York County, S.C., Manager James E. Baker and Hernando County, Fla., Administrator David N. Hamilton.

In his application packet, Russell lists more than $150 million in water and sewer upgrades and construction of five fire stations, the new Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center, a marshal’s substation, the TEE Center and its parking deck among his accomplishments in Augusta.

The Sarasota County commission is expected to evaluate the remaining finalists during a 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting, which will be streamed live at, Pruitt said.

Russell said Monday he’d yet to hear anything from Sarasota County about being a finalist.

Fred Russell Sarasota packet