New city manager to begin Feb. 4.
By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE -- There will be a new face in Melbourne beginning next year, and he is ready to get to work
The Melbourne City Council approved the hiring of Michael McNees as the new city manager during a council meeting on Wed, Dec. 5.
Veteran government administrator Mr. McNees, an Indiana resident, will begin work as the new city manger on Feb. 4, three days after the retirement of current city manager Jack Schluckebier.
"My immediate goal is to get acquainted and come up to speed with everything," Mr. McNees said. "Every indication is that (Melbourne) is a very well-run organization. Nothing is on fire, and things are stable. That is a real luxury to get know people and keeping them going in the direction they are already going."
At the Dec. 5 meeting, the council unanimously approved a contract between Mr. McNees and the city.
Elected officials selected Mr. McNees from a group of six finalists. Originally, the city had 74 applicants for the position of city manager.
City manger Schluckebier has served as Melbourne's city manger for the past 10 years.
Mr. McNees said he is looking forward to returning to government service, after serving as interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer of USA Track and Field, a national governing organization located in Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. McNees has also served as county administrator for Blain County, Idaho. Mr. McNees also served as city manager of Sarasota after serving in top management positions for Collier County in Florida.
Mr. McNees earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration in management from Louisiana Tech University. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Government Finance Institute of the Government Finance Officers' Association.
Currently, Mr. McNees said he and his family, including a 10-year-old stepdaughter, plan to officially move to Brevard County by the end of January. He is also in the process of selling his home in Indiana.
Mr. McNees said he views the economic development of Melbourne as a top priority for the city.
"Maintaining the city's part for job growth is very important," he said. "I want to fit in as graciously and gently as I can by bringing in my own thoughts, but keeping the wheels turning. We are excited, and I am excited to get to work."
Melbourne's Public Information Officer Mike Moore said the city is looking forward to beginning work with Mr. McNees.
"The council indicated this is a very good selection at the meeting," he said. "He is a very experienced government administrator."