Surfer, pilot, golfer are contenders
A licensed airplane pilot who collects books.
A former North Carolina resident who loves golf.
One of these folks likely will be the next city manager of Port Aransas, and you can meet all three of them at an upcoming social event being organized by city hall. The public event is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, at the Community Center. From March 29 to April 2, a city search committee conducted in-person interviews with the committee’s top four candidates for the city manager’s position.
After the last interview on April 2, the committee announced it had narrowed the list to three, eliminating Timothy C. Smith from contention. Smith is a New Mexico resident and former county manager of that state’s Otero County.
The field now consists of: • Robert Bradshaw, town manager of Indian River Shores, Fla.;
• Ronald W. Stock, city administrator of the City of Lamar, Colo.;
• Bill Vance, a Wildwood, Fla., resident whose most recent city employment was as town manager of Lady Lake, Fla.
The Port Aransas City Council is scheduled to meet in executive session on Thursday, April 15, to discuss the top three candidates.
The council could hear how the search committee has ranked the three candidates, said Mayor Pro Tem Keith McMullin, a member of the search committee.
Michael Kovacs resigned last year as Port Aransas city manager to take a position as assistant city manager in Park City, Utah. His last day on the job in Port Aransas was Dec. 4.
More than 100 people applied for the city manager’s position after Kovacs left. The search committee gradually winnowed the field to three by reading resumes, conducting personal interviews and other means.
McMullin said he is pleased with how the selection process has gone.
“It has worked exactly as intended,” McMullin said. “… Now there are three highly qualified candidates for the council’s consideration.”
In addition to McMullin, members of the committee include Interim City Manager Dave Parsons, Finance Director Darla Honea, City Secretary Esther Arzola and Gary Mysorski, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
No city employees have applied for the city manager position.
The council will have an opportunity to interview each of the finalists before the April 16 social event, McMullin said. But Parsons said he doesn’t expect any candidates to be rejected before the social event.
When the council meets April 15, members of the body probably will discuss setting a date for a special meeting at which council members are expected to decide on a top candidate, McMullin said. The special meeting likely will be April 19, 20 or 21, he said.
(While the March 11 edition of the South Jetty explored the applicants’ qualifications, the following paragraphs list some of the candidates’ personal qualities. To see the story in the March 11 edition, go to www.portasouthjetty. com and click on “archives,” in the lefthand column.)
Bradshaw, 55, grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from King High School in 1972. His wife is Alexandra “Woody” Bradshaw.
How did Alexandra get her nickname?
“When she was a little girl, she liked Ritz Crackers, and they looked like pieces of wood to her, so it just evolved from that,” Robert Bradshaw explained.
The Bradshaws have two children: A son, Graham Bradshaw, 20, who is attending Florida State University, and a daughter, Alex Bradshaw, 17, a high school senior who plans to attend the University of Texas this fall.
Robert Bradshaw grew up surfing Coastal Bend beaches, and he also got into sailing catamarans and windsurfing. He plays golf and tennis and surfs long boards today.
“Port Aransas has always been, in my opinion, kind of a jewel of the Coastal Bend,” Bradshaw said. “There’s always been a certain mystique about Port Aransas. … I’ve always had my eye on Port Aransas. I feel like it’s almost like a calling to go there.
“There’s always been that dichotomy in Port Aransas, a split between the old fishing village, with places like Woody’s and Shorty’s, versus the new development coming in,” Bradshaw said. “That’s the balance that the council and city manager have to face. You’ve got to be able to address the needs of the locals who were born and raised there, respect the history of the town, while also trying to bring in new tax base or expand the current tax base with new development.”
Stock, 59, grew up in Appleton, Minn. He is married to Tatyana Stock, and they have three children: Twenty-nine-year-old Krystal Stock, who teaches English as a second language at a college in Seoul, South Korea; Stephen Stock, a 27-yearold U.S. Army Green Beret captain who has completed two tours of Iraq; and Ilya Stock, who expects to graduate from high school in May and then study computer science in college.
Asked about his hobbies, Stock said, “Boy, I have a lot of them.”
Stock enjoys skin diving, piloting small planes and listening to music ranging from country to rock (Jimmy Buffet is a favorite).
He said reading is one of his biggest joys. He collects first-edition mysteries signed by his favorite contemporary authors.
“I particularly like the feel of a book in my hand. I am not a Kindle kind of guy,” Stock said, referring to the new wireless reading device.
Stock said his recent interview with the search committee represented his first visit to Port Aransas other than an earlier trip or two when he did little more than pass through.
“I was simply enchanted by the community,” Stock said. “…You have a really engaged citizenry, and that’s important to me. I strongly believe in democracy, and … having an engaged electorate is important to have democracy work well. I’m quite taken by your community.”
Vance, 42, grew up in Durham, N.C. He is married to Debi Vance, and they have two children: 20-year-old Brandi Oakley, who works as a waitress; and 12-year-old Emmi Vance.
“I like spending time with my family, first and foremost,” Vance said. “And then, when I am not doing that, I enjoy playing golf.”
Vance said he tends to score in the high 70s and 80s. He enjoyed checking out Newport Dunes Golf Club here in town while he was visiting during his recent interview.
As a younger man, Vance enjoyed sailing on lakes when he summered in Michigan. He said he’d like to take up the pursuit again if he ends up being the next city manager in Port Aransas.
Vance said he long has held memberships with civic groups like the Lions Club, American Legion and Rotary Club. He especially enjoys involvement with chambers of commerce. He said he will work closely with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce-Tourist Bureau if he is hired here.
“The chambers I’ve experienced contribute a lot to a community, with events like Christmas parades, art in the park, farmer’s markets and things like that,” Vance said. “Those kinds of events benefit communities as a whole.”
Vance never had visited Port Aransas before his recent interview.
“I thought it was a great community, very laid-back, with a very progressive local government game plan,” he said. “The leaders in Port Aransas seem to have in place a productive, results-oriented, forward-thinking game plan.”