Bradshaw pulls bid for Corpus Christi manager
Port Aransas City Manager Robert Bradshaw recently applied for the position of Corpus Christi city manager, but he withdrew from contention after learning that his name, along with the names of other applicants, was about to be made public.
In an interview with the South Jetty, Bradshaw said he’s happy being city manager of Port Aransas, but that he applied for the Corpus Christi anyway.
“It was just to kind of test the waters, to see if I’d be competitive or not for a position with a larger municipal organization,” Bradshaw said. “That was my only intent.”
Asked if he might have taken the job if it was offered, Bradshaw said, “if I became a finalist, sure, I’d obviously entertain the idea because, professionally, it’s a step up. But, sincerely, I didn’t think I’d be competitive.”
Bradshaw said he didn’t think he had a realistic chance at getting the position because he lived outside of Texas for years before coming back to take the position of Port Aransas city manager in June this year, and because he currently oversees a government operation that’s much smaller than Corpus Christi city government.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported Bradshaw’s name along with the names of 52 other applicants for the city manager’s position. The newspaper’s first report was in its online edition on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
The City of Corpus Christi released applicants’ resumes after receiving a request under the Public Information Act, according to the Caller-Times.
Bradshaw said he was under the impression, when he applied for the job earlier this month, that it wouldn’t be publicly revealed that he was an applicant unless he became a finalist. He said Corpus Christi city government’s search firm led him to that conclusion.
Bradshaw, a native of Corpus Christi, said he probably wouldn’t have applied for the position if he had known that his name would become public even without becoming a finalist. Confidentiality was important to him because he “hadn’t alerted the mayor or council to any of this, and I always try to be as transparent and open as I can be,” he said.
“The mayor didn’t find out about it until he read it in the paper, and that’s not the way I like to do business,” Bradshaw said. “My intent was, if I was going to be a finalist, I would have gone to the mayor and council then.”
Bradshaw didn’t plan to inform the council of his application before becoming a finalist “because I didn’t feel I was going to be that competitive, and I didn’t want to stick my neck out unnecessarily,” he said.
“As a finalist, it becomes more serious,” Bradshaw said. “I didn’t want to jeopardize my position with the city of Port Aransas. … In a nutshell, until there’s a mutual interest established between the city and a candidate, I don’t think there’s a reason to inform anyone of anything. Once there is serious consideration, then I think everyone needs to be informed.”
Bradshaw said he withdrew his application on Dec. 22, shortly after the search firm told him his name would be revealed. He said he withdrew because he felt like it was the honorable thing to do.
“I hated to withdraw it, but that was the honorable thing to do, because (council members) were not kept informed at all of this thing,” Bradshaw said.
After the Caller-Times story ran, Bradshaw sent out an e-mail to Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin and council members on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 29. He provided a copy of it to the South Jetty.
“My intent was to ‘test the waters’ for this position,” Bradshaw’s e-mail said, in part. “We have several major issues on the horizon for the City of Port Aransas, and I would never abandon my commitment to the city until I meet my obligations to see these projects come to fruition.”
In an interview, Bradshaw said those projects include the possibility of a bond election in May 2011 to finance several million dollars worth of street work and drainage improvements on 11th Street.
“I hope my initial application for this position does not create any problems for the city,” Bradshaw wrote in the e-mail. “Please understand I am deeply appreciative and committed to my current position as your city manager.”
McMullin said he first learned that Bradshaw was an applicant after reading it on the Caller-Times’ Web site Tuesday evening. He said he wouldn’t comment on the matter until he had a chance to speak in person with Bradshaw.
After a search that lasted for several months, the Port Aransas City Council voted in April to offer the city manager’s job Bradshaw. He replaced Michael Kovacs, who left the position in December 2009 to take an assistant city manager’s post in Park City, Utah.
Bradshaw came to Port Aransas from Indian River Shores, Fla., where he was town manager. His first day on the job in Port Aransas was June 21.