Posted: 1:39 pm Friday, October 18th, 2013
By Eliot Kleinberg
A committee on Friday reduced from six to four its list of suitors vying to take over the duties of West Palm Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency.
Briesemeister was CRA director from 2004 until she resigned Aug. 26, saying she intended to apply and wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Since 2009, Briesemeister had both run RMA and spent 28 hours a week at the West Palm Beach CRA.
CH2MHill, with 30,000 employees in more than 200 offices around the world, is the largest of the six firms.
Palm Beach Gardens-based Special District Services Inc. with a staff of 17, would propose installing as the CRA director a familiar face: Jamie Titcomb, who’s been a Boynton Beach city commissioner, Palm Beach County League of Cities executive director and North Palm Beach village manager.
Urban Group, based in Fort Lauderdale, manages projects throughout the state.
The four finalists will make presentations to the committee Nov. 1, and the panel then would pick two or three who would appear at a city workshop. The city also has the option of keeping the CRA in-house.
The city commission voted Aug. 12 to put out for the “request for qualifications” to run the agency, which oversees redevelopment — such as improved roads and parking, housing and new businesses — in specific neighborhoods.
Mayor Jeri Muoio has insisted she hasn’t already decided on Briesemeister’s firm. Muoio has said in the past hiring a private company might cost more in the long run, but would make the city be more “agile” and let it the city avoid having full-time employees for the work or bringing in one-time contractors for short-term projects.