Sarasota News Leader

01/24/2014

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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 Harmer's schedule has been full as he handles double duty, balancing some of his former responsibilities as deputy administrator while overseeing the county's day-to-day operations and communications with commissioners. Working with his administrative staff, he adopted the motto "Full Steam Ahead" in October. "When I was asked to serve as interim administrator, one of the things that was important to me and the board was trying to make the transition as smooth as possible," Harmer said during an interview with The Sarasota News Leader in his office Wednesday morning, Jan. 22. Page 21 GET TO KNOW TOM HARMER Hometown: Philadelphia; he moved to Florida at the age of 12. Hobbies: Biking and kayaking (he just purchased a kayak). Family: wife Dee Dee; two sons, 26 and 33, who live in Orlando. DOWNLOAD THE PDF Read Tom Harmer's Resume In October, the commissioners voted 4-1 to fire then-Administrator Randall Reid without cause. They unanimously replaced him with EMT for three years in Davie, according to his Harmer, who was hired by Reid in July 2012 resume. to fill the post of deputy county administrator. "I like to work; always have liked to work," During the Tuesday, Jan. 28, County Harmer said. "I guess because I have always Commission meeting, the board members liked the jobs I've had and the challenge of will review Harmer's job performance so far. trying to make a difference." That discussion will likely include discussion about whether to extend his tenure as interim administrator or whether to remove "interim" from his title. 'WHEN THE TONE GOES OFF' During his time as a firefighter, Harmer — also a former interrogator for the U.S. Marine Corps — learned to be comfortable in a vast array of situations. "As a firefighter, you never know what to expect when the [alarm] tone goes off," Harmer has 26 years of experience in local Harmer pointed out. "It can be as simple as government, including almost eight years a snake in the fireplace to a building fully as city manager of Titusville, where he also engulfed, with someone trapped inside." was executive director of the Community Development Agency. Additionally, he has He also learned how to maintain his comserved as fire chief and emergency manager posure. "You can't be the one that gets so in Titusville. Prior to that, Harmer was dep- excited you don't know what to do," Harmer uty fire chief in Tallahassee and a firefighter/ said. "You learn to have that calm presence."

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