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Children's Services Council of Leon County search for new executive director at standstill

Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 19:21:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The search for an executive director at the Children's Services Council of Leon County is now on pause. That's after two candidates dropped out of the race due to personal reasons, with only one candidate left in the running.

The Council agreed back in September that they must pick from a pool of two, leading to the delay. The Council said the delay in finding an executive director will not set them back, but a lot of work lies ahead to make the community stronger.

While the executive director is key to helping make grant funding decisions, the Council's primary goal is to figure out what children in the county need first.

Dr. Zandra Glenn, a member of the negotiation team on the Council, said: "that is our utmost importance right now to make sure that we are able to get the needs that are necessary that executive director is really important but I do think that we have a little bit of time I'm disappointed that it was delayed but I understand that they need to get it right."

Dr. Glenn added that "every resident in Leon County is contributing to this." She's talking about the funding that goes towards services for students in Leon County, decided on by the Children Service's Council.

A part of the negotiation team, Dr. Glenn is working to find the right vendor to meet the needs of kids in the county. Those needs range from education, healthcare, and family support, regardless of economic status.

This is all happening as they search for a new executive director. As to why the candidates withdrew, Interim Administrator, Ted Granger, said: "I don't believe it's a reflection on the Council or the process there were personal circumstances that came up."

The Council has free range to decide on what to do next, whether it's re-open the position to new applicants, look at ones that have already applied, or go ahead with the existing candidate.

While that's one piece, Granger said deciding on what children need most while getting the most bang for the community's buck is what needs to be tackled first, so that "taxpayer dollars are spent they're spent as intended as efficiently and effectively as possible."

In the next five months, the Council will have around $6 million at their fingertips to spend in 2022 or hold onto for longer-term need-based investments. It's something the Council said gives them some time to find a new executive director who will be in charge of helping implement that spending.

Money, Dr. Glenn said, is key to filling the gaps so that, "every single child in Leon County grows up healthy, grows up happy, grows up fully educated."

The Council will meet on Thursday to determine those needs and further discuss what's next in their search for a new executive director.