Updated Monday 4:38 p.m.: Stockton Whitten has dropped out of the race, sending an email to the commission Monday afternoon. The updated story and more audio with Hutchinson is available here.
Original story: With James Bourey dropping out of the race for county manager earlier in June, the Alachua County Commission will begin negotiations with Stockton Whitten this week.
In the meantime, Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson talked Monday morning about the process to date, its importance, and the steps moving forward should negotiations with Stockton Whitten not progress successfully:
I would be happy going with our No. 3 candidate and, really, four or five for that matter. At some point, searches get a little stale in the sense that there may be other candidates out there that weren’t available at the time when we initiated this. This has been going on since last October or November, something like that. It may behoove us to re-advertise to see who else is out there, but I would be happy to go with the number three or four candidate.
On why the public should care about the ongoing selection process:
This is the single most important decision the county commission makes… I hope (the next manager is) here for a decade. I hope they hire good, smart people, really inspire leadership and fiscal responsibility in all the things that we need.
The full interview can be heard below.