DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) – The City of Defuniak Springs said they are working through some process problems. 

Recent council meetings brought the city manager position to light as well as the annual audit.  

DeFuniak Springs Mayor Bob Campbell said the search for a city manager has fallen to the wayside in recent months.  

Interim city manager Michael Barker has held the position for 8 months after failing to get a unanimous vote for the permanent job.

The city said there have been 30 applications and no interviews since Barker took the seat because no one on the council was made aware of more candidates.

“Our HR director for many years left just a few months ago. And so we have a new HR lady in place and I don’t know if she just didn’t know what to do with it. There’s maybe not a real clear policy,” said Campbell. 

“The city council members are supposed to be the ones that get them to go through them and so on. That’s a process. If that process stopped at the H.R. File cabinet and didn’t go anywhere or they got to the city manager and they got no further, then that’s a problem. It’s not a turnover problem. It’s a following-the-process problem,” said Dan Curry, who applied for the city manager position.

Campbell said the next step for the city manager position is to have another vote for Barker. If he gets all five votes, he has the job. If he doesn’t, they will look at the 30-plus applications to find the right fit.

“There’s a very good likelihood that they’ll use that three-month extension to get the search and interviews done and who knows, you know, he might get the 5-0 vote, but somebody is going to get the 5-0 vote,” said Campbell. 

The city is also behind on yearly audit submissions.  

Campbell said a new finance director has caused a challenge in collecting proof of the city’s funding in 2021 and 2022. 

“We had a finance director a few years ago that brought us some clean audits two or three years in a row. She resigned and now we’ve been trying to catch up ever since,” said Campbell.

Campbell said they have not found any misuse of funds and are using an outside CPA firm to help get back on track. 

Campbell said they hope to have a direction on the manager position within the next three weeks. Once the yearly audit for 21-22 is complete, the city will need to catch up on the 2023 report.  

Find information on the City Manager job and qualifications online.