LANTANA, Fla. - Deborah Manzo is the town's new manager.
"My heart's beating very fast. Thank you so much," Manzo, the assistant city manager in Greenacres, told town council members, who unanimously named her to the job today.
The council's decision followed a day of interviews of seven finalists to replace Town Manager Michael Bornstein, who starts Monday as Lake Worth city manager.
Manzo had a few issues to work out with her contract but otherwise agreed to it. It will be made official at an April 23 council meeting.
She will be paid about $100,000. Bornstein had taken a pay cut to $97,476 as the town of about 10,000 year-round residents struggled with budget woes.
Manzo, 50, a resident of Royal Palm Beach, started her government career in Greenacres as an administrator and deputy clerk from 1985 to 1991. She had been the assistant in Greenacres - three times the size of since 2001. In between, she spent a decade as Juno Beach clerk.
On Monday, the council had narrowed its list of applicants from 27 to the seven who appeared today. If a second meeting was needed, it would have been Monday - but council members were set on Manzo.
"She's had an opportunity to apply for multiple towns, and didn't," council member Dr. Lynn Moorhouse said. "She's taking a $20,000 cut. She's giving up security for opportunity."
Mayor David J. Stewart and council members Tom Deringer, Cindy Austino and Philip Aridas said Manzo was their first choice.
The members' second choice was Michael Morrow, operations director in Palm Beach Gardens.
The other finalists were Vincent Finizio, former manager of Belle Glade and Pahokee; Cheryl Harrison Lee, former manager of Eatonville, a town near Orlando; former Manalapan manager Thomas Heck; former Highland Beach manager Dale Sugerman ; and Anna Yeskey, director of the Palm Beach County Intergovernmental Coordination Program and special projects coordinator in Lake Clarke Shores.