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Tim Howard
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NORTH PORT CITY COMMISSIONERS ARE EXPECTED TO DECIDE THE FATE OF CITY MANAGER STEVE CROWELL AT A SPECIAL MEETING TONIGHT.  THE 6PM MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE AT CITY HALL AND WAS CALLED FOR BY COMMISSIONER JIM BLUCHER LAST WEEK AFTER CROWELL BECAME A FINALIST FOR THE CITY MANAGER’S JOB IN IOWA CITY, IOWA, A JOB HE DID NOT GET.  IT’S THE ONLY ITEM ON THE AGENDA FOR TONIGHT’S MEETING, AND MOST OBSERVERS SAY IT’S ANYONE’S GUESS HOW THE COMMISSION WILL ACT.  IF THEY ARE GOING TO REMOVE CROWELL, IT WILL TAKE A SUPER MAJORITY OF AT LEAST FOUR OUT OF FIVE COMMISSIONERS AS PER THE CITY CHARTER.  IT’S THE SECOND TIME IN 18 MONTHS THAT CROWELL PUT IN FOR A JOB ELSEWHERE, AS HE WAS A FINALIST FOR THE CITY OF CORAL GABLES CITY MANAGER POSITION IN APRIL OF 2009.  THE FACT THAT THE CITY IS IN A BATTLE TO BALANCE THE BUDGET AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE TO MAKE SOME TOUGH DECISIONS ON JOBS IS A REASON BLUCHER GAVE IN ASKING FOR THE MEETING LAST WEEK.  CROWELL HAS BEEN CITY MANAGER IN NORTH PORT SINCE 2005.