AVON PARK — The list of city attorney applicants has one more name since the last Avon Park City Council meeting with the addition of a Sebring attorney.
At its April 10 meeting, the council discussed the selection and interview process for the five applicants who had applied at that time to be the city’s first on-staff attorney.
City Council members had agreed they would choose the top three applicants. Each Council member will have a private conversation individually with the applicants.
City Manager Julian Deleon said Tuesday that Gary R. Gossett Jr. has applied along with the previous applicants — Phillip N. Sherwin, Glinda Pruitt, Steven Cullen, Alicia Davis and Jennifer Donahue.
The Gossett Law Offices website notes that prior to establishing his own practice, Gossett, worked in both the State Attorney’s Office and the Department of Children and Families.
“Sensing a need for more individual services within the county he opened up his first office in 1991 to meet this need,” the website states.
His areas of service are listed as: personal injury, bankruptcy and debt counseling, real estate and estate planning including wills and trusts.
At the last meeting, the City Council discussed ranking the top three applicants, Deleon said. Each elected city official would prepare five interview questions.
“It seems like everyone has the credentials and qualifications,” Deleon said. “It is probably going to be a competitive process,” to select a city attorney.
The city attorney issue has been a point of contention within the City Council with Mayor Garrett Anderson and Councilman Jim Barnard supporting retaining current City Attorney Gerald Buhr who works on a contracted basis.
About two months ago, Deputy Mayor Brenda Gray recommended the City Council should look into hiring a full-time attorney. Councilman Terry Heston and Councilwoman Dora Smith agreed and have supported the effort toward hiring an on-staff attorney.