ATLANTA -- After a six-month search, Hillsborough County, Fla., last week chose former Tallahassee, Fla., city manager Daniel Kleman to be its next administrator.

Following completion of a background check and salary negotiation, Kleman, 48, will take over from Frederick Karl. Karl, 70, who announced his retirement from government service in March, plans to resign Nov. 18.

As administrator, Kleman will implement policy set by the county's seven elected officials. Hillsborough County, which contains the city of Tampa, has more than 4,000 employees and an operating budget of $629 million. Tallahassee employs 2,800 and has a $319 million budget.

In April, Kleman resigned as Tallahassee's city manager following policy disputes with Mayor Penny Herman and a group of city commissioners. He had been city manager for 20 years.

But despite his recent problems with some of the city's elected officials, Kleman was widely regarded as a capable manager who kept an eye on costs. Karl became chief administrator of Hillsborough County in January 1991. Previously, he was a justice on Florida's Supreme Court and a state senator. Karl has said he plans to renew his private law practice.

Hillsborough County must now work out a contract with Kleman. He earned $107,000 a year as Tallahassee's city manager; Karl's salary is $137,000.

Kleman was approved last Tuesday by a 6-to-1 vote of the county's board of commissioners, after interviews with eight finalists Monday narrowed the roster of candidates to a short list of four.

In addition to Kleman, the short list included Pat Bean, Karl's Senior assistant county' administrator; Neil Dorrill, manager of Collier County, Fla.; and David R. Smith, deputy county executive of Erie County, N.Y., which encompasses Buffalo, N.Y.

The only commissioner to vote against Kleman was the panel's chairman, Joe Chillura, who supported Bean.

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