Robert Townsend, the first time
Robert Townsend, the second time
None of them measured up to the position description that was in the Town Personnel Requirements (Position Description)
Walter Mckenzie hired and encouraged all the above to become Town Manager with the exception of Stacy Tebo.
Marv Ray was a joke compared to his predecessor Bill Andrews. Bill worked for less money and was the best town manager we ever had. He became town manager when the town went to a WEAK Mayor form of government. We went to this weak mayor form of government because the town was in abject poverty and the state had threatened to take over the town.
Marv Ray left because he could see the handwriting on the walls. I moved into town and immediately was threatened by the town and thus began my complaining of the corruption, special strokes for special folks, that the town was used to doing. He left, and as he told me, “I couldn’t get out of town soon enough.”
Then the Coup de Ta Memo came where Townsend literally stole the position of Town Manager by simply agreeing to take over the town manager functions in addition to his job as Water/Wastewater guy. That lasted about 9 months before Townsend informed McKenzie that he had had enough of my attacks upon him personally and his corruption again by giving special strokes for special folks and by not enforcing the Municipal Ordinances.
McKenzie then wanted to hire Henry Dunn, a retired former town manager from Indiana. No one on the Council, not Joe McKire nor Ralph Hardwick or especially Walter McKenzie bothered to call up to Indiana and see if Mr. Dunn’s resume was correct. It turns out he was fired from his position of Town Manager for a small town in Indiana because of incompetence. But McKenzie didn’t know this and refused to find it out or even listen to citizens who told him so. Dunn was fired, illegally I might add (which cost the town some money), largely because he re-condemned Property 8301-000 and Town Council member Woodard didn’t like it and joined forces with McKenzie to force Dunn out.
Enter Townsend again and McKenzie pushing for him by completely ignoring the basic qualifications of the Position Description. Walter McKenzie’s famous quote was “I’m not trying to lower the requirements, only to expand the pool of applicants.” What a joke because they hired from within with Townsend being the only candidate, the other being a Nick Belentes, a White Springs Police Officer. In other words, McKenzie fixed the game and then lived by it.
Thus began an eight year tenure of Corruption, Thievery and Amoral behavior which lead itself ultimately to Townsend being caught with his pants off in the Sewer Plant with state Prisoners.
Then Shirley took over again for about nine months until Walter McKenzie found Bob Farley, his good friend from the North Florida Broadband Association who got FIRED from his job in Live Oak for incompetence. We hired him literally on the spot and assumed that we’d have some lawful stability out of the Town Manager’s position for years to come. But Farley was kept from enforcing the laws or following the laws. It got so bad that Farley offered to quit once and then ultimately retired.
Then we were fortunate to hire Bill Lawrence who wished to move to Florida so he could be near his wife’s parents. Bill had been a police officer as well as an interim City Manager for a large municipality. Bill was a wonderful addition but no one let him speak or do his job. Originally Bill told us that he thought our blog spoke of a good ole boy network which he did not have a problem with but as the time went on he realized it was far more of a problem and could not wait until he could move back to Maine after securing a position eight months after he started.
Now we have Stacy Tebo who is earning $10,000 more than Bill Lawrence did, doing much less. No one checked her background and the reasons for which she was let go in DeBary. We have found out the hard way and the only one who questioned the matter was Tonja Brown who was afraid Ms. Tebo would sue us as well. Now they are best friends because Bullard, Jefferson, Brown and now Lofty realize how easy it is to have Stacy Tebo attack those who they don’t like.
For me, from Voltaire, it is terrible to be right when the government is so wrong.