What is the Mayor’s role in a council-manager form of government per the Florida League of Cities
Mayors in council-manager communities (or chairpersons in counties) are key political leaders and policy developers. In the case of the council, the mayor is responsible for soliciting citizen views in forming these policies and interpreting them to the public. The mayor presides at council meetings, serves as a spokesperson for the community, facilitates communication and understanding between elected and appointed officials, assists the council in setting goals and advocating policy decisions, and serves as a promoter and defender of the community. In addition, the mayor serves as a key representative in intergovernmental relations. The mayor, council, and manager constitute a policy-development and management team.
Who is responsible for blame
Our Town Charter States:
Section 2.06 Powers and Duties of the Mayor and Council.
(1) Presiding Officer. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the Town Council and shall conduct all meetings in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. The Mayor shall vote on all matters as a regular member of the office.
(2) Official Head. The Mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the Town by the courts, by the Governor for the exercise of military law and for all ceremonial services.
So the Mayor, the Attorney and Jones seem to be complicit in this scheme to be non-transparent to the Citizens of White Springs.
Tommie Jones was decided upon as our interim Town Manager on October 17, 2020
Since much of Mr.Jones conversation could not be understood, we elected to secure the Town Tape before reporting it on the blog.
We had no idea that Tommie Jones had a checkered past prior to his being hired, but determined that he must have when Joe Griffin advised Tommie Jones that he would need a background check and drug test. That is when all Hell broke Loose and Nicole Williams, a relative of Jones sent out despicable blog and Facebook comments and Mr. Jones started telling everyone that we were racists and that he did not need a background check because no one else had one, which was not true. Then we knew there was more, which somehow the Newspaper knew first. But of course, because Joe wished to assist Tommie, as did I initially, he said Joe’s offer was bribery, and spread all over that Joe bribed him not knowing the elements of bribery and that we had not offered him anything except our assistance.
Then on October 16th, at 8:21 PM, Joe drafted an email to Helen Miller Pam Tomlinson and Meagan Logan asking whether the town or they personally had received information about Tommie Jones’ fitness to be interim Town Manager, especially any and all criminal activity which he had been told about from a reliable source. No response because the meeting was the next morning at 8:00 am.
AND THIS IS WHAT THE COUNCIL STATED AT THE OCTOBER 17TH MEETING:
The purpose of the October 17th Special Meeting per Mayor Miller is the “Discussion and appointment of interim town manager”Mayor Miller stated there was a Recommendation on Wed Nite (By Anita Rivers) and Tommie Jone is here – no other individual is here”
Councilman Walter McKenzie stated that a good town manager needs to be resourceful. He stated that the area Tommie Jones has to deal with ,which he feels Mr. Jones will be good at is to bring people together. People take sides but a good town manager will not take sides and will find a solution, he stated. McKenzie said that he hopes if Mr. Jones takes the job, he will get the people back together because we are on the same team. And if you have a good team they will stand behind you. McKenzie ultimately said that working with the staff here, one can say what they ought to do but we are a small town of 800 people and we can’t just fire people, we have to work with people because it is hard to get replacements. He said Tommie Jones will have to work with staff from a psychological, technical and financial standpoint.
Walter McKenzie also stated he hopes the feeling he has about you is correct because he feels this is a challenge that Tommie Jones can step up to.
Anita said the software will cost around $12,000 and Helen asked the Chief whether we had some of that hardware. Tommie Jones stated we have to control user access, etc. Mayor Miller doesn’t want the same thing to happen to White Springs that happened to Lake City regarding ransom. Our system has to be protected and Cyber security important.
Mr. Jones advised that he is Not good in networking but data base administration.
Mayor Miller stressed Tommie Jones has had a 40 year career.(even if he had no Town Manager experience) Helen said that we need an interim town manager half time of 20 hours a week to begin the process. She then asked Mr. Jones about his commitments. Mr. Jones brought up his dad up who he takes to adult day care. Mr. Jones drops him off and his wife who works at HCP picks his dad up. He can be back in town at 9:30 a.m.. The Council then decided that Mr. Jones hours would be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm five days a week.Drop him off and Wife is HCP works and picks dad up – wife. Back at 9:30. Then they decided 10:00 to 2:00 pm
Walter McKenzie told Mr. Jones that it is an exempt position. Councilman Tom Moore stated that he had a feeling Tommie Jones will be putting in more time than just the 20 hours. It’s an exempt position and Tom said he has a feeling Tommie will put in more time. It was stressed that Mr. Jone’s hours were flexible. (Note with Walter McKenzie advising that this is an exempt position, it was referring to an employee situation not a consultant. This Council is very confused. )
McKenzie said that Tommie Jones will be the bridge and become the interim manager. And in time we may hire someone else or Mr. Jones may love it some much that he will become the full time manager. He stated we don’t know where this is going and where it is going to end up but Mr. Jones will span that bridge now. Tommie Jones indicated that he’s making pretty good money with his full time pension from Florida. He will be 62.
Did you have any idea from the aforementioned that Tommie Jones was a consultant? Was there anything discussed about his checkered past yet supposedly all of the Council knew as did the Jasper News at that point?
In the meantime Joe Griffin kept asking the Town for Mr. Jones’ application, his background check etc. which is usual to an employee and has been done by all previous managers.
At the October 30th special meeting, we finally received a verbal answer as to why Jones did not have to comply with an application, etc. Attorney Logan said that Jones was hired as a “Consultant”, not as an employee. After speaking with Ms. Logan after the meeting I sent her Florida’s rulings by statute based upon an Employer’s control, and nothing transpired.
Then Joe and I made a complaint against Helen Miller regarding her acting as a Strong Form of Mayor coming in almost every day and especially on Tuesdays.. And then a complaint followed against our Town Attorney with all criteria from control to the IRS. She was angry and gave us the following written response at the February Council Meeting to which Joe’s complaints had no validity of course, and for which Tonja Brown became the victim after she wanted more time to review the information and did not vote.
This is what Mayor Miller stated: