The Citizen’s Complaint against the town council for not reigning in Ms. Tebo

Since our Elected Town Council Members have not fulfilled their fiduciary and financial responsibility to the Town of White Springs by making certain our Town Manager has complied collectively with the applicable laws and authorities, State and Federal, the Town Charter and all Town policies, rules regulations and ordinances as they may exist or hereinafter be amended and all Lawful Council directives, we the Citizens of White Springs hereby make a vote of no confidence in our elected officials and hereby give notification that it is our intent to remove Ms. Stacy Tebo as our Town Manager for numerous violations and breach of contract.

 

Ms. Tebo has violated the following Powers and Duties under Section 3.02 Article III of the Town Charter.  “ (a) appoint, and when he or she deems it necessary for the good of the Town, suspend or remove the Town employees and appoint administrative officers provided for by or under this Charter, except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted.“      Ms. Tebo knowingly favored certain employees to the detriment of the Town.   We no longer have a viable Fire Department as is required under our charter by reason that Ms. Tebo favored Andrew Greene by allowing him to personally use the fire SUV and to hire Steve Stith as Fire Chief, knowing that local firefighters will not work under his command.   Whereas Ms. Tebo would not allow repairs, provide equipment whether by grant or from Town Funds, or pay firefighters in excess of $80.00 a month for fire calls, Ms. Tebo has now exceeded the $30,000 budget by reason that benefits are provided Mr. Greene and others who work under Steve Stith from Century Ambulance when such benefits were not available to our previous chief and local firefighters.

 

 (c) Prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the Town Council.  The Town Council has not investigated Ms. Tebo’s Capital program sufficiently so that expenditures are made and approved by the Council such as the new Excavator and Trailer in the 2018-2019 FY Budget as well as a new Pickup Truck.  Since the Town has a paid for backhoe and an excavator could have been leased for the few hours it is used and our pickup could be repaired or we could secure a pre-used pickup rather than a new one, this additional spending has cost our Town money which we do not have, just so certain employees could be benefited.

 

(g) Shall submit to the Town Council and make available to the public  a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the Town as of the end of each fiscal year; The Town Manager shall submit the budget for the ensuing fiscal year in accordance with general law.

Ms. Tebo has never submitted to the Town Council or made available to the public a complete report on the administrative activities of the Town.  Our CPA has provided a report on our finances, not Ms. Tebo.  Insofar as the administrative activities, she has not indicated prior to Mayor Miller requesting such information for the 2019-2020 FY Budget, who our employees are, what their job descriptions are, what they each are being paid, including benefits and what their performance evaluations are.  Ms. Tebo previously had not stipulated to the Council nor did she receive said council approval to secure an outside attorney in the Anita Rivers Case, costing the Town $25,965.22, rather than mediating the case.  Although Ms. Tebo was exonerated, her supervision of another employee, our finance director/Town Clerk was allowed to discriminate against Ms. Rivers.

 

  1. h) Keep the Town Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the Town by providing a financial and budget progress report at each regular Council meeting….and by contract and charter…. If at any time during the fiscal year, it appears to the Town Manager that revenues appropriated will be insufficient, he or she shall report to the Council without delay indicating the estimated amount of the deficit. The Town Manager shall suggest remedial action to be taken and recommend to the Town Council such other steps needed to reduce the deficit.  The Town Council shall take further action to prevent or minimize a deficit and for that purpose may, by motion, reduce one (1) or more appropriations.
Ms. Tebo did not advise the Town Council that an employee was unable to perform his duties; she did not follow the personnel manual or the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to which the personnel manual and charter correspond. Instead without council approval at a public meeting, Ms. Tebo had timesheets forged as to Mr. Hutcherson’s signature and payments made electronically for over a two year period.  No agreement was made in advance of Ms. Tebo’s decision to continue Payments to Mr. Hutcherson, which likewise is a requirement.

 

Ms. Tebo does not seek Council approval for negotiations she has allowed Council Member and former Mayor Spencer Lofton handle in the darkness. Furthermore Ms. Tebo did not apprise Mr. Lofton of the cost to make the appropriate renovations to South Hamilton Elementary and that we, the Town, did not have the funds to make such repairs nor did she secure an attorney’s opinion whereby Lessee’s of a building which the Town did not own, could not be expected to pay such expenditures.   She further did not demand Mr. Lofton provide all the public documents, most of which were on Mr. Lofton’s personal mobile phone, even though such documents were requested.

 

Ms. Tebo stated that payables are brought forward to the Council at each monthly meeting as a favor but not required, which is not in accordance with our Charter.  These payables are made in advance and only the Mayor and Vice Mayor are to countersign such checks; yet, Ms. Tebo allowed council member Tonja Brown, council woman and former vice mayor sign some of the checks

 

Ms. Tebo had not advised the Town Council that she had, on her own, accepted Steve Stith’s request to pay his Century Employees and Andrew and Mrs. Greene to Man the Fire Department on Weekends for $100 a day.  This is part of the reason we have exceeded the $30,000 budget, which by merit, we would not receive this money from Hamilton County, because our firefighters live too far from White Springs.  Yet Ms. Tebo refuses to provide the information to Vice Mayor McKenzie, making weekly excuses.

 

Ms. Tebo hired an additional person in Public Works, apparently eliminated that person and hired another.  In view of the fact that the Council was not apprised as to whether we could afford another individual, at what salary and what work is being performed, it can only be assumed this also has added to the deficit.
 
The Town Manager’s performance has been based solely by former Mayors Bullard and Lofton and Vice Mayor Brown on Ms. Tebo’s ability to secure grants.  However, it has not been realized that some of these grants were initiated during Town Manager Farley’s tenure. Furthermore, Ms. Tebo has not set aside seed money (the portion which the Town must pay) once the grant is awarded, and Ms. Tebo had not apprised the council that we had less than two months cash flow when working on the Fire Department Grant for a new Fire Engine.  Thus the Town Council except for Mayor Miller, voted to secure the new fire engine, even though by that time the CPA had advised us we did not have the funds.  It is obvious these council members do not have the ability to govern the Town or themselves, so it is necessary that we have a Strong Town Manager, and secure such a manager, once Ms. Tebo’s duties are terminated.

 

Ms. Tebo or outside influences, made a decision on behalf of the Council and the Public regarding the George Washington Carver School being demolished and the area in the swamp where the Community Center was to be built.   It was only after a public workshop, that citizens on behalf of councilors Brown and Lofton decided to  demolish the state historic Carver School and build the Community Center on its site.  The difficulty is that we do not have any money to make the building hurricane proof and it could have been done through modular buildings at less cost.  Not only does the town have to come up with a portion of the building but find additional funds to make the Community Center Hurricane Proof.   Ms. Tebo never apprised the Council of the difficulties and the fact that we are strapped for cash.

 

Because Ms. Tebo has not followed the budgets, we have no money to fix streets and roads, or to provide safety signals.  Ms. Tebo also has not carried a “Restrictive Fund” as is required by the State of Florida for Local Option Fuel Tax Revenues, which by statute is to be spent on “Transportation” whereas, Ms. Tebo has spent the majority of all such funds on anything other than streets and roads. Whether or not Ms. Tebo was told to do so by councilors and a CPA ignorant of the Laws is not the problem.  The problem is that Ms. Tebo did not secure information as to what the Statute required before spending such money. It is up to Ms. Tebo to make the right decisions based upon the Laws of the States, the Federal Government and the Town Charter, not to listen to every suggestion given by certain council members who she appreciates.
 
Ms. Tebo at a public meeting stipulated that there is “No Cap” on the amount of money we can spend on legal expenses; most of which these expenditures for the FY 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 were spent on her behalf or to protect her from inevitable violations.   For instance, Ms. Tebo wished to have Helen Miller removed from her council seat and submitted complaints which were frivolous not only in a public meeting without giving Ms. Miller a copy, but also in the Newspaper.  When Ms. Miller secured an attorney, Ms. Tebo was given permission to hire her own attorney, at the Town’s expense, to get rid of an elected Town Official, which is unacceptable and was stated so by our Town Attorney Koberlein.  Yet, the council members Jefferson, Brown and Bullard agreed to providing Ms. Tebo with $7,500 for her personal legal expenses.  Ms. Tebo hired a friend/former associate from Sanford and not only used up $7,500 but the total attorney costs for Ms. Tebo’s defense was $19,876.  Only the Council had the right which Ms. Tebo had taken and our Town did not need to incur this additional money to protect a Rogue Town Manager who made it clear she did not like Ms. Miller.   Further, over $13,000 was placed into the 2018-2019 FY budget as a carryover, well over the 120 days required by the state to complete the Budget.

 

(i)  Make recommendations to the Town Council concerning the affairs of the Town and all agenda items.

Ms. Tebo makes no recommendations to the Town Council, but rather makes many of the decisions on her own without the Town Council’s knowledge.  Ms. Tebo has removed all property from the DeLegal building as well as the removal of two wood splitters.  Only the council has such a right to authorize the sale or giving of such property.

 

Ms. Tebo, without Council knowledge allowed the old Town Hall to be leased with a contract with no actual terms as to who is responsible for what (i.e. utilities) nor without any money paid.

 

Ms. Tebo did not advise the council that the Carver School Property  donated to the Town by the Hamilton County School Board had a reverter clause in that should the property not be developed by 2016, it fell back into the hands of the Hamilton County School Board.  Instead of negotiating with the County herself, she ignored bringing up this information in a public meeting and had Councilors Lofton and Brown bring forth the information to the School Board, without acknowledgment by the entire council.

 

 

Under Ms. Tebo’s Contract, Section 3.3 PAID LEAVES – VACATION, SICK, PERSONAL, AND HOLIDAY states.  The Manager may take at the Manager’s choice, the same number of hours of vacation authorized and adopted for employees of the Town, the leave must be in a single period or at different times.  The vacation leave taken by the Manager will be taken at such time or times as will least interfere with the performance of the Town Manager’s Duties.  The Manager is hereby granted the same sick/personal leave benefits as authorized by Council policies for employees.  The Manager shall observe the same legal holidays as provided by the Town for its administrative employees.

 Ms. Tebo in her first and subsequent years has taken Friday’s off and in subsequent years has taken Fridays and most of the hours on Mondays. Ms. Tebo has taken weeks off and may not show up for work on week days.She has shown that the Manager’s job in White Springs is only a part-time position but in accordance with Ms.Tebo’s contract she has been paid $55,000 a year witha $3,000 raise in October of 2018 for full-time employment under contract. Thus this is another breach of her contract.
Ms.Tebo has left White Springs during Hurricane Irma, leaving the city to the Fire Department Volunteers but of no concern to the Citizens of White Springs.

 

“It is the policy of the Town to expect the employees to comply with all rules and regulations of the Town, State Statutes, and federal regulations in the erformance of their duties, as well as compliance with all safety rules and standards.  Any employee who violates any of these rules and regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to, but not necessarily including termination of employment.”   

There has been a precedent to not follow the laws nor comply with government regulations.  The majority of the council has accepted this precedent, even agreeing to attend a 24 hour emergency meeting; not defined as an emergency meeting because Ms. Tebo could have handled the situation over a month prior and apprised the council. Therefore, it is the council who has allowed our Town Manager to become a rogue manager, doing whatever she feels she wishes to do without consideration of the public or anyone else.
Ms. Tebo also admitted to the use of Percoset, an opioid drug for which no one knows whether she has a prescription and other employees, including our police chief are afraid to ask.  Although the deposition in the Rivers’ case confirmed the opioid use, a deposition taken in the DeBary case, made no indication of opioid usage.  Yet Ms. Tebo’s attitudes toward members of the public and some employees seem similar to the attitudes taken by a drug user.

 

Not including the Local Option Fuel Taxes, Ms. Tebo’s poor decisions and defenses of her actions by lawyers have cost the town in excess of $200,000.  This is on top of her Salary of $55,000; now $58,000.  So including her salary before the increase Ms. Tebo has cost the Town $420,000 and what have we received for that amount of money?   Grants that have placed us further in financial jeopardy because we cannot afford our portion.

 

Ms. Tebo supervises from her closed door office emailing employees; employees are fearful of interrupting her; she has indicated her dislike of one councilor and other members of the public; she has continually worked on her lawsuits against DeBary;  she has spent money without following a budget and has changed our Town Hall from Drug free to drug use.   The council is fearful of questioning her in spite of the financial dilemma she has placed us in and they are as responsible as she is.  However, the Public has hired the council and the Public now asks that you rid White springs of these terrible Management practices and remove Ms. Tebo from her position as town Manager.   Further, the information must go to our town attorney to make an investigation as to whether the breaches made in her contract have voided her contract and made her an at will employee, so as to determine if we owe her the 13 week severance in her contract.
 
 
 

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