I, like you, have heard enough about the 119 relating to a check which was payable to Tommie Jones and the fact that the tape from the meeting in which he was hired did not indicate he was a consultant, nor could there have been minutes relating to it. Many people have contacted Joe by phone or have run into him where none seem too happy with our Manager situation, which doesn’t help matters. I know it is the law, but this is where our disagreement comes in to play.
Beverly Brazil is an extremely intelligent woman who stepped in for over six months as a volunteer with no remuneration whatsoever. She didn’t have to help Town Hall, but she did so because of her love of the Town of White Springs where her son and family resides in White Springs and where her son is a Lieutenant of the Fire Department. She sacrificed her personal time and her love of Equine, to assist Mayor Miller and Tommie Jones. She actually jumped into Hell’s fire with two feet.
Our Town has had numerous problems with our former Finance Director messing up our books so badly it will take our CPA forensic analyst almost two years to fix everything that was wrong. But Ms. Brazil jumped into a pile of turbulence and disorganization and took the tasks by storm.
You have heard her at meetings. What could not be done by our Town manager, she did. And not only has she taken the Financial Director’s position on a part-time basis but she is acting as a Town Clerk. If someone needs paperwork done, she will assist them or do it herself. She is a main reason why our Town has not gone down the drain and it is one area, when Ms. Brazil handles something, that Mayor Miller doesn’t have to get involved or give an abundance of attention to because if it is given to Ms. Brazil, it will be handled. She is an amazing woman and that is something to which Joe even agrees. In fact he knows that I am writing my thoughts on the matter which are contrary to the law, because I feel all concerned have been unfair to Ms. Brazil.
Now the problem that has caused additional work is the fact surrounding our Town Manager not being an employee, but rather a consultant. If the latter, he should not be making decisions for the Town and that is in accordance with our charter. He has placed some good programs together and that is an area he should be a consultant…computer technologies and support. We have a council/Manager form of governance.
The thing about the check has placed Ms. Brazil in the cross hairs. Joe wants evidence it was cashed, the attorney stipulated if Tommie is a consultant, Joe has no right to be involved in his business per a statute, but if the statute is adhered to, that means anything Mr. Jones does including hiring firing, purchasing, signing checks etc would not be available to the public. In other words, the Town is required by Charter and the Constitution to be transparent to its citizens but a Consultant does not have to be. And we know that the decision to make him a consultant had to have been done outside of the sunshine laws because the Council even knew of his checkered background before we did, but it was not mentioned when he was hired.
So by ordering this information, it provides an additional headache for Ms. Brazil who is probably told she can’t provide the information by the attorney and Mr. Jones but Mr. Jones said it is her job, and the Attorney has done nothing to straighten the situation out. Most people can take stress on the job, but when the stress becomes personal, like Mr. Jone’s treatment of Ms. Bryant, it causes a multitude of problems and tension.
So here is the kind and proficient Ms. Brazil, who has to balance her Financial Director position, with the Town Clerk position for which in the latter, no one has applied. Frankly I give her a lot of credit for this balancing act and fortunately she is above the rest when it comes to attitude and altitude. I hope she remains as the Finance Director because we need someone who is smart, dedicated, reliable, and honest and Ms. Brazil is all of that. We are so lucky to have had her volunteer her talents and wisdom for it does take at least some pressure off of Mayor Miller in her balancing act to straighten out years of bad handling by prior councilors and staff.
I might also state that I heard every bit of Mr. Emrich’s conversation with Joe, and Mr. Emrich was very complementary about our Financial Director, Ms. Brazil; how she explained everything to him and her courteous handling of everything with him. And Joe said at the time, Ms. Brazil is an exemplary proficient person and the one Mr. Emrich should continue speaking to.
Thank you Beverly for everything you have done and everything you do. I can’t fight this 119 thing, but also you should not have be in the middle of it. This is something our attorney needs to handle and this entire consultant thing is out of hand and frankly I would not wish to be in your position, because even if it were me working for the Town, I could not have responded to Joe, if the Town prohibited it. So what I am saying, is you are absolutely fabulous and we are lucky to have you in White Springs.willing and able to help our Town Council and we are so grateful for your dedication to excellence. I hope that you will continue because you are one of the best who we could ever have hoped for.
Karin for the blog