Cites pending lawsuits, bad decisions
HIGH SPRINGS – John Glanzer, who previously served as the mayor of Newberry as well as Archer’s interim city manager, respectfully declined a Sept. 24 invitation by the High Springs City Commission to step in as interim city manager.
Citing the City’s legal problems as his main concern, Glanzer said that, on advice of attorneys he consulted, it probably was not in his best interest “to step in, in an interim format, especially as a manager in a city that is experiencing legal difficulties.”
“I notice that all of you are subject to being involved in lawsuits,” Glanzer said. “Any of your appointed officials that are constitutional, are subject to being involved in lawsuits, whether they had any basis in the decisions that were made prior to, or decisions that they make.”
Glanzer said further, “I cannot expose myself to any potential legal issues at this point in my life.”
“Based on that and in discussions with my wife,” he explained, “I respectfully decline the opportunity to help the City, although my heart says I want to.”
Glanzer’s advice to commissioners was that they “need a strong city manager.” As a multi-million dollar business, “you don’t need amateurs running that for you,” he said. “I’m not saying that I couldn’t do it. I’m just saying that I’m not in a position in my life where I want to do it.”
He further noted, “You guys did a barebones budget. I would hope that the cutting that was done [was done] on the basis of knowledge of expenses that are going to be generated; not just on the hope we won’t spend that money…because at the end of the year,” he said, “you might find yourselves a little bit backwards on that.”
Another thing that was glaring when Glanzer reviewed the budget was “the drastically increased insurance costs for this commission…$12,000 to $120,000.” “That speaks to actuary history and I think that it says there probably…were bad decisions made and there is a fear on the part of the insurance company that they are at risk.”
Glanzer further advised, “Any manager or interim manager that comes in here needs to be given the authority to manage this community with a minimum of interference from the commission.” “Anybody that comes into this position is going to have to have your trust and not your questions,” he said.
Additional Business of Note
A final public hearing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, to receive input regarding the City’s budget. This is the last time citizens can comment on the proposed budget prior to approval by the Commission.
Commissioners appointed City Clerk Jenny Parham to act as interim city manager for two weeks until an interim city manager can be located and installed in her place. Commissioner Linda Gestrin provided the only dissenting vote.
Lee Vincent, former city manager of Starke and also Port St. John, will attend the regular commission meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. He is one of five people suggested as an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Range Rider who could step into the position as interim city manager. Range Riders are retired city managers who can act in a temporary capacity to help cities out whenever a vacancy arises.
Interim City Manager Parham was instructed to notify the City’s insurance company that a lawsuit had been filed against the City by a former employee, Christian Popoli.
The City received one application for the city attorney position from Lake City. Attorney Crystal Patterson Talley, assistant state attorney for the Third Judicial Circuit in Hamilton County, submitted her application for consideration. No action was taken during the Sept. 24, 2012 meeting on the matter.
High Springs is also serving notice to contractors that effective Oct. 1, 2012, the City’s building department hours will be reduced to Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
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