Wednesday, December 21, 2016
WHINY WEASEL WANCHICK GETS NO QUICK DECISION ON CONTRACT
I will continue to oppose renewal of developer-deriven St. Johns County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK's unconscionable contract without his reapplying for the position amid a national search.
The contract violates the Restatement of Contracts, 2d, Section 178 (Contract Violation of Public Policy) by providing for a huge severance payment, since outlawed by the Florida legislature.
Yesterday I witnessed repetitive pleading by St. Johns County Commissioner JAY MORRIS (R-PONTE VEDRA/PRM INTERNATIONAL) and County Administrator MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK a/k/a "MIKEY THE WEASEL" try to force a December 20th vote on WANCHICK's renewing "Golden Parachute" contract, which does not expire until July.
WANCHICK wrote a memo to Commissioners on December 1, 2016. He demanded an up or down decision on December 20, 2016, whining about his family and needing to know before the holidays. WANCHICK set the item at the end of the agenda, and only two residents were present to oppose it, with nine shills speaking in favor of WANCHICK's contact, including ex-Commissioners. WANCHICK was dismissive about public notice and transparency of an item placed at the end of the agenda five days before Christmas.
Yet WANCHICK bragged about his successful objection to FEMA wanting to hold a meeting on December 22, 2016, three days before Christmas.
The weasel doth protest too much.
The vote was 4-1 to continue the matter to January 17, 2016.
Thanks to Commissioners James Johns, Jeb Smith, Paul Waldron and Henry Dean for not being railroaded.
No, MIKEY THE WEASEL, it's not all about you, you narcissist. Don't try stunts like this again.
Posted December 21, 2016 03:26 am
By JAKE MARTIN email@example.com
St. Johns County Commission moves toward renewal of Wanchick’s contract, with changes
What exactly the St. Johns County Commission will do, if anything, about County Administrator Michael Wanchick’s contract is still up in the air but not without some sense of direction.
Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1 in favor of preparing a revised contract with some statutorily-required adjustments as well as other changes discussed by the board, including extending the contract for 2½ years. Commissioner Jay Morris voted alone in dissent, questioning the need to wait on making a decision until the Jan. 17 meeting.
Wanchick, earlier in the meeting, requested commissioners make a “clean determination” then and there, rather than making him wait through the holidays to learn his fate.
Wanchick on Dec. 1 sent commissioners a memo informing them of their options for moving forward and expressing his desire to continue serving as administrator. Commissioners could have allowed the contract to roll over, with or without discussion, for a new two-year term. Commissioners could also decide not to renew, terminate, or renegotiate the contract.
According to the contract, due to expire July 30, the “Agreement shall automatically be renewed, at the expiration of each term, for a two (2) year term unless written notice that the Agreement shall terminate is given from the County to the County Administrator at least 180 days before the expiration date.” The commission’s Jan. 17 meeting would be the last before that deadline.
Commission Chair Jimmy Johns said he wanted to see verbiage that addresses the statutory requirements as well as concerns regarding the timing of the expiration date in relation to changeovers on the commission.
“I don’t think we’ve got any show-stoppers that would give you any cause for concern between now and January,” he said to Wanchick, adding he thought it “prudent” to have a written, revised document all parties could review before proceeding.
Johns said he would not expect the January discussion to be on whether to renew the contract, but to look at the details in that new contract.
Morris said the only debate he could see was whether the commission was going to do a 2½ year extension.
“He’s not asking for a company car that he doesn’t have, he’s not not asking for insurance that nobody else gets,” he said. “The rest is boilerplate.”
To conform with some statutory amendments, severance will need to be reduced from the current 12 months’ pay to a maximum of 20 weeks’ pay and there will be no severance available to Wanchick if fired for misconduct as defined by statute.
During public comment, resident B.J. Kalaidi said the discussion should have been at the head of the meeting rather than toward the end of the afternoon, pointing out most of the people left in the audience were either currently or formerly employed by the county.
Former Commissioner Bill McClure said he found Wanchick to be a “very, very, very good” administrator in his one, recently completed, term on the board, although cautioning against any administrators “getting involved in politics.”
“I do find it odd that there’s two new commissioners and you’re dealing with this at the last possible second,” he said.
Former Commissioner Ron Sanchez said he never knew Wanchick to get involved in politics as it pertained to the commission.
He advised against terminating Wanchick and/or considering a national search, adding Wanchick was “far superior” to other candidates the county considered in 2006. He also said the board’s first directions to Wanchick were to cut spending and get the county reorganized and that Wanchick “took the bull by the horns.”
Former Commissioner Rachael Bennett said she and Wanchick did not agree on everything but that she could count on him to make professional, logic-based decisions rather than arbitrary or emotional ones.
Sanchez and Bennett both referred to Wanchick’s relationship and coordination with local law enforcement, particularly Sheriff David Shoar, saying it was not only unusual compared to situations in other Florida counties but beneficial to St. Johns County residents.
“In some counties, they’re suing each other,” Bennett said.
No one from the Sheriff’s Office or city police departments spoke on Wanchick’s behalf Tuesday. However, Lt. Bob Snell with St. Johns County Fire Rescue said he’s watched the department grow from “a scattered collection of volunteer associations” to “a modern, full-service emergency response agency” with a workforce of over 300 people. He credited Wanchick for overseeing much of that transformation, even through times of “fiscal calamity.”
While commissioners spoke generally in favor of staying the course with Wanchick, questions lingered as to how to proceed.
Wanchick acknowledged the “awkward” timing regarding the expiration of the contract and the issuance of his memo. He said he had ultimately determined a new commission should have the decision to chose who their administrator is, rather than an outgoing commission.
Commissioners talked extensively about moving future expiration dates to the end of the calendar, preferably in off-years for elections, to avoid politicizing such discussions and ensuring board members could make educated decisions.
The newcomers expressed a variety of observations and concerns despite their short time serving on the board.
Commissioner Henry Dean said he was “very, very comfortable” with moving forward with Wanchick “in some fashion,” and that he would be “totally uncomfortable” terminating the contract. He said he was impressed with Wanchick’s handling of the county through Hurricane Matthew and that he’s found Wanchick responsive and professional throughout the process.
Commissioner Paul Waldron said he wanted to wait until the next meeting to get details hammered out and to hear more from the public about any concerns. He said despite the largely favorable comments heard at Tuesday’s meeting, he’s received phone calls from people with other perspectives.
“Honestly, I haven’t made my mind up,” he said.
Waldron pointed out there could have been up to three new board members deciding Wanchick’s fate if things worked out differently in the election.
Wanchick on Nov. 15 received a 2.8 percent raise after a strong evaluation from commissioners, before Bennett and McClure departed. The rate increase awarded to Wanchick was the same granted to all county employees this year. His raise was retroactive to Oct. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.
According to the current agreement, entered into on Nov. 3, 2009, Wanchick’s annual base salary was initially $170,000. He has received raises periodically in years since. With the latest 2.8 percent increase factored in, his $5,828.08 raise brought his salary up to $213,973.95.
Officials on Tuesday said Wanchick does not receive any benefits unavailable to other senior county staff.
Jack (sponger) Harvell
Poor fellow. 213K per year and no company car? Oh the shame. And who's that lurking in the background, the Lowe's candidate?
Hey Jack, no car but a $700.00 a month car allowance. Plus other add up to the whole package. I do think that CEO Wanchick is a good value for the taxpayers. Plus he is a very hard worker. Now there is always room for more, better, and smarter decision making. And CEO Wanchick is always willing to listen !
Commissioner Jay Morris made a fool out of himself. The Commissioners wants the whole thing in writing before they vote. County Administrator Wanchick is a good CEO and another two years is good for the County. Commissioner Jeb Smith had the best comments. Commissioner Smith is all about 100 % complete transparency. Smith wants every part of compensation package out and upfront for the Public viewing. Commissioner Smith and Chairman Johns are all about open and transparent government. There is more then just a salary. The other perks all add up to a large sum. Which I think is OK but others might not and want to speak up about that. CEO Wanchick is a good leader but needs to understand that we the Public are entitled to know the whole salary/cost of that position.
Jack (sponger) Harvell
I agree Tom.
Did you see the new entrence and exit he allowed for the main library