Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Beach official eyes changes to oversight of city manager, other employees (SAR)
Maladroit St. Augustine Beach City "Manager" BRUCE MAX ROYLE needs to resign. Now.
Posted July 5, 2017 05:06 am
By SHELDON GARDNER firstname.lastname@example.org
Beach official eyes changes to oversight of city manager, other employees
St. Augustine Beach officials could hash out new ways to plan for the departure of top officials.
Vice Mayor Undine George asked for a discussion at Wednesday’s City Commission meeting about planning for employees leaving the city. As part of that, she asked for employee contracts.
“There are none,” she said. “That’s an administrative error right there. (There should be contracts). If we don’t have a contract with our city manager or our building director or our public works director … how does someone hold their feet to the fire?”
City Manager Max Royle said no city employee has an employment contract, including himself, but he used to have one. Employees are held accountable through yearly reviews and can be disciplined at other times if issues arise, he said.
St. Augustine Beach’s city attorney is an independent contractor.
Aside from the city manager, there are also no formal policies for succession planning in beach city government “because most of the departments, already have an assistant who can fill in for the department head when the latter is away on vacation or suddenly disabled.”
She said the city has already changed administrations at its police department, which happened several years ago.
“Eventually we’re going to have to do the same in the city manager’s office, and it’s better to get ahead of it,” she said.
She also raised concerns about the City Charter’s requirement that the city manager can only be removed with a super-majority vote, or four out of five votes on the commission.
“It poses a unique complication to the ability of the commission to engage in the oversight … our job is oversight,” George said.
St. Johns County has contracts with County Administrator Michael Wanchick and County Attorney Patrick McCormack.
“It’s our practice (and it’s) standards procedure within a majority of governments that are of our size and nature and scope of services … to have a contract for your executive position and your county attorney,” said Michael Ryan, St. Johns County spokesman.
In other business
St. Augustine Beach commissioners will decide the fate of a conditional use permit at a property owned by Mayor Rich O’Brien and his wife, Lauren Ringhaver, via their business 810 Beach Inc.
While some pushed for the issue to be resolved by code enforcement, City Manager Max Royle said the matter will be handled by the City Commission on Wednesday.
As for whether a fine could be levied:
“Anything that’s related to the settlement of the dispute is open for discussion,” said City Manager Max Royle.
The code enforcement board can’t amend the conditional use permit granted to O’Brien, which is the matter being considered. Royle also said it won’t go to code enforcement later, and that having a 12-foot setback is according to code.
The City Commission, with O’Brien having recused himself, in 2016 approved O’Brien and his wife’s request for a conditional use permit to build two houses next to each other on F Street, with several requirements. One was that one side of the property would have a 15-foot setback.
After construction began, Commissioner Margaret England alerted the city that one property appeared to have a smaller setback than required. The city found that the setback was about 12 feet instead of 15 feet. The city ordered construction to stop at the property.
Royle ordered an independent investigation, at a cost of $2,550, which suggested setback violation was a mistake rooted in too many versions of lot dimensions — mistakes that should have been caught both by the city and O’Brien’s team.
Commissioners have modified a conditional use permit before.
In February 2002, the City Commission approved a modification to a conditional use permit approved in November 2001 to allow two houses to be built in the E Street commercial land use district. The change allowed the setback, which was adjacent to the boulevard, to be reduced from 15 feet to 12.41 feet, according to backup materials.
In a separate issue, commissioners will get the final say about whether to approve a final plat for Ocean Ridge Subdivision. The development by Jay McGarvey, of McGarvey Residential Communities in Ponte Vedra Beach, is approved for 72 homes near 11th Street and Mickler Boulevard.
The development plan was approved in 2006, and now that utilities are in the ground the developer has returned for plat approval — a routine matter.
But the the plat received opposition from the Planning and Zoning Board in June — the vote was 4-3 to approve the plat — because the city had not provided the original development plans along with the packet, which would have allowed board members to see how the plat had changed from the original plans.
The commission has the original plans as part of their packet.
Also, the city’s auditing firm, Purvis Gray, will present on the city’s 2016 audit report.
GET READY TO SEE, HEAR, and SMELL A WHOLE LOT OF BULL CUCCA !
ON THE O'BRIEN PROPERTY FIASCO., THE ANSWER IS VERY SIMPLE ............................
..............TEAR DOWN THAT HOUSE...............YOU CHEATED AND GOT ............................................................CAUGHT !
EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS FOR CITY MANAGER AND POLICE CHIEF !
THE CITY MANAGER WILL BE FIRED TONIGHT FOR OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT AND COVERING UP FOR A REALLY BAD EMPLOYEE !
AND IF NOT, THE COMMISSION WILL HAVE FAILED THE RESIDENTS