City of Destin Rehires Kisela

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Kisela re-hired as city manager

Greg Kisela

Special to The Log
Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 16:42 PM.

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After resigning as city manager in 2011, Greg Kisela is on his way back to the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” after agreeing to a contract.

“When I first got the phone call, I was caught flat footed,” Kisela told The Log Thursday morning. “It’s not often that a manager gets to come back. It was a nice and pleasant surprise.”

Per the terms of his new contact, Kisela will be paid a base salary of $116,197.87With the addition of a car allowance($500 monthly, insurance and retirement contributions, his total compensation will be $159,191.08.

Kisela officially resigned as city manager in Port Orange, Fla., Monday evening, according to an article from the Daytona Beach News Journal.

“If you are completely happy where you are, when someone calls with another job offer you aren’t going to be receptive,” Kisela was quoted as saying in the article, which also outlined a series of resignations that have plagued the city recently.

Kisela was Destin’s city manager from 2003 to 2011 before he resigned to become the county administrator in Walton County. He was hired as the city manager in Port Orange in January 2013 with a salary of $135,000.

As for current city manager Maryann Ustick, her last day for the city of Destin is slated for Aug. 19. She has already accepted a position to become the city manager in Gallup, New Mexico. Ustick cited family as the reason for her resignation.

Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell told The Log Kisela is a good fit for the city, given his history in Destin.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Kisela as I know his experience with our city will allow him to assume duties without missing a beat,” she wrote in an email. “His obvious love of our city and concern about its well-being, as well as his prior knowledge of Destin, are tremendous assets and will be extremely beneficial as we tackle many important issues in the coming months.”
Kisela is expected to begin work in Destin in early September, according to a news release from the city. Now that he’s coming “home,” Kisela said he’s ready to get to work.
“We’ve got to get Norriego Point complete and find out how we can safely get people across Highway 98 in the harbor,” he said.
And now that the contract is signed, Kisela and his wife, Lucy, can settle in for the long haul.
“This is it,” he said. “This is where I’m going to finish my career.”



 
 

4 thoughts on “City of Destin Rehires Kisela

  • July 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm
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    Kisela is a master of putting time and bad memory between his past and those he will give a reprise screwing.
    Destin City Manager Trouble
    Updated: Wed 9:29 PM, Nov 08, 2006
    By: Erin Niebur
    Home
    / Headlines List
    / Article
    Destin’s city council meeting on Monday ended with the near dismissal of City Manager Greg Kisela, and arguments between the city manager and some city councilors aren’t over yet.
    Monday’s arguments began because some city councilors believe Kisela violated a Destin city ordinance. He sold 14 Destin Memorial Cemetery plots to local businessmen Rick Olsen.
    A city ordinance says the purchase of plots is limited to six per immediate family because of limited space. Anyone wishing to buy more has to go through the city council.
    Kisela says Olsen told him only six of the plots were for Olsen’s immediate family and the other eight were for friends and co-workers, so Kisela says he thought the ordinance didn’t apply.
    Olsen is Kisela’s wife’s boss. Councilmen Dewey Destin made a motion to fire Kisela, but the motion was later withdrawn.
    The issue is likely to come up again at the next city council meeting. Kisela says charges of misconduct against himself, as well as several council members, still need to be resolved.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm
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    NEWS
    Racial Advocate Pursues Quest To Thwart Lauderdale Officials
    By Brittany Wallman Staff writer, June 28, 2003
    Elgin Jones is still carrying on his crusade. The city’s racism whistle-blower may be gone from City Hall, carrying with him the $455,000 settlement of his racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. But he hasn’t gone far. This week, he helped torpedo new employment for assistant city manager Greg Kisela. Before that, Jones helped sink a job offer made to former assistant city manager Pete Witschen. Jones is making good on his vow to trail Fort Lauderdale’s administrators so that no one will forget the racial troubles that wrapped City Hall in a web of complaints, lawsuits, settlements, anger and bad publicity for years.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm
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    Former Fort Lauderdale official named city manager of year
    November 26, 2008|Posted by Brittany Wallman at 2:43 PM
    Elgin Jones is still carrying on his crusade. The city’s racism whistle-blower may be gone from City Hall, carrying with him the $455,000 settlement of his racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. But he hasn’t gone far. This week, he helped torpedo new employment for assistant city manager Greg Kisela. Before that, Jones helped sink a job offer made to former assistant city manager Pete Witschen. Jones is making good on his vow to trail Fort Lauderdale’s administrators so that no one will forget the racial troubles that wrapped City Hall in a web of complaints, lawsuits, settlements, anger and bad publicity for years. “It’s important that these managers, they need to realize, I hope they realize now, that their record, their history here, is going to follow them,” Jones said. Last year, Jones ended the legal battle in which he and the U. S. Department of Justice accused the city of racial discrimination and retaliation. Jones took the settlement and left his engineering inspector job, but not before turning City Hall on its head. He ousted an administration-friendly employees’ union and helped lead the new one, tutoring employees in the art of filing complaints, testifying against the city in lawsuits and acting as the ringleader of all things pro-civil rights. As reporter and columnist, and now managing editor for the Broward Times black-activist newspaper, Jones had the added power of the press. Potent force in Keys As he left, he made it clear: Any employer thinking of hiring one of City Hall’s top administrators was going to first get an Elgin Jones history lesson. This week, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, which provides drinking water to the Keys, decided against hiring Kisela, who had been tentatively given the top job there. Jones’ claim that Kisela is a racist and poor manager played over and over in the local Key West newspaper, and caused the Aqueduct board to revisit his background. At one point, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s network asked permission for Sharpton to address the Aqueduct board about Fort Lauderdale’s race problems. In The Citizen newspaper this week, Kisela said Jones had a “vendetta.” Jones responded with a five-page letter to the board the day before their Thursday vote, listing public documents they were not given by the headhunter, Colin Baenziger and Associates. Among them were several racial discrimination lawsuits against the city, including his own, and a State Attorney’s Office investigation into water pipe sanitation practices Kisela oversees. Jones wrote that he “worked under the abusive management” of Kisela for years and that he wasn’t on a “smear campaign.” He said he was alerting them to documents that are “extremely serious in nature and are not beneficial to Mr. Kisela’s quest to be selected to head your agency.” Kisela said the criticism isn’t fair, and the inference that he is personally to blame for all the city’s troubles is “a lie.” “He’s laid at Greg Kisela’s feet every claim, any complaint that was filed at the city,” Kisela said. “If I’m a named individual in those, those are all of a sudden my direct doing.” Kisela isn’t sure if Jones’ missive sank his job offer, but he thinks it planted doubt. “I can’t get into the minds of each of the board members,” he said, “but if you’re an appointed board member and someone’s saying the candidate for the top job is a racist and a bigot, wouldn’t you be suspect?” Witschen blames Jones Last year, the “education” Jones and others gave to the city of Rock Hill, S.C., ruined Pete Witschen’s plans to become city manager there. More than a third of Rock Hill’s population is black, and the town’s motto is “No room for racism.” He declined the job offer after a stir about Fort Lauderdale’s race-based workplace clashes hit the newspapers and the City Council there. “It has a chilling effect,” Witschen said. Some of the allegations against him were “bizarre” and difficult to trace to one person, he said. But he wishes he could hold Jones “accountable.” “I think he needs to be personally and financially responsible for his actions,” said Witschen, who was later hired as a consultant/lobbyist by Poole, McKinley & Blosser law firm in Fort Lauderdale. Kisela agreed, adding that after the lawsuit settlement, Jones “has money in his pocket.” Kisela staying Jones tried last year to find out where another top City Hall employee, risk manager Scott Denham, was interviewing. Jones found out too late; Denham got out, successfully landing a new job. An examination two years ago by former Circuit Judge Henry Latimer found City Hall was infested with bad low-level managers and a lack of accountability. He said the city’s many problems would be helped by a major reorganization, leaving only one deputy city manager. Had Kisela left, that would be the case. But Kisela, who makes $139,000 plus benefits, said he’s happy to stay in City Hall, where his wife, Lucy Kisela, is the city clerk. “It seems to be ironic what he’s trying to do is prevent us from working elsewhere,” he said, “so the consequence is we’re staying here. OK, I’ll stay.” Brittany Wallman can be reached at bwallman@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4541.

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  • July 4, 2014 at 9:57 am
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    Same shit, different city.

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