The staff shake-up continues in Port Orange

Shannon Lewis Becomes 6th Port Orange Staffer To Resign
Port Orange, FL – The staff shake-up continues in Port Orange less than 24 hours before the City Council holds a special meeting about their open interim City Manager position.
Shannon Lewis – the woman chosen by the POCC to become the interim City Manager following Greg Kisela’s resignation – has resigned as Assistant City Manager.
She becomes the 6th high-level Port Orange staff member to quit her post since June. That list includes Kisela as well as Fire Chief Joe Pozzo, Finance Director Wayne Saunders, Public Utilities Director Jason Yarborough and Purchasing Manager Tom Cinefro.
Tensions between city staff, elected officials and certain members of the public who’ve publicly complained about how the city’s handling several key issues – namely the discovery of over $400,000 worth of unauthorized water meter purchases – are believed to be behind the majority of the resignations.
Port Orange Vice-Mayor Don Burnette told WNDB News that Lewis announced her intention to leave Port Orange on Wednesday, but has committed to staying until the City Council names a new interim City Manager.
“She told me it’s for personal and professional reasons and I didn’t really inquire too much more deeply than that,” Burnette added. “I told her that I’d certainly love for her to reconsider and stay, but I can tell she’s given it a lot of thought.”
Lewis’ decision came 13 days after the POCC tabbed her during a special meeting to fill Kisela’s shoes once he returns to Destin to become their City Manager once again. His final day at Port Orange is August 1st.
At that time, several POCC members expressed interest in having her possibly become the permanent replacement, but Lewis would only commit to becoming the interim City Manager until the city could find someone else to take the job.
Since then, the city has posted the job opening on their website and city officials say they’ve gotten 65 applications, including some from people who live out of state.
Thursday night’s meeting – which will take place at 5pm from POCC chambers on City Center Circle – will see all 5 members go over the candidates and decide on the various parameters related to the position as well as the process they’ll use to trim that list down to the point where they’ve decided on a candidate.
Burnette says they’d like to have the new interim City Manager in place by September 2nd, especially since Lewis will leave by then.
“It’s priorities 1, 2 and 3 to get stability [in the staff],” Burnette said. “I think that’s kind of important for us to make a good decision on an interim manager rather quickly.”
Whoever is hired as Kisela’s initial replacement will have the chance to apply for the job on a permanent basis, though Burnette says that they will likely not pick a permanent replacement until after the August 26th primary election.
3 POCC seats will be up for grabs during that election, including Burnette’s District 2 spot as well as Bob Ford in District 1 and Dennis Kennedy in District 4. Burnette and Ford are running for re-election. Kennedy is not.

2 thoughts on “The staff shake-up continues in Port Orange

  • July 31, 2014 at 7:42 am

    The city is in free fall. Every top official is quitting and we can not even figure out how to read the city managers contract so he can be released early. Stupid me, I thought the city attorney would be an expert in contract language but instead it appears she has no clue as to what a binding agreement really means. The council meeting on Tuesday was incredible!! I wonder if the city attorney will try to renegotiate Shannons contract at the next council meeting. Instead of stopping the bleeding the city staff is focused on not paying severance pay that clearly is not a factor when “voluntary resignation” takes place. Meanwhile the council was just informed of a mistake on a cell phone contract that cost taxpayers 3 times the disputed severance pay.
    This is all really embarrassing and if you are wondering why the city ends up at impasse over contracts or in arbitrations over all kinds of issues just take a look at Tuesdays meeting. They think they can just rewrite contracts or bully their way into some sort of hybrid agreement. It is safe to say that the city of Port Orange has reached new lows.

  • July 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Suddenly Burnette is the spokesman for the city ? What about the Mayor ? No, we saw what occurred the last time he spoke to the media.
    Maybe a Public Information Director is in order to funnel all inquiries through ? Oh wait isn’t that Kent Donohue’s role ?
    Who is driving the bus ?


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