Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Dade City moves toward dividing clerk position

DADE CITY — City commissioners came close to voting Tuesday on a proposal to split the city clerk/finance director position into two jobs, but chose instead to study the issue in a workshop.

Commissioner Jimmy Shive proposed restructuring the position based on his view that it will improve customer service and create a more balanced workload for Jim Class, who has held the position for more than 20 years. Commissioner Eunice Penix seconded his motion, saying most other Florida cities have separate city clerk and finance director positions. Mayor Camille Hernandez has previously championed a split and voiced support for it again Tuesday.

But Commissioner Scott Black balked at a vote, saying there are plenty of questions to answer before making a decision — how to pay for it being the first.

"This is not something we budgeted for," said Black, adding the issue should be addressed as an agenda item. Shive introduced his motion at the end of the meeting during commission comments. Black said there needs to be discussion on the breakdown of responsibilities and whether or not to have a public hearing.

The position falls under the authority of the City Commission. The city charter gives the commission authority to split it, but a charter amendment would be needed to put the finance director under the city manager's authority, said city attorney Karla Owens.

Commissioner Bill Dennis said he didn't see a need to separate the position.

"Everything seems to be going along pretty well," said Dennis. "What will we gain by it?"

A date for the workshop is to be determined.

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