Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City will split city clerk/finance position into two jobs

DADE CITY — A divided City Commission voted in a heated workshop session this past week to split the city clerk/finance position into two jobs.

But the next night, at the commission's regular meeting, City Attorney Karla Owens had to assure commissioners that the action was legal — even though the public was not notified of the impending vote and it took place in a workshop, not a regular meeting.

In response to an email from Commissioner Bill Dennis and a query from Commissioner Scott Black at Tuesday's meeting — both of whom voted against the proposal and questioned its legality — Owens said because the group did not vote on an ordinance, resolution or any other type of legislative action, it was a lawful action.

"Even though there was no effort at all to include the public?" asked Dennis.

Owens acknowledged that the issue is controversial, but the fact that there was no opportunity for public discourse does not matter.

"I feel comfortable defending this in court," Owens said.

The issue of separating the position — held by Jim Class for more than 20 years — first came up during budget workshops over the summer, but was not explored in depth or acted on until Commissioner Jim Shive brought it up at the close of the commission's Oct. 8 meeting. Shive said he thought restructuring the position would improve customer service and create a more balanced workload for Class.

Shive made a motion to split the job, which Commissioner Eunice Penix seconded, saying most other Florida cities have separate clerk and finance director jobs. Black objected to taking a vote, saying he wanted more information and discussion about the cost and effects to the city. Black also noted that a new position was not included in the recent budget, nor were there any job descriptions for the two positions.

Shive suggested they could fill it from within with a current city employee, at little cost. The commission agreed to hold off on a vote until they could discuss the issue in a workshop.

The 3-2 vote Monday did not include job descriptions or an effective date for the separate positions.

At the close of Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Camille Hernandez, who voted with Shive and Penix to split the job, told commissioners a vote was needed to appoint assistant city clerk Joanna Akers as the new city clerk, with a $2,800 pay raise and to make it effective Nov. 1. Shive and Penix motioned and seconded, respectively, but a vote was delayed when Dennis questioned whether Akers even wants the job.

Akers said she was interested, but wanted to discuss details before accepting it. The commission voted unanimously to work out details with Akers and vote on putting her into the clerk position, along with job descriptions for the clerk and finance director, at the Nov. 12 meeting.

Dade City will split city clerk/finance position into two jobs 10/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared


    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.