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Meeting may decide Tarpon Springs manager's fate

Peter Dalacos, left, and Chris Alahouzos, city commissioners for Tarpon Springs, said they both expected City Manager Ellen Posivach to resign after the city voted April 16 to replace her. She hasn’t.

Peter Dalacos, left, and Chris Alahouzos, city commissioners for Tarpon Springs, said they both expected City Manager Ellen Posivach to resign after the city voted April 16 to replace her. She hasn’t.

TARPON SPRINGS — You would think the matter would be settled by now.

Three times over the past month, city commissioners have aired concerns about their city manager during public hearings. After a three-hour discussion last week, they voted to start looking for someone to replace City Manager Ellen Posivach.

But they never fired Posivach — and she hasn't resigned.

Now two commissioners are calling for a special meeting to decide the issue once and for all.

City Commissioner Peter Dalacos is asking Posivach to resign.

"Now that she's a lame duck city manager, there's no need to be there and continue to draw a salary," Dalacos said. "I think we need to put this behind us."

Mayor Beverley Billiris, who suggested a mediation process to resolve disputes with Posi­vach, declined to comment Monday but said that police Chief Mark LeCouris would be named acting city manager on Tuesday.

Dalacos, who has said he's lost confidence in Posivach, made the motion to look for a new city manager on April 16. Commissioners Susan Slattery and Chris Alahouzos assented.

Alahouzos said he also wants to further discuss the situation.

Both commissioners said they expected Posivach to resign after last week's meeting that lasted past 2:30 a.m.

"If we're looking for a new city manager, obviously we're going to replace her," Alahouzos said.

Alahouzos listed several reasons he's lost faith in Posivach's ability to lead, including "poor people skills, disconnect with the staff, non-involvement with the community (and) disconnect with the residents."

"If it's one thing, you can address it and move on, but it was a combination of things," he said.

Posivach could not be reached Monday for comment, but city spokeswoman Judy Staley confirmed that Posivach had requested a special session for the commission's next public meeting on April 29.

Tarpon Springs' city manager since 1998, Posivach garnered rave reviews from many of her bosses over the years. Several commissioners have complimented Posivach on securing funding and seeing major projects through to completion.

But the relationship began to sour publicly in early March, when Posivach asked for two days of compensatory time to go on a trip. Commissioners said they had already made it clear last year that Posivach wasn't eligible for comp time, because she is upper-level management.

Further, commissioners said they were shocked to learn that Posivach wanted to go to Arizona for a job interview on those days.

Posivach withdrew from consideration for that job, but bad feelings lingered over her comp time request.

Posivach's contract with the city states she will receive three months severance if she is terminated, but not if she resigns. Posivach makes $122,910 annually.

>>Fast facts

Special session set

The Tarpon Springs Board of City Commissioners will meet for a special session to discuss hiring a new city manager at 6:30 p.m. April 29 at City Hall, 324 E Pine St. The special session will precede a regularly scheduled work session.

Meeting may decide Tarpon Springs manager's fate 04/21/08 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2008 12:55pm]
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