Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Madeira Beach city manager fires new finance director

MADEIRA BEACH — One week after taking over management of the city, Shane Crawford dismissed the finance director appointed by his predecessor just weeks earlier.

In a memo to the City Commission, Crawford said Wednesday that he "deemed it necessary to remove Mr. Wayne Shirley" the previous day.

The new city manager's action appears to solidify his control of the city administration and was applauded by Mayor Travis Palladeno.

"I support him 100 percent," Palladeno said Thursday.

Shirley was hired in October by then-Interim City Manager Jim Madden.

Crawford said he knew of the appointment before he accepted the post of city manager, but was assured by the commission that he had the "flexibility" to remove him if he felt it necessary.

When Crawford took over on Jan. 17, he discovered the city's current finances were a "mess" because of the months the city was without a finance director.

Former finance director Monica Mitchell resigned in April, shortly after Palladeno and two commissioners were elected.

She is now assistant finance director for Clearwater. During her seven years in Madeira Beach she consistently won awards for the budgets that she prepared for the city.

During the summer, the city hired a consultant to help put the 2012-2013 budget together, but day-to-day financial reporting was neglected.

"We are substantially behind," Crawford said Thursday. "When I asked for information, Mr. Shirley and I had a difference of opinion on what was expected from the finance department."

Crawford then discussed the disagreement with the city's attorney to make sure he had the authority to dismiss Shirley.

"He was still a probationary employee. There was no disciplinary action or motivation. We had opposing viewpoints," Crawford explained.

The city manager said he plans to meet with the city's auditors next week to see what assistance they can give in getting the city's financial reporting caught up.

Meanwhile, Crawford will begin a recruiting process for a new finance director, but says he may delay that appointment and hire temporary accountants to resolve more than six months of financial backlogs.

"I am trying to sift through what has been done over the past year," Crawford said. "I plan to bring a complete restructuring of the city administration to the commission."

Over the past year, the city lost a number of its top city administrators either just before or just after the March election.

Crawford now has the responsibility to fill those positions.

New Madeira Beach city manager fires new finance director 01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater confronts a new wave of homeless people, many addicted to spice

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Having lived on the streets since 2014, when he said God ordered him to go out and watch over the homeless, Scott Elfstrom has seen new faces brought out by the typical drugs, despair or plain bad luck.

    Clearwater police Sgt. Rodney Johnson talks to a group of homeless people near the Clearwater Police Department. Johnson has worked to decrease the amount of spice being used in the homeless population.
  2. Preservation group's efforts help revitalize Hudson Cemetery

    Human Interest

    HUDSON — Since the 1970s, the area's unhoused could count on Hudson Cemetery as a place to eat, drink and doze. They would crouch behind bushes on the 2 acres — sandwiched between an ABC liquor store and a shopping center — and leave behind beer cans, cigarette butts and rotting clothes. They would …

    Dennis Kingsley, former president of the Hudson Cemetery Preservation Association, looks at recently cleaned headstones at the cemetery. It got a new fence and was cleared of weeds and brush in June.
  3. Adam Putnam
  4. Forecast: Summertime heat, late-day showers soldier on in Tampa Bay


    The summertime pattern of hot temperatures and afternoon showers continues through the second half of the week across Tampa Bay.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. Pinellas Park police arrest Dade County fugitive hiding in attic crawl space


    Pinellas Park police arrested a man wanted on charges in Dade County following a standoff in an apartment complex early Thursday morning.