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Caryn Miller Appointed Flagler Beach’s Acting Manager As Commission Flirts With Stalemate

| September 30, 2010

Caryn Miller, left, was appointed acting manager as Commissioner Joy McGrew again blocked an attempt to appoint Bruce Campbell instead. (FlaglerLive)

In a vote reflecting the conflicts rending the Flagler Beach City Commission’s search for a new manager, commissioners appointed Caryn Miller, their own redevelopment director, acting city manager Thursday night. The 4-1 vote featured Commissioner Ron Vath piped in by phone from an undisclosed location, and followed a discussion that rehearsed commissioners’ arguments as they move uncertainly toward an attempt at a more permanent appointment.

An attempt by Commissioner Steve Settle to appoint Bruce Campbell in the acting manager’s spot failed. Campbell works in the city’s building maintenance department and is one of three remaining candidates for the permanent job.  “It’s a win-win for Campbell, he gets a chance to train, he gets a chance to do what he needs to do,” Settle said. But he had no support.

Libby Kania, the deputy city manager (or assistant manager) was also nominated–by Jane Mealy. That nomination didn’t take.

Miller was one of the 140 candidates who applied for the job after City Manager Bernie Murphy announced his resignation in April. Murphy’s last day was Thursday. Miller was among the final eight who were  interviewed earlier this month. But she did not make the original final cut when commissioners picked their top two choices. One of those top choices—Scott Janke—dropped out after his wife’s porn background became too much of a liability. The commission decided to re-interview three candidates. Miller was not among them. Campbell was.

Thursday’s meeting, like the second round of interviews, was characterized by a growing rift between commissioners—and between members of the commission and a vocal faction in town. The rift is over Campbell, whose supporters have literally campaigned for his appointment and gathered some 450 petitions (some of the names are doubled and some are not from Flagler Beach) on his behalf. Three commissioners have recoiled at the tactic: Joy McGrew, Jane Mealy and John Feind. Campbell says he has neither encouraged nor discouraged his followers.

Vath and Settle appeared willing to give Campbell a go. But the commission needs four votes to appoint its next manager, not three, and the mayor—a Campbell supporter—doesn’t get to vote. So unless two commissioners change their mind, the commission is heading for a stalemate. They say they want to settle the issue in October. That may not be possible if they fail to agree on any of the three remaining candidates (who also include two out of towners: Edward Sealover of Nassau County and Gary Word of Surfside.) Thursday’s appointment of Miller may not be as short-term as commissioners hope if they re-open the application process.

“I said it before and I will say it again,” McGrew said, “it’s still one of my only reservations about Mr Campbell as a candidate: I am not comfortable with the following.” McGrew didn’t want the vote to to turn into a dry run for the permanent manager’s appointment, which she feared a Campbell appointment–as an acting executive–would be.

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24 Responses for “Caryn Miller Appointed Flagler Beach’s Acting Manager As Commission Flirts With Stalemate”

  1. dilligaf says:

    good day john smith keep them straight .


  2. Running Bull says:

    Private business experience is of no use at all in running any government operation. The one and only goal of private business is to increase profit. Everything else is secondary. that is how our capitalistic system works and to deny it is to show ones lack of knowledge. That is why they exist. Every decision is made with this in mind.
    Government is there to serve the needs of it’s citizens.
    Private business skimps on service, let’s it product get a little shoddy, all in the name of profit.
    We don’t want half the police laid off to increase the City Of Flagler Beaches bottom line.
    Goverment operation and services are not and never should be run like private business.
    The only way one aquires experience in running government is by running government.
    This is why there exists a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Governmental Administration degree at all of our higher education instutions.
    Get a Masters Degree in Governmental Administration and take it to General Motors and see where you fit.
    After this complete cluster **** it is time for everyone to relax. Go to neutral corners for a few months. Then, start the process again and do it right. Spend $35 per canditate on-line and vet them. Everyone now has faces full of egg – time to clean up.

    Mr. Campbell appeared at his second interview as if he was a lock and entitled to the job. Personally, with my PhD in Psychology, I would question the ego strength of an individual who was supposedly a very big wheel in the private sector and then went to work digging holes and taking orders. This seems to be either an agenda or a mental breakdown. Has his written resume been correctly vetted? Anyone can say anything on paper.
    Mr. Settle, sadly, is not the same man that knocked on my front door several months ago. He now carries himself around with a completely different bearing. I think we voters made a mistake on that one.
    We need to start correcting that today. He carried on like he was the PR rep for Campbell, very odd.
    Mr. Vath has made a mockery of the whole process. He lies to the very citizens he is suppose to represent. Gone for 2 months and has the gall to voice his opinion on anything. He is a must go in the next election.
    Maybe Ms. Miller would be a good interim until after the next city election. Let all this dust shake out and start over. No choice at this time would be a wise move for the city.


  3. John Smith says:

    Well said RB, Well Said. Need to say NO MORE. You understand the very problems that I have brought up. I thank you.


  4. LocalBusiness says:

    Caryn Miller should not be the acting City Manager. She uses her city involvement to funnel business into the Golden Lion which is not appropriate for a city official. A City Manager should be interested in the good of the community as well as ALL of the businesses within that community. She seems to think the Golden Lion is the only spot in town to go to. Whether she works there or not, it’s just not appropriate. It just seems to me that her bias is her own pocket and well, we’ve had enough of that to last us a century in Flagler Beach. It’s too bad because besides her flustered, stressed out way of trying to run events downtown, she’s a nice person but a terrible person for the City Manager job.


  5. JoAnne Ricardi says:

    Hopefully, tonight is commission decision night on the city manager for Flagler Beach. Caryn Miller is the acting city manager, not interim. The City Atty made that clear at the last meeting. I hope that the commission will finish their job tonight and give Flagler Beach their own city manager. If they get to three votes for one person maybe one of the other two will make a 4th so they can move on.


  6. John Smith says:



  7. Ima Cheekspreader says:

    Mr. Smith, a member of your own “crew” has ratted you out. Don’t get fired up; throw some water on the fire if you know what we are saying. Of course you have plenty of paper towels to sop up the water. Do not disgrace your colleagues.


  8. John Smith says:

    Guess you need to spred someone else but because you all don’t impress me either. Go try your bull—- on someone else.


  9. Ima Cheekspreader says:

    We now hear you are quietly talking around with your “crew members” as to who has blown the whistle (siren). This is only a “first alarm”. Whatever was done to this person, they are ready to go public. The fire is hot. Your mama taught you not to play with matches. You all should know better. Don’t burn yourself. You don’t wanna get “hosed” if you know what I mean.


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