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Bruce Campbell Still Waiting for Official Word That He’s To Be Flagler Beach’s Acting Manager

| November 12, 2010

Bruce Campbell, acting maintenance man. (© FlaglerLive)

Never assume that decisions put things to rest in Flagler Beach.

After a long, six-month slog of a search for a new city manager, the Flagler Beach City Commission couldn’t agree on one. It appointed Caryn Miller, its community development director, acting manager on the last day of September, hoping to make a more permanent decision in subsequent weeks.

Vain hope. After more slogs and some bitterness, the commission couldn’t agree on an acting manager either. In a move designed to appease a public outcry demanding that Bruce Campbell get the job, the commission, in a compromise, decided on Oct. 28 to make him the acting manager, on Jan. 2, replacing Miller. Campbell works in the city’s maintenance department but was a leading contender for the manager’s job, and has extensive executive experience in the private sector. He couldn’t get the four-vote majority required to hire a new manager.

He’s likely to be acting manager for a while after Jan. 2: the commission is heading for March elections, and Campbell’s appointment was essentially a punt. It’ll be up to the next commission to find a permanent manager.

If that acting appointment was to settle matters for a while, it hasn’t, quite. On Friday, Art Woosley, a resident active in local politics who led much of the campaign to hire Campbell, circulated an email raising a question: when was the commission going to inform Campbell, formally, that he was to be its next acting manager? The commission hadn’t done so in the two weeks since the decision during the meeting, which Campbell did not attend.

“As of this e-mail Mr. Bruce Campbell has yet to be given any notification, let alone an “official” notification, not even as much as a simple phone call, regarding the acting city manager position awarded to him that day,” Woosley wrote. “Failure to do so, is an embarrassment to our city to say the least, certainly a special city meeting may now be in order to look into this matter.”

Campbell confirmed that other than congratulations from his supervisor—Bob Smith, the director of public works—the day after the commission’s decision, “I’ve had officially no correspondence from the city.” Campbell was expecting to discuss terms, conditions, expectations and so on, but, he said, “no one said anything to me. It’s like nothing happened.”

Nothing was supposed to happen, Miller, the current acting manager, said.

She noted two issues: First, an acting manager’s terms are between that manager and the commission, not between the acting manager and the city staff. Second, the city’s charter and administrative code outline protocol in the matter, though not too clearly. The city’s charter and administrative code says the city manager or the commission have the power to appoint an acting manager. When the regular manager does it, he or she must do so in writing. Lacking that, the commission designates the manager, but the administrative code and the charter are silent on the manner in which the designation takes place beyond the obvious: an official, board decision.

Traditionally in Flagler Beach, the minutes of the meeting at which an acting manager has been appointed go into that employee’s file. That serves as the official paper trail of the appointment, Miller said.

“Nobody is doing anything wrong. This is a different type of situation when you have a line person coming in instead of a department head,” Miller said, referring to the unusual jump in this case: Campbell is a rank-and-file maintenance employee temporarily taking the top job.

The position itself creates grays: in this case, Miller, as the acting manager, is being replaced by yet another acting manager, but she doesn’t have the authority or the duty, by charter, to do what is, in essence, the commission’s job. But there’s pragmatism, too: acting managers, Miller says, have been picked from the city’s ranks. They take it upon themselves to find out what to do next, since they’re to be the manager. “They appointed me that night. The next morning I walked into the city manager’s office, I said OK, what do I need to know about, and that was it,” Miller said. Speaking of Campbell, she said: “I would think that if he was appointed and knows he was appointed, he would have approached either the HR director or me to ask questions, but he hasn’t.”

The day after Campbell’s appointment, Smith met with Campbell, congratulated him and talked about various issues related to the job. “We also spoke about his position in the maintenance dept. and wondered what would happen if I filled the position and he wasn’t kept on as city manager,” Smith wrote in an email to Miller and Libby Kania, the deputy manager , on Nov. 5. “Would the commission create another position for him or what? We also spoke about the possibilities of various city departments and wondered how to improve them for efficient operations, etc.”

“An acting city manager is just an employee that’s being put in that position temporarily until such time as they find a new manager,” Miller said. “They’ll work for 30 days at their current salary, and after 30 days if they’re still in the position, they’ll be raised to the minimum rate for the city manager’s position. That is in our administrative code and charter,” Miller said. (The code applies to all employees upgraded to a higher position temporarily, not specifically to acting managers, who are nevertheless treated like all other employees in that situation.)

Campbell, meanwhile, took a vacation day to meet with the head of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce and the Bunnell city manager to discuss relations with Flagler Beach. But he’s still waiting for official direction from the city he’ll lead. “This whiole thing is foreign to me,” Campbell said. “They must have their own time frame. It’s certainly different from my time frame.”

“I understand Bruce’s position. There’s a lot of questions,” Miller said. “He is a maintenance man. The acting manager usually does both jobs, I do both my jobs now. How is he going to do both jobs, I don’t know—he’s a maintenance man, but these are questions he ought to be asking the commission, not staff. We’re in the dark too. We have no clue what the commission wants to do.”

The city commission, of course, could have made matters easier by clarifying the steps at the outset, and perhaps elegantly making its decision official, in writing, to Campbell. Elegant is not quite the way to describe anything involving Flagler Beach’s hiring process of a new manager, or an acting manager, or another acting manager.

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29 Responses for “Bruce Campbell Still Waiting for Official Word That He’s To Be Flagler Beach’s Acting Manager”

  1. lawabidingcitizen says:

    The state really should step in and put the Flagler Beach commission out of its misery. None of them have the foggiest idea how to choose a city manager or run the city.

    There’s nothing on the agenda for the commission meeting next Thursday about the city manager nor a coherent policy on RV’s and/or boats and trailers they’ve been promising for months, but Item 13 is a budget amendment to spent another $74,000 on consultants (the third or fourth such nonsensical scheme) on signage and gateway improvements!

    The sad thing is they’ll all be re-elected in March.

  2. Citizen says:

    Mr. Woosley strikes again! There’s a surprise, the silent campaign manager for Campbell finally lifts his mask. That’s the appearance I’m left with anyway. Why is it that Campbell is speaking through his advocates instead of going to the commissioners like a big boy? I’m pretty sure he has an e-mail address and could address the commission himself with these questions. Instead he speaks to the media… This whole thing stinks… I GUARANTEE YOU that Campbell will use his flock of sheep to bully the commission into HIS AGENDA for this city.

    Mr. Campbell, run for office if you want to be a politician. You can’t hide behind your “supporters” forever and based on the few familiar names I know of that are backing you… let’s just say don’t bite the hand that feeds you because they will turn on you the second you stop playing ball and think for yourself. Hold on tight buddy, you’re in way over your head.

    Anyone got popcorn?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Citizen, let me make one thing very clear: at no point did Bruce Campbell initiate contact for this story. I called him as a result of getting Art’s email, and as part of the normal reporting, verifying process. Bruce himself was uncomfortable with having to deal with the issue or the questions, and my sense is that he would rather not have, but was graceful enough to answer the questions. The reason this is newsworthy is not because Bruce made it so (although his role is not nonexistent, either), but for two other reasons: Woosley has made it enough of an issue that two commissioners were also raising questions about it; and Woosley aside, and more to the point, it is illustrative of a continuing undercurrent of politicking, conflict and confusion that has bedeviled this process, and the commission, from the start.

  3. John Smith says:

    Well here we go again, With Art standing in the kitchen at the last Meeting with the approval of HIS city manager at hand it still is not good enough for this trouble maker in the city. They do have their agenda and are upset that it is not underway yet. Stir the pot Art thats what you do best. It was said at the time of the selection there would be NO discussing this until Jan, Oh wait a minute they forgot that. Arty you lost the amendment 4 so you just need a pot to stir. Why don’t you run for a seat and lets see how many supporters you really have? 40 is not enough.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thats right Pierre, Bruce did not initiate the story like you said but he WAS NOTIFIED that he had the position in Jan what else is there to do. They ( ARTS) people want the city commission to kiss their A__ with this Email that they (ART) has initiated just to insult our commission. Well you are only going to insult the couple that stood up to them about this. Bruce has the job and has been notified of it by his boss there is no other duty till Jan. Art being ART THE BULLY with his group will not be satisfied until the new commission gets in and they can try to insult them into this choice, but oh wait a minute he is off the list so all we need is a new commission to make the choice. Art get a new sign and be at the corner it becomes you. YOU LOSE.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You were right, Bruce did not initiate this story, but Art Woosley did and that it is all I needed to know. He was notified by his BOSS that he got the job and thats the way the chain of command works, he is a city employee getting a promotion its not news worthy. Arts Email is just a typical way that Arts group does business and that is not news to me. Intimidation and bullying thats what they know, just look at the meetings. When they disrupt the meetings the
    PD needs to escort them out along with Chase,oh but you say they have rights well I have rights too and should not have to put up with their disgracing the meeting.

  6. roger says:

    I read all this with great interest. Bruce should have been formally notified by either the city manager, the mayor, or the chair of our commission as to his new role within our city. In fact , when the motion was made by commissioner mcgrew it should have included the protocol of how and who would formally inform Bruce of his new responsibilities beginning January 2, 2011. Secondly, Ms. Miller in her comments
    to flagler live, suggests that Bruce should be required to do both his current maintenance job, along with being our city manager. That is absurd, not to mention physically impossible and just once again points to how little anyone has thought this whole process through…. how to notify, how to properly transition between Miller and Campbell, what do we pay Bruce, etc… ??? Do we really expect Bruce to do the CEO job for our city for his current maintenance wage ? Additionally, if Miller can do both jobs she must not have much to do in one or the other. Perhaps we should look into what she actually does in her CRA job.( besides alienate everyone she comes into contact with ). I can not wait until the new year to finally get some leadership into city hall and bring some organization to our city.

  7. Concerned says:

    Wow, do any of you understand Bruce is supposed to be in place on Jan. 2, 2011 this is not rocket science. Ms. Miller didn’t have anyone transition her into the acting managers position. Also, he is going to be the (Acting) city manager this doesn’t mean he isTHE new city manager. The commission will have to start all over or decide on someone formally by voting them in. Everyone is acting as if he is the city manager! I don’t personally know Mr. Woosley, but I think he was out of line in stirring the pot. Is is wanting the commissioners to start the process over?? Another thing, why is Mr. Campbell meeting with the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, and the Bunnell City Manager?? He shouldn’t move into the (Acting) position until Jan. 2 just like he was told!!! I applaud Ms. Miller’s comments.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thats right Roger. Remember its only Temporary he is ACTING till they find a new one. HE IS OFF THE I can not wait till next year either when we can get a permanent city manager.

  9. curious says:

    Just another story that proves Mr. Campbell has no clue how government works. What a shame for Flagler Beach. I agree with Concerned. What does he call himself doing meeting with people on behalf of the City? The Commission should censure him for misrepresentation and his BOSS should reprimand him. And yes, HE IS OFF THE LIST therefore he is no longer elligible to be voted in as permanent City Manager. Thank God! I am curious though, how did Art Woosley get his info? It had to come from Campbell……

  10. Concerned says:

    I agree with curious that Bruce should be censured by the city commissioners for jumping the chain of command. This proves that the city commission has NO authority over Bruce Campbell they are in his pocket. He will run the city as he pleases. I am sure that will please Settles and Vath. Hey, lets really try to get them voted out in March.

    Another question for the group, Why are we paying $74,000 for a consultant? We should be trimming the fat in these hard economic times.

  11. roger says:

    You people are really off base. Bruce is his own man and will not be in anyone’s pocket. I just hope you get a chance to see him in action for all you pundits on the sidelines will end up with egg all over your face. Do any of you realize his background ? What a chance for our city to have landed someone with his credentials to lead our city. Bruce has proven himself in the united states and even in europe leading organizations that would make flagler beach look like a department from where he comes from. Wake up already will you. Instead of being negative, let’s for once embrace positive change as we attempt to place our city into the 21st. century.

  12. John Smith says:

    Well ROJOE, We are on Home plate and more people are catching on as to what is happening. Bruce might be his own man BUT HE IS IN ART WOOSELY’s back pocket. He can prove all he wants too but he is still off the list for new manager prospects when they start the selection after the first of the year. He and ART can do what they want for awhile then he will be gone along with our city services that Art wants to do away with. I pray and hope that more people catch on to this take over of our city by Woosely and his insider city manager. Wake UP people and keep an eye on this take over do not trust anything these people try and shove down our throats because it is strictly for their benefit and not the city.

  13. Convinced says:

    I am totally convinced that the reason the FB city commission is so disfuntional and can never make an intellegent decision is because we do not have a live chairman. He sits there like a dummy and lets other commissioners do all his talking and do explanations for him because he is so lost.
    Like Jane Mealy, his decisions are based on emotion and bias rather than intellect. At least Jane has the gumption to explain herself regardless of how obsurd it sounds.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So what are you saying is the only 2 disfunctional commissioners are the 2 that did not vote for Bruce. They showed me that they were not going for this unlike JOY who flipped. It does not matter how disfunctional they are Bruce is still the ACTING manager until they can replace him with a NEW manager since he himself is just temporary. Hang in there John and Jane.

  15. Anonymous says:

    what does that mean….”HE’S OFF THE LIST”?

  16. DILLIGAF says:

    well the plot to destroy flagler beach is still up and running!!!!!! but it looks like a lot of you guys have woke up and smelled the shit . sounds like you are wise to the puppet masters and the puppet and you might know who is pulling the strings!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank god

  17. Concerned says:

    He’s off the list means, he is no longer considered for the City Manager’s position. He will be the ACTING manger until, they select another person still on the list for consideration. He would have to reapply if they (the commissioners) decide to open the job position to the public and start over. However, I have the feeling he thinks he is PERMANENT by going to the City of Bunnell and the Chamber of Commerce to meet with them. My question is still the same, Why?? Why is he meeting with them?? Why doesn’t he leave the meetings to the new PERMANENT City Manager?? Citizens we need to watch to make sure the commissioners don’t leave him in there like they did with Bernie. He is really going after this position is he BROKE?? I’m sure he has the $70K a year on his target. If he wants to serve the public why doesn’t he go after a commissioners seat? They don’t make much money and then I may change my mind about him. He is out for himself folks.

  18. Bill Hazz says:

    Does anybody have a handle on the direct connection between all the “Three-ring Circuses” and Flagler Beach? How could so many CLOWNS retire to this small city? And Mind Readers . . . they (Citizen, John Smith, Anonymous, Concerned, curious) claim to know exactly what everyone else in thinking.

    Between our city commission and these guys, it is no wonder that we have the fiasco that exists. It sounds like they have never had a single job involving integrity or responsibility, between them. What a mouthy lot.

    Pierre, you must find ways of increasing your readership and getting people involved here. The current gathering of third graders just isn’t cutting it.


  19. concerned says:

    concerned you are wacky ! Do you know Bruce Campbell ? Do you know why he came to Flagler to reside on a full time basis – even though he has owned property in our city for 12 to 15 years.? Do you know he has been around flagler for the past 40 years, beginning as a child visiting his grandparents and aunt ? He’s certainly not her for the $$$$. He has already made $$$$. He relocated here to watch over his parents and was approached by the city to become an employee. He doesn’t need any job and only wants to attempt to make flagler beach reach it’s full potential. So please, get off of it already before he changes his mind and allows our city to continue only marginally existing. If all of you keep this nonsense up we will become palm coast @ the beach. Will you all be happy then ???

  20. John Smith says:

    Well MR. BILL more than likely you are a new resident to this fine city. The only clowns are Art Woosely and his bunch. Yes we do know whats going on and evidently you do NOT. So with all of your mouthy remarks Ill tell you that I will fight Woosely to the death before I let him weasle his way into the city and get rid of our city services that is behind his way of thinking. So if you do not like my remarks just dont read LIVE but I will be here saying what I have to say so come on bring it back I WILL be here.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hey concerned, I would rather be Palmcoast at the beach than Flagler County as Woosely wants. We should be so lucky if he would change his mind. Can’t really believe the City went to him and offered him a maintenance man position, he must be really good at checking nails on the crossovers and digging ditches. If he does not need the money as you say then why should he be paid the 70 grand to do this job, just pay him his special maintenance man pay check.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Off THe List Means he is off the original list of manager electives. The city voted 3 to 2 to put him in there as ACTING manager and by doing that he was removed from the list. Now for him to be put back on the new list according to the city lawyer Fiend or Mealy have to change their vote and name him as being eligible for the new list. This is not going to happen, so when they start a new list his name will not be on it. The other 3 that voted for him will have to look at the new list and choose someone else on the new list. Bruce will not be considered and this is the LAWYER explaining it.

  23. Concerned says:

    Well, well then, I sure hit a nerve with two of you today. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard a person is actually approached by a city for them to come and be the maintenance person? To top that an ex-executive was approached to be the maintenance person?
    No, I don’t know Mr. Campbell I am against the political backing. That turned me off originally and that is what I am fighting. However, how is he going to change things? He will be working for the commissioners. Look he is going to have his chance on Jan. 2 so what are all of you crying about? If you want to be mad or angry at someone it should be at Art Woosley for stirring the pot.

  24. Concerned says:

    Everyone just to clarify I have been using “Concerned with a Capital C” small c is someone that can’t get an origianl name together. So, it makes both of us look wacky.

  25. Anonymous says:

    HERE, HERE capital C

  26. HSART says:

    Wow, Cant Imagine How the “National Enquirer” has not sent its most awarded Story Writter to Flagler beach to Cover This Escapade! Personally we dont know Mr. Bruce Campbell except for what we have Heard and Read. However, if his becomming our City Mgr. in the future is going to be an example of what we have to look foward to with all the Negativity and apparrent non Backing by the Commision, Its a No Brainer, Keep Looking!! Isnt there enough Nonsense Going on with the Pier Restaurant, The Part Time, Cant Find, attend by Phone City Commisioner, The Idiots that want to get Rid of our Fire Dept.,Just cant understand why the “Assistant” City Mgr. was not asked to do what they Do anyway, act as City Mgr., untill a new one is Found, DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! If Anyone thinks that ANYONE that has been a Leader in the “Private” sector is going to do the same with NO knowledge of the Government Sector, You must subscribe to the Above mentioned “National Enquirer”, and your all on the Same Page come on People get your head out of your ***! Find someone with the Experience needed to Run our City, and they by nomeans have to be from Flagler Beach, Remember you get what you pay for, Bottom Line!! Oh and hey Roger we live in the USA, not Europe!!!!!!!!!!! Just hope the present Commision can make some sort of Logical Decision since for a few it will be their last, We think we hear Fema calling, See Ron Run! The Rest of you need to stick to your Gut Feelings like Jane did. Its called “BACKBONE”

  27. DILLIGAF says:


  28. Linda Roth says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Wanted to say Congratulations on your position in Flagler Beach, Fl. I live in West Palm Beach and wanted to say “Hello”.

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