It’s like Craig Coffey and Sally Sherman never left.
Flagler County Interim Manager Jerry Cameron, who is looking to leave his post next year, has been maneuvering to hire a deputy county manager clearly intended to take over once Cameron exits. But in a process reminiscent of the previous administration’s penchant for secrecy, Cameron has been going about the hire with no public discussion, involvement or notice.
The process directly involves county commissioners, who’ve been apprised of it behind closed doors. The commission never discussed the new position in an open meeting, never approved the job description, its salary range or its significance. What amounts to the likely hiring of the next county administrator, in other words, is taking place entirely out of public view.
Interviews with five short-listed candidates are scheduled for Friday with a panel and with Flagler County commissioners individually. The interviews have not been publicly noticed even though the commissioners are conducting them. The public and the press are not invited. (County spokesperson Julie Murphy and Human Resources Director Pamela Wu have brazenly ignored repeated questions emailed Tuesday and Thursday about who on the panel was interviewing the candidates or to a public record request Thursday for information about the interviewers’ identities, other than the commissioners, and the interview schedule.)
Much of the process has been pro forma, drawing upward of 100 applicants even though the shortlist was mostly foretold long in advance. It consists of five candidates, four of them internal or semi-internal despite other candidates’ qualifications that clearly exceed at least some of those chosen for the shortlist.
The five candidates are: John Brower, the county’s newly hired finance director; Heidi Petito, the county’s general services director; Jarrod Shupe, IT director for the county, the sheriff’s Office and Flagler Beach; Joe Saviak, the executive director of the Sheriff’s Office’s director of leadership, and Jorge Salinas, the lone outsider, a deputy city manager in Albany, Oregon, an inland city of 55,000. Salinas’s inclusion gives the appearance of tokenism for diversity’s sake. The internal candidates were all part of the “Leadership Academy” Cameron set up and Saviak, formerly an assistant professor in public administration at Flagler College, led. Cameron said the academy was lining up the county’s next leaders.
One of those five short-listed names may well be Flagler County’s administrator by next year, assuming the position with no public input. (In contrast, the recent school board hiring of a new superintendent included a public survey before the job description was drafted, a public advisory board to short-list the candidates, a public meet-and-greet with the short-listed candidates, and public interviews before the board made its choice. Palm Coast’s hiring of a new manager included some of the same steps except for a public advisory board, though every step was conducted in public.)
Cameron is getting around the sunshine issues because the hiring is, strictly speaking, for an administrative position that answers only to him, not to the commission. As such, he’s entitled to make the hire on his own if he so chooses, without public or commission involvement except for the commission’s formal ratification of the hire at its tail end, and its approval of the salary.
But several issues raise doubt about the position being strictly his call, not least of them the commission’s direct involvement down to interviewing the candidates and the way Cameron himself rewrote the job description (without commission involvement). Both factors make the position at least partly answerable to county commissioners, thereby making it more accountable to the public.
“Each of the commissioners is going to do interviews with the candidates,” Commission Chairman Dave Sullivan said today, acknowledging the importance of the position post-Cameron. “This job is kind of the quasi–obviously the county administrator and our lawyer, Al [Hadeed], those jobs are clearly our responsibility to approve and go forward with. The chief of staff, we’d have to go along with it, but I think the idea here is that the chief of staff may at some point move up to county administrator, so it makes sense for us to be involved in the process. That’s kind of what’s going on.”
Sullivan added: “I’ve been appraised individually by our county administrator as to what was going on, I do not remember discussing it at our county commission meetings.”
For some reason, Cameron changed the title of the position from deputy county administrator, as it was known in Flagler previously and as it is known across the state and the country in most local governments, to the more pretentious-sounding “chief of staff.”
The job description is almost word-for-word identical to that of former Deputy County Administrator Sally Sherman. It adds a little bit of the fluff management language Cameron is fond of (“Responsible for teambuilding within the organization”). More notably, it allows Cameron to start making his exit before he actually leaves: his deputy “Excercises same authority as the County Administrator when delegated by the County Administrator” and “Assumes the duties of the County Administrator in the event the County Administrator is absent or incapacitated.”
Those two clauses did not appear in Sherman’s description because they would have required county commission approval, since they would not-so-incidentally make the deputy answerable to the county commission whenever he or she is in charge. If the administrator is to delegate his authority to a deputy, he cannot do so without prior commission approval. That’s why the late Larry Newsom sought the Flagler Beach City Commission’s approval of a succession plan earlier this year.
Cameron’s move for a deputy is more similar to that of Jim Landon, the former Palm Coast city manager, who elevated Beau Falgout to deputy manager in 2018 and awarded him a $15,000 raise though the council had approved neither the new position nor budgeted for the raise, and had previously let Landon know it was not interested in Falgout as Landon’s successor. (The county commission is itself complicit in getting around its own hiring rules:
When Jerry Cameron took over as interim Flagler County manager a year and a half ago–the commission slithered around the requirement that the manager be a local resident by calling Cameron its permanent “interim,” the way the Flagler Beach City Commission had done with Bernie Murphy for five years.)
Cameron, according to Julie Murphy, had (after leaving it vacant until now) “re-titled” the deputy county administrator position, “which he has the authority to do without BOCC approval,” Murphy said, using the acronym for the Board of County Commissioners.
Sherman’s position had become controversial in the last years of former County Administrator Craig Coffey’s tenure. She’d supposedly “retired” in 2018, as she was required to under state retirement system rules, but only to return the next day as a “consultant” and with a $12,500 raise. Like Cameron with the chief of staff position, Coffey conducted Sherman’s rehiring process behind closed doors. As the controversy was publicized, and with it, its prodigious costs, it became one of the reasons the commission eventually fired Coffey, with some commissioners pledging not to go along with such maneuvering anymore.
Before her raise when she was rehired, Sherman was making $136,000.
The new chief of staff position has been advertised with a salary range of $105,789 to $174,552. The salary range is another publicly undisclosed issue. Cameron currently makes $163,529.
The position for “chief of staff” was advertised for a few weeks until July 28. A county spokesperson said there was no set timeline for the actual hiring. But Cameron was clearly looking to have it completed before November, as he was fearful that Sullivan–to whom he owes his job–might lose his election. Now that Sullivan has won re-election, Cameron may decide to stay longer, lessening the pressure to have a successor in place.
The commission “approves the position as part of the budgeting process,” county spokesperson Julie Murphy said. The budgeting process is ongoing, so it hasn’t been approved yet. The money for the new position will be included in the overall budget commissioners are expected to approve in September, thus formally approving the deputy position without once having discussed it.
The position of “chief of staff” is listed in a recent salary study conducted for the county by Tallahassee-based Evergreen Solutions.
When Evergreen submitted its study findings to the commission less than two years ago, it found numerous top administrative positions to have been significantly overpaid, including that of deputy county administrator. At the time, Evergreen placed the mid-range recommended salary for the deputy administrator position at $126,000.
Evergreen at the end of July–well into the most severe recession the country has suffered since World War II–submitted a revised study to the county. The revised study includes both the “chief of staff” position and the “deputy county administrator” position. The recommended mid-range for the deputy administrator position was raised to $130,000, its maximum to $158,000. But the recommended midrange for “chief of staff” was raised to $140,000, or 11 percent higher than two years ago, with a maximum recommendation of $175,000 and a minimum of $106,000. That was the range advertised for the new chief of staff position.
The range is part of a new pay grade that commissioners–like everything else in this process–have not approved. The deputy county administrator position was part of an existing pay grade (pay grade 525), which includes the county engineer and the deputy county attorney. The salary range of the pay grade had been $85,000 to $145,000. In May 2018, the commission approved raising the range to $100,000 to $155,000. It did so because Faith al-Khatib, the county engineer, had been offered a better-paying job in Volusia County. Commissioners raised her pay grade’s range to keep her, and promptly awarded her a raise, giving her the salary at the top end of the range, as the administration often does: $155,000.
Part of the maneuvering for the chief of staff position includes yet another potential big raise for the three positions included in the pay grade, though the pay grade would be eliminated and replaced with pay grade 215, with the salary range advertised for the chief of staff position applying to all three. The county commission has already given the county attorney the go-ahead to hire a deputy county attorney. Unusually for this administration, that nod was done in a public meeting.
The county’s PR office is usually quick to issue press releases flattering to the county, but has been entirely silent on the “chief of staff” process. (Cameron has forbidden his PR office from sending press releases to FlaglerLive since he was unhappy about a story detailing how his administration was presenting misleading covid-19 numbers. Commissioners Don O’Brien, Sullivan and Charlie Ericksen said they object to Cameron playing favorites with media, but with characteristic deference have done nothing to ensure that he did not do so.)
Not a good look for Flagler county again, business as usual. Keep up the good reporting. Not that it seems to be deterring/slowing down the one’s that somehow are retained by vote and seem to create jobs out of thin air and already have their network aligned to capitalize on a big paycheck. Where is this pot of money coming from ? Seems this county can buy & sell real estate at a loss. Buy FD equipment with no reserves to finance that as well. One retires, the next in line for the promotion. Last I heard, there was a recent hire that turned down a raise, his department did similar and then we read about this job being created, at the very least a questionable transition without a process to find a more transparent successor.
Such BS says
Let me say first there are some hard working staff that deserve pay raises in this County. The disparity in pay between upper management and lower level employees has always been absolutely pathetic. Throw in the good ‘ol boy system of who gets “bumps” and who doesn’t it has added to the disparity. If the County would’ve instituted the former salary survey they would be on better standing. I mean the HR director is in line to get a $26K raise!!! Who in the h*** is worthy of that much of a raise when they’ve been in the position for less than 2 years???
Also, the County/Cameron can stop pretending and just say they are trying to put in a puppet that will get along and do what the Sheriff wants. That is why it will be down to Saviak or Shuppe. Brower has a good title but was barely a manager before he came to the County. Everyone in the County knows Heidi Petito is the most well deserved and respected of the internal candidates.
This County is a joke and good job Pierre.
Just more examples of Good Old Boy politics, run under the radar tactics and hide it from the peoples mentality..
What on earth is wrong with these people?
Cameron lands in a position opened partially by his predecessors ‘back-room deals’ and now he is doing the same thing. Did he not learn anything? Then again, who is going to stop him? The only answer is “We The People”, because not one of the BOCC has the stuffing to challenge him. Cameron is walking all over the board and the taxpayers just as Coffee and Landon dd. The very fact that Cameron scoffs at the First Amendment shows his lack of respect for both the rule of law and the taxpayers who pay his inflated salary. Our current BOCC is so corrupt and uneducated that they cannot get out of their own way. Cameron works for the BOCC, put a saddle on him or we will elect a new board that will. Will someone please list five contributions Cameron has made to this county as a whole? And I not talking about day-to-day BS, I am looking for solid actions by which the county gained materially or fiscally.
As for the Faith al-Khatib fiasco, how did she become so much more valuable overnight? The honest answer is that she did not. She had a job offer that paid more? So what, wish her well and let her go, not like the county would implode if she left, no one is irreplaceable. I had to cut folks loose to another job more times than I liked but I also had a fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers for whom I worked. Just because she received an offer of more pay her value to Flagler County did not increase. I am sure she had some familiarity with the various county projects. Having myself been a professional engineer for over 45 years , I can tell you she was not at the cutting edge of the engineering sword, heck, a county engineer barely makes it to the middle of the sword. At any given time there are 15 qualified local folks waiting to take her job.
Our current board needs to get a grip on their hired hands and on the fiscal reins of this county. “We The People” are getting tired of having to pay for their mistakes, errors in judgement and outright underhanded, self-enriching dealings.
Time for the taxpayers across the nation to regain control of their governments, they were elected to represent our desires, not to dictate what they or their cronies want.
Been There says
Your elected officials chose him because he does Anything they want him to do. He works for the commissioners. There are only two positions that are hired by the commissioners, that is the county administrator in the county attorney. They are there to accommodate the commissioners.
The commissioners are not there for you and I, they are there for the people who supported their campaigns and who are their good friends. Some of those people are businessman that don’t even live in the county And they laugh at the stupidity of the average voter.
Those are the interests of the commissioners, not the citizens.
It is your elected officials who are the problem. Nothing will change until there is a total overhaul in leader ship.
Gina Weiss says
Been there: The average voter is not aware of this which is why the average voter is kept in the dark and only learn to know about these thieves by the BS that comes out of their mouths, and yes you are right they do laugh at us I have been to BOCC meetings and all of them have the same typical pretending to listen blank expressions on their faces when they all know damn well what comes out of their mouths are empty promises to “we the people” voices and continue to carry on back room hidden in a bunch of agendas self servicing deals.
What are they hiding and why? Roger Coffee is back!!!!!!
SASHAY AWAY says
Once again a big thank you FlaglerLive for doing such a terrific job exposing to the taxpayers this BOCC and county commissioner “ways of doing things” without inviting the public or press. Why does it also appear that in the past they collected their big salaries for a couple of years or so, mess things up or try to, then go on their merry way. Why are these candidates made unavailable to answer to the taxpayers in this community? So once again here we have it the public left in the dark voiceless.
O god here we go again if we want corruption petito is the way to go !
This is the county Way promote behind the closed door !
People of flagler county stand up and demand someone who has earned the position for once let’s not just give the position away because of favors or family connections .
Petito is never at her office does any one ask why ?
Yrs ago it was because Of dropping and picking up her child up from school on taxpayers dime or just sitting at high jackers With the group ! So now what’s the reason ?
Yes Flagler county if you want the good old boy mentality and keep corruption pick Petito.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
Art eckland says
Now we know why Don petito was made to leave conflict of interest if Heidi Petito slithers her way in
I very much appreciate these stories which bring to light the (shady) local government actions.
Royce M says
Just read petitos application It reads leadership well let’s take a look at her turnover rate as director!
She has a cert as a HAIRDRESSER! Please
A salary study that incorporates almost a million dollars in increases? When and will this be presented to the BCC? Increases to the tune of 10k and higher (18k) to some top level managers. Wow.. just wow!
Three of the five candidates shouldn’t have even moved past the initial interview process and only did so out of courtesy of their peers. The finalists should consist of Heidi Petito and Jorge Salinas. Heidi has the most knowledge, expertise and exceeds the level of professionalism the County needs.
Jarrod has burned a bridge amongst his peers one too many situations. No need to go deeper than that. John is too inexperienced in his current position, lacks core management skills and knowledge of Flagler County in general. Joe is too close of a connection to the Sheriff (whom the County gives enough to as it is) and should stay on the educational and mentoring level.
jane Gentile-Youd says
As one of the biggest thorns in the Commissioner’s sides as well as a very involved citizen in many facets of how my tax dollars are spent and why they are spent I ‘formally announce’ that I will cry my eyes out, bite my nails, take pills to sleep if anyone other than Heidi Petito is chosen for this position. To me this is a no brainer and if ,I recall Sally $$$$ Sherman was never chosen or approved by the commission; she just rode in on Coffey’s big fat smile!
Heidi has more than taken on responsibilities as General Services Director, which the county could have hired 5 people to do instead of just Heidi. She had the Plantation Bay Water ‘dumped’ on her; she is in charge of all county parks (put through the ringer with Bing’s Landing fiasco); she is in charge of all the FDOT road beautification maintenance landscaping.
Finally, Heidi has more years with Flagler County of dedicated experience, knowledge of almost every facet o f county operations and greatest success record in respecting her true employees – we constituents than any other applicant could come close to. Jerry Cameron in my opinion need not have even bothered to advertise , again in my opinion, it is a no brainer and I hope and pray he does choose Heidi. To choose anyone else would be a huge mistake – for all of us,
Thank you FaglerLive for opening your doors to your readers and allowing us to share our feelings ( which I have been taking full advantage of doing)
Concerned Citizen says
A little dramatic there Jane??
If you’re so chumy with most of the county staff and BOCC then why have you never been elected/appointed to anything in this county.
The Petitos have done their share of running good people out of this county. And have been in pwer way to long. Moving Don out took a little steam out of that power duo. And was a good thing. Why on earth counties let families run top positions is beyond me. Nepotism never fares well.
The other candidates I don’t know but Jarod Shupe is an ass with power ambitions. He’s been super chumy with our “temporary wink wink nudge nudge” shady administrator. Camerons background was so shady he had to work out of county.. Shupe should have been held accountable for his altercation with Petito but he was taken care of. And his denial of public safety communications was nothing short of a power play. That could have had dire consequences for our first responders. As a volunteer in the emergency services field with multiple deployments I find that the most unacceptable.
This whole debacle stinks. There are multiple violations of the sunshine laws. And there are obvious HR infractions with EEO hiring. I hope people are pissed off enough that others start calling the State. Light up those phones at the AG’s Office. And let them know we here in Flagler County are tired of the corruption. And get some investigations going.
jane Gentile-Youd says
To Concerned Citizen.
I was appointed to the Long Term Planning Board … I ran only ONE time and lost by 10,000 votes but spent $150,000 LESS than Mullins. Have a nice day an try a sweet tasting mouth wash.
I know Heidi for over 15 years – not personally but in her capacity as General Services Director; she has always responded an returned phone calls – she even answers her phone unlike Jarrod Shupe who cannot even get the new county software vendor to correct sender of e-mails from Flagler County as sender instead of :”NO REPLY”…
Gold bless the First Amendment
Why does this not surprise me?? Several of the county commissioners and let’s just throw Palm Coast in the mix, are self serving, sneaky, and constantly attempt to do backdoor deals with their cronies. Why in the world do people elect these fools??? They just keep costing the taxpayers money when deals go bad, they made promises they can’t keep, make bad decisions then have to buy out their contracts to get rid of them, etc. etc. And people gripe about their taxes going up??? Wow, I wonder why??? When are people going to wake up and get some new blood in there that offer a fresh perspective and can make calm, thoughtful and fiscally proactive decisions. People here are just not willing to look at a candidate’s education, performance in previous positions, and other prudent tools when assessing potential candidates. They just seem to keep electing people who come in and decimate our county finances, let alone move us forward into a well planned future. Shame on you all! So, stop griping about your taxes and all of the corruption going on. You all brought it on yourselves!!!! Time to clean house!!!!
BILL NELSON says
And yet, Sullivan and O’Brian cruise to victory in the primary: Go Figure !!
CB from PC says
Well, on his watch we were rid of the “homeless” encampment using the library restrooms as their personal spa for whatever habits they had.
Who wanted to even chance letting young kids go in by themselves?
Something about having iPhones
and high-grade camping equipment just did not fit the homeless narrative of down on their luck.
Try the pay to stay campground, not public land.
And at least someone is looking for a successor who will promote the interests of Flagler citizens who see the writing on the wall from what is happening in other areas of the country.
And yeah, I know this will stoke some of you, just like it pisses off elitists who live in gated compounds with private security details.
Wow a bunch of slithering snakes inside a place i thought was dignified, i dont want to live like this, but i dont want to die. These public fugures should have smaller salaries than ever with the pandemic and recession we are going threw. These elected ifficials are basicly ciminials.
Grifters gonna Grift says
The second, third and forth biggest question is how does the County afford almost 1 million dollars in raises? This isn’t a one time ordeal, but 1 million dollars every year from here on out. I bet you dollars to donuts this was going to get slipped into ’20-’21 budget and blesses without the commission batting an eye. For those who used to blast Coffey for his use of the consent agenda here is your perfect opportunity to raise hell! Mark my words, Cameron will stroll out of Flagler County leaving a bigger mess then what Coffey left. Same thing he did in St. Johns.
You’re correct on two things. Sliding it into the budget and second Cameron leaving Flagler worse off than Coffey.
Mike Cocchiola says
We need a change!
My Father God Bless his Soul told me about thos place 15 years ago . I didnt believe him. Having experienced it firsthand myself” it is what it is ” the original goodole boy network. So glad to have rid myself of extra drama in my life.Like Shaq said “A dried up little pond”
John the Baptist says
This is a very interesting list of characters seeking this position. From my perspective, there are only two that are really qualified as they have proven leadership skills as they have worked a significant number of employees. I looked at the backgrounds of the two IT people. Mr. Salinas has a Masters’s Degree in IT but, his supervision of 12 employees shows he is lacking in real leadership. The other IT Mr. Shupe has no degree in IT or any degree and claims he has supervision of 20 employees. This also shows me a significant lack of leadership experience on his behalf. I also understand that Mr. Shupe has a history of anger management issues! Both of these folks I would have serious reservation about and I have no idea about their written and verbal communication skills which would be a major part of the job as chief. A chief of staff must regulate the ebb and flow of visitors conducting business with the county administrator. The chief of staff must coordinate the county administrators’ daily schedule and free the administrator from being tied up with non-essential requests from department heads. The chief of staff should be able to provide guidance and approval/non-approval without bothering the county administrator with these simple requests.
Looking at Mr. Brower’s background, he should stay in finance. The supervision of 11 employees does not qualify him for a leadership position of chief of staff. So that narrows the field to either Dr. Saviak or Ms. Petito. Dr.Saviak has all the credentials on paper to qualify for this position. He is personable and confident in his leadership skills. However, he has not shown experience in supervising and leading large numbers of employees. On the hand, Ms. Petito has a two-year degree and has supervised and led in excess of 110 employees.
Corinne Hermle says
I continue to be perplexed as to why this commission has such trouble with transparency.
Citizens are questioning the motivations and decisions being made in Flagler County. Trust needs to be regained, and a big part of regaining that trust is implementing transparency and accountability. Greater accountability will increase the public’s confidence in, and understanding of, the decision making process(es).
It is important for the public to view the decision making process first-hand. Yes, there is a need to balance openness with the need for administrative efficiency and personal privacy. But with four internal candidates out of five total, was a broad net _really_ cast? If your internal talent is good, then it should be able to stand up against outside applicants.
Someone should dive into the sexual harassment and drug use on the job cases that Ms Petito bungled a couple years ago. Her own employees were being harassed by a manager she hand selected and her people including that same manager were caught using drugs while working in a county park. They all kept their jobs cause Petito is inept just like her husband.
Better Check Your Facts says
Go ahead and open those can of worms. Request both inside and outside investigations that were conducted and what the recommendations were. Then request the outcomes.
Lance Carroll says
Like sands through the hourglass….
Roy Longo says
The job was rightfully Heidi Petito’s until Shupe slithered in and undermined anyone and everyone he could. Of course the Sheriff wants his man in there, but it should stay in house. The only one qualified is Petito
Like I always said, corruption at every level of government. Would expect nothing less from Flagler County.
Flagler County Citizen says
What’s interesting is that this pay study doesn’t look at what the actual employees do, and that the previous study promised about a 3% raise for three years to coincide with the cost of living raise. The regular staff working for the county have ever increasing job responsibilities, yet some of them are being told that this new pay study will present a 1% pay increase (coinsicent when they would normally see some sort of COLA) if the Board approves it. WTH? Staff are often operating on shoe-string budgets, attempting to make miracles happen with limited resources, space, and staff. And these employees are not given a pathway to progress or advance into positions which would poise them for leadership. Instead, the next level up is often outsourced to “someone with experience” from a completely different county or realm of experience. For that reason, we are often operating without a continuum of knowledge, and we experience turnover of exhausted, skilled staff who could have done much more withing a collaborative network.
It’s smoke and mirrors for the staff to be excited about the prospect of a pay increase when similar positions in neighboring counties have higher pay increases, merit increases, etc….whereas here, the people on the top to get significant pay increases, and people who are carrying the burden of increased public demand, COVID-19 extra duties on top of their day jobs, working night shifts during emergencies, and working the job of multiple people (because there’s no room in the budget for additional staff and leadership fails to see why we need to replace certain positions which have expanded significantly over the years vs. handing off that entire responsibility to current staff) all to see a lower than average cost of living increase.
And the citizens suffer, because they wonder why it takes so long for the county employees to get certain projects completed or why they aren’t being served in a reasonable time.
Trailer Bob says
FlaglerLive, thanks for the info. Most of us don’t have the time or resources to get the whole picture. Good job.
I would run for office in the future, but it almost seems that cards are already rigged.
When I was a city commissioner up north, the equivalent of our County Commissioners, we were paid about $8,000 a year. We didn’t do it for the money. I do believe that the current salary for our County Commissioners is about $20,000 too high. It should be a privilege to serve your community, not the other way around.
Old Hammock Resident says
With the large influx of New Yorker’s living here, one would believe the Mafia should be involved in Flagler County politics. Which brings me to my visit at the tag agency a couple of days ago. 120 specialty tags are affixed to the back wall. I’m going to petition the State of Florida and request another specialty tag that reads, “Save Florida from New Yorker’s”.
Flagler Taxpayer says
Any candidate that has financial issues, liens, bankruptcies etc, should be DISQUALIFIED! If they cannot manage their own assets, how can they manage OURS???
E. Hoffa says
SWAMP CORRUPTION! When will it END?
Get the grammar straight, it is “New Yorkers”, no apostrophe. Anyway, I am a former New Yorker as well as my entire family including my parents, and sister with her family and we are not associated with the Mafia. We work here and contribute to the community. Anyway, what does this have to do with the article.
I worked for Heidi Petito and of all the candidates, she is the most qualified. She was always kind and professional to me. She knows how the budget works, and is in charge of Facilities, Utilities, Parks, Solid Waste/Landfill, Fleet, and Transportation. The department works well despite budget shortfalls but the work gets done because she also has a great crew working for her.
So, Mr. Cameron, pick Heidi Petito.
And I believe the salary for the BOCC is determined by the state.
E Pluribus says
I’m not seeing a reason, stated or inferred, for why a Chief of Staff position is required. If Mr. Cameron truly believed the end was nigh for his employment because Dear Old Sullivan was down in the poles that’s the Board’s fault for not having overruled his faulty logic of not having a Deputy Administrator on staff.
None of these candidates are qualified including Mr. Cameron for his “permanent interim County Administrator” position. There are plenty of people with College education and leadership experience that would be better suited for Administrator. So the question I am left with is why don’t they want the best-qualified people? And forgive me, but the Cameron leadership Academy sounds like total BS.
The Board needs a refresher on Sunshine Law. I believe Mr. Hadeed is not doing a very good job of giving sound legal advice on Sunshine Law. If the Board wants to weigh in on this decision, it must do so in the sunshine, and not hide behind the cloak of Mr. Cameron. I think Craig Coffey was a symptom, the real problem has and will continue to be the elected officials’ absolute incompetence on every matter.
Been There says
Three of these candidates come from Jerry Cameron’s ego enhancing “Leadership Academy”. Leadership Academy which he did at St. John’s County to assess who would best represent him as his legacy once he moved on. Each candidate is given a personality test to determine who has the same personality type. Two of the candidates’ for this position from the Flagler Leadership Academy had the same personality type as Cameron himself. One of those candidates is ruthless with ambition and will do ANYTHING no matter how unethical for advancement. The other isn’t qualified at all to even be considered for the position.
When you look at the history of cancel culture between St. Johns and Flagler County you will find that Cameron and his minions have made a fine job of eliminating anyone who disagrees with Cameron and then slandering their characters in the press. When public records are requested, there is a history of obstruction in their release or the elimination of certain emails or documents. The individuals making the requests don’t know if they are getting ALL the qualifying documentation because if you don’t ask for specific items like the assistants’ emails; emails that were removed or tampered with from the server (yes it can be done and it is being done); memos that were printed out, deleted and shred; personal email accounts and cell phones, personal extraneous cell phone (burner phones) records, then you aren’t getting the whole story. This has been documented by employees who are scared to speak out because they need to protect their livelihoods and there are far-reaching connections.
I can promise you that Cameron’s sneakiness could be matched by any of his Leadership Academy all stars as can the lack of ethics. The battles between Shupe and the Petitos are no secret. Just two months ago Cameron told the whole group none of them would be considered because of their backstabbing each other. Secretly, I’m sure it made him proud.
So why is Saviak on that list? Let’s see, who has the most to gain from that positioning? Who has roots in FDLE that is in Administration now?
Apparently the “The Cowboy Code” (the one that has rule #1, “The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.”) was left out of the book they are reading.
Giddy up, Cowboys.
THE GAY RANCHER says
BEEN THERE: Well hm hm this is one rodeo that I refuse to attend!
This County needs new blood, fresh ideas and a vision that will lead us forward.
I assume all the listed candidates are good county employees able to deal with day to day activities. While important, the CA position should be so much more.
For years, economic development has been ineffective. Credit to Mr. O’Brien for recognizing this. In recent affordable housing discussions, focus was accommodating those ‘in health care’ of elderly within the County. No mention of building infrastructure for new vibrant industrial, commercial ventures (replacing Sea Ray etc.) and their employees .
Same with TDA, the Director openly asks the TDA Council, comprised of part time professionals, what they think of proposals, preferences and policy thresholds and what they would like? Instead of going on record with a firm recommendation based on facts, selling the above Committee on findings and recommended paths / performance accountability.
It is embarrassing to watch BOCC meetings. Some ‘public’ forum segments dissuade good candidates from applying , or other qualified candidates from coming to this County. None of us like all decisions made, but these are our elected officials.
The CA should be establishing growth initiatives, with key outside contacts. The County should be divided into economic segments with appropriate zoning instead of perpetual fights on virtually every project. But, we don’t have a visionary resource to lead FC to the next tier of growth as St. John’s and Volusia Counties have done. Why?
In closing, I think Mr. Cameron has done a good job though much work remains for the next hire.
One persons opinion.