The 75,000 to $80,000 position to replace Armando Martinez was advertised barely two weeks, but it’s drawn 36 applicants from 26 states and the District of Columbia, with the balance—47 applicants—from Florida, a dozen of them from Flagler County.
Bunnell City Attorney Lonnie Groot resigned barely two months into his tenure, hinting at a lack of “professional principles and conduct” after Commissioner Jenny Crain-Brady said she didn;t want him “running” the city. The resignation is the latest in a series of blights on the city’s and commission’s conduct.
The $24,000 July bill from City Attorney Lonnie Groot and his firm amounts to almost half the city’s entire annual budget for legal services. Groot and commissioners said the fee is the result of several high-profile cases, but commissioners and staff alone rang up $7,363 in billable hours.
Three Bunnell city commissioners would not give Manager Armando Martinez more than $80,000 a year. He would not accept less than $97,500. The difference was only one of the cleavers that produced another ugly, late-night wrangle on the commission, featuring offensive language and a commissioner walking out.
On a 3-2 vote, the commission agreed to negotiate a new contract for the manager it fired six weeks ago as Baxley’s move to appoint an interim fell flat and Mayor Robinson took advantage of an opening that Baxley himself had given here.
Bunnell Finance Director Cynthia Bertha–Cissy to friends and colleagues–blamed the new majority of the Bunnell City Commission for undoing City Manager Armando Martinez’s “hard work” as she explained her resignation. She is the third high-ranking administrator to either resign or be fired since that new majority took hold.
Bunnell city commissioners dressed in period costumes, the commission reenacted the very first meeting of the Bunnell Town Council in 2013, and a time capsule was buried, not to be opened until 2063, as Bunnell marked its one hundredth anniversary under a sun borrowed from the days of Genesis.
Bunnell City Manager Armando Martinez ran out of lives late Monday night as the City Commission voted 3-2 not to renew his contract–essentially firing him–despite impassioned appeals by the mayor to retain him.
Bunnell Commissioner Elbert Tucker will trigger another discussion against renewing Armando Martinez’s contract, with Commissioner Bill Baxley having already pledged during his campaign not to renew it as written, and Commissioner John Rogers long opposed to the manager, which suggests that tonight’s vote may end Martinez’s five-year tenure.
Bunnell marked the national Day of Prayer for the third year with its own sponsored religious event, a distinctly Christian, evangelical-like service that features commissioners and the mayor offering prayers and pastors invoking Jesus’s name and god’s law above all others.