Gainesville City Manager Lee Feldman submitted his resignation today, making him the third City of Gainesville charter officer to resign in the past week and the fourth since May. Mayor Lauren Poe has added an agenda item to tonight’s Gainesville City Commission meeting to consider terminating the contract of a fifth, GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski.
Feldman was hired on November 4, 2019, on a 6-1 vote with only Commissioner David Arreola in dissent (Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker has replaced Commissioner Gigi Simmons since that vote). In his resignation letter, Feldman said he “[continues] to serve in that capacity with enthusiasm and pride… While I believe that I maintain the solid support of a majority of the City Commission, the issue of my retention as your City Manager continues to be a topic of discussion.” In fact, on Friday, September 10, Duncan-Walker added an agenda item to the City Commission’s September 16 meeting to consider terminating Feldman’s contract.
Feldman went on to say that discussions about his retention have “a detrimental effect on our organization” and that he is putting the community before himself by resigning. The resignation is effective at 5:00 p.m. on November 12.
City Clerk Omichele Gainey and City Attorney Nicolle Shalley submitted their resignations on September 8, and a fourth charter officer, the Director of Equity and Inclusion Teneeshia Marshall, resigned in early May. Of the six charter officers who were employed by the City in May, only City Auditor Ginger Bigbee, who was hired in December 2019, will be left once all the resignations are effective. The City will now have to embark on four expensive searches for new charter officers, on top of paying for an election to replace Commissioner Gail Johnson, who resigned on August 23.
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