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Major shake-up at City Hall as all 3 Assistant City Managers are fired, Police Chief and Public Works Director temporarily reassigned

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Although the full scope of the shake-up is still unfolding, we have received confirmation of at least five major personnel moves at City Hall today: Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry has eliminated the three Assistant City Manager positions and fired Assistant City Managers Fred Murry, Deborah Bowie, and Andrea Agha; and Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones has been temporarily reassigned to an Interim Chief Operating Officer position at City Hall. Director of Public Works Phil Mann has also reportedly been moved to a special assignment as a special advisor to the City Manager, with oversight of capital projects and infrastructure needs. An Interim Police Chief and Interim Public Works Director will be announced soon.

In addition to the Chief Operating Officer position, the City will also be adding an Executive Chief of Staff and Chief Housing Strategist in the near future.

Jones has been with Gainesville Police Department since 1975, retiring as a Captain in 2004, coming back as Interim Police Chief in 2009, and appointed as Police Chief in September, 2009. He served as an Interim City Manager for a few months in 2005. His assignment at City Hall will be effective January 17.

Murry has been an Assistant City Manager with the City of Gainesville since 2007 and was a top candidate for the City Manager position in 2019 and the Interim City Manager position in 2021.

Bowie was hired as the Executive Chief of Staff in 2018 and was Interim City Manager for almost all of 2019. She became Assistant City Manager in November 2019.

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Agha was hired on August 30, 2021. Before that, she served as the CEO for the Village of Key Biscayne and as the deputy town manager for the Town of Miami Lakes.

Mann has been with the City of Gainesville for almost 35 years and has been the Public Works Director since 2017. He was an Acting Assistant City Manager – Operations for about a year in 2020-21 and returned to Public Works in September 2021.

On top of the personnel changes, the Department of Budget and Finance will be renamed to the Department of Financial Services, the Office of Capital Asset Planning and Economic Resilience (CAPER) will be renamed to Economic Opportunity and Special Projects Planning, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives will be renamed to the Department of Strategy, Planning and Innovation. The budget has been removed from Financial Services and added to the Department of Strategy, Planning and Innovation.

The City sent out the following statement regarding the changes: “The organizational changes implemented by the city manager are designed to centralize and fortify our management structure by streamlining operations and leveraging our resources more strategically. This move ensures consistency in direction, expectations and support across the organization. As we transition, our collective energy remains focused on delivering best-in-class services to our neighbors.”

Update: the Memorandum from Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry to the Mayor and the City Commissioners can be read here.

  • Wow! Anything I could say would sound like some wild conspiracy theory. G’ville is out of control. We need the state to come affect a pause button here. Hold on!

    • No. This is needed in order to have an effective and efficient government. The City Manager knows exactly what she is doing. Sit back and watch how things improve.

    • Reason, simple. Scapegoats to blame for all improper or unethical acts in the last 4 years! It was them. Us commissioners don’t know anything about this, that or the other. Biden stimulus money funneled back to Reichert House, questionable contracts, false financial transactions and statements? Those 3 were in charge of everything! Not us! It won’t be long, wait and see!

      • Good! The fact that the city has been a mess for a while is because of 3 assistant managers who have no done anything!!! And why doesn’t the city have a CPA overlooking the financials!!??

  • It’s about time. Fred Murry should have been fired years ago! I called him out on his lies, etc. years ago. He then said I was not allowed to have a retirement party after 34-years of service with the city. I think I know many of the reasons Fred was fired has to do with housing.

  • A banana republic is a country with an economy of state capitalism, whereby the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class. Such exploitation is enabled by collusion between the state and favored economic monopolies

  • I agree with you Ms Martin. He Was incompetent when he was hired. I don’t know how he stayed their so long

  • Make former Sheriff Sadie Darnell the new chief of police (if she wants the job).

      • She gets stuff done in general, so maybe. She was a Lt. and PIO at GPD during the 1990 student murders, and she proved herself as very superior back in those days. After that, she was a Commander (I think) at GPD before running for Sheriff. In woke-world, a black man with a “justice-involved” son apparently trumps a white woman (even one with Native American heritage who happens to be Tom Petty’s cousin), so the woketards all had to vote for the black man for sheriff this time. I’m sure she looks at drifter types at lot differently compared to Saco or Hayes-Santos. She has seen what a loose violent psychopath is capable of, and I don’t see her as wanting to put out the welcome mat.

        • What the hell does color (black) has to do with anything!!! I think they have a name!! Just like everyone else right!!! I really hope that black statements makes you feel superior or important in this matter!!

          • I am not into identity politics. But we have plenty of people here who are. I had a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude toward replacing the Sheriff. I know some people don’t like her, but so what. Crybabies gonna cry – about her and everything else.

  • Remember that pothole in an earlier story? I know what could be used to fill it. City leadership is completely of the rails. Speaking of rails, maybe Rip would offer a trip to the train station. 😉

    Is there any way we can fire the current crooked city commission? Get rid of that POS Poe. “Two Face, I have an opinion” Harvey, Suckling Arreola, Wacko Saco, Halfwit Hayes-Santos…they all need to be run out of town.

    The state needs to get involved and look behind all the smoke and mirrors.

  • Brilliant! Great! What a Novel idea , Create more Chiefs for the Taxpayers to pay for or better yet GRU Customers. When can we start adding some CZARS, comrades ? Maybe the City Commission has already filled that role.

    • What the hell do we need a “Chief housing strategist”
      For? To invite more homeless here and house them
      At taxpayers’ expense?? Can they do something about the panhandlers in the medians?

      • From the looks of inhabitants downtown, they aren’t homeless. They’re living in the same vestibules, doorways, benches and vehicles they’ve been living in for the past 6 months.

      • There should be a new housing moratorium for at least three years except for single-family homes built by individuals who already own their land. All of this recent construction has been way over-the-top. Preserve the character of Gainesville.

  • GOOD riddance on Bowie! Should have never been hired Right hand for Corrupt criminal mayor that engineered the largest $3.2 BILLION bankruptcy in US history at Birmingham. Convicted of many charges and she was fired in her brief tenure as temp after his arrest. Found budget $70 million short in only a few months.
    https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSTRE4B045V20081201

  • Fred Murray a nice guy, honest but few if any skills. Basically a long-term, do little employee to show black leadership. Would have likely refused to carry out or be part of crooked transactions he’s likely become aware of. Last time they talked about firing him, there were five hours of minority comments claiming racism. Might be a good future witness of the corruptness going on. Likely fired because he might tell.

  • The desire to get rid of anyone with authority and any local following needs to go so the improper shell games with fed Covid and “infrastructure” funds being spread to cronies has begun. These corrupt commissioners are so giddy discussing how to spend and spend free money they can’t stop themselves from very risky conduct. Can’t wait until it bites them in the asx and leads to convictions, especially for the 3 woke, white, jobless Musketeers: poe, hayes. and ward ( all private failures).

  • Did I read this correctly? Jones has been with GPD since 1975? Now he along with others have been reassigned to another job with the city? What a joke. Fire them and save the taxpayers the money!

    THEN FIX THE ROADS

  • Interim managers don’t normally make massive changes!
    Was Cynthia Curry hired as a “hit person” to settle old scores?

    • She was hired to fixed the issues. You might want to sit back and watch her do her job because she is good at fixing and resolving issues and making sure taxpayer dollars are allocated correctly.

  • Who’s going to be in charge of running the Poelice now? Hmmm? Let me see……………………look up.

  • WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore: Recycling collection in Baltimore shifts to bi-weekly starting January 18th

    Coming soon to a Build Back Better Gainesville Dystopia near you?

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