Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Belle Isle City Manager Resigns

On December 1, 2015, the Belle Isle City Council voted 6-1 to accept the resignation of City Manager Keith Severns. Under the agreement, Mr. Severns will receive salary for an additional six months, as permitted under the terms of his contract with the City. During this six month period, Mr. Severns will continue to serve as city manager for a maximum of four months, or until the council appoints an interim city manager. For the remainder of the six-month period, Mr. Severns will serve as a consultant to the new or interim city manager.

As expected, Mr. Severns brought his core supporters to the meeting, most of whom made statements about how much they will miss Mr. Severns as our city manager. Many also admonished the council for accepting his resignation, despite the fact that this resignation was endorsed by every commissioner except Commissioner Ady, as well as by the mayor and city attorney. But even those admonishments were kept to a heated but respectful level.

Unfortunately, not all of Mr. Severns' supporters were able to maintain the level of dignity and restraint shown at the meeting. Following the meeting, former council candidate Larry Miles issued a statement simultaneously endorsing the reelection of Commissioner Shuck (a vocal supporter of Mr. Severns) while describing Commissioner Readey (presently battling leukemia) as a "corpse."

But while a period of negativity from Mr. Severns' core supporters is understandable, I share Mayor Brooks' optimism that the solution reached at the December 1 meeting will allow Belle Isle to move forward working with a city manager who inspires the faith and support of all our City's residents.

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