Sarasota Commissioners Demand Nadalini Resign

Government

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY JAN 8, 2019

Sarasota City Commissioners called for City Auditor and Clerk Pam Nadalini to submit her resignation by the close of business on January 15. 

“I believe it’s untenable to continue,” said City Commissioner Hagen Brody, “but I do want to publicly recognize and appreciate Pam’s 33 years of service to the community and to us as city commissioners. I wish her well.”

Commissioners voted 4-1 to demand Nadalini’s resignation, with only Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie voting against the move. She called it hypocritical and insincere to give credence to complaints about Nadalini, while also asking her to help with any transition.

Eddie called such a move akin to saying, “We don’t want you here, but stay here so we can ask you questions.”

The action largely brings to a close a long fight about Nadalini’s management at the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office, and it potentially sets the stage for a new fight on whether the office should remain independent or an arm of the City Manager’s Office. Consultants from Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, paid $30,000 to investigate complaints about Nadalini, recommended her termination and a review of the charter structure.

Commissioners said Nadalini, should she resign, may provide an effective date as late as April 15 for the end of her employment. City Attorney Robert Fournier said she would remain on paid administrative leave for that time, as she has been since December 3. But should she not submit a resignation, her employment will end on January 16.

Critics and supporters of Nadalini spoke out Monday before the Commission decision. Former Sarasota City Commission candidate Martin Hyde called it “hippie-style reverse management” to allow employee complaints to dictate a manager’s future, and said the decision will “result in anarchy for which you will all be viable.”

But Newtown activist Barbara Langston said the city needed to take employee concerns about Nadalini into account. “No employee of the city should work in a place that’s in turmoil,” she said. “No employee should be afraid to speak out.”

City Attorney Bob Fournier, a long-time friend of Nadalini, recommended the language of the motion.

Commissioner Willie Shaw, the only City Commissioner who was on the board for Nadalini’s promotion to City Auditor and Clerk and one who voted against pursuing the investigation of Nadalini, noted the clerk always received positive evaluations from commissioners. But he ultimately supported asking for her resignation, saying she had become a “liability” to the city regardless.

He also took umbrage at many who have looked to create a strong mayor in Sarasota suddenly raising racial concerns about Nadalini’s ouster. He said ultimately, it came down to the fact Nadalini serves at the pleasure of the commission. 

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