Charlie George Modifies His Intent to Step Down

By Mike Lednovich

Fernandina Beach Interim City Manager Charlie George expounded on his comment last week that his commitment to the position ends in November.

“You’ll recall last December I committed to November of this year to get us through the budget and the elections and so there is some stability. So, I’m still standing by that,” George said. “What you guys decide to do is on you, so that’s where I’m at.”

After the meeting, Commissioner Chip Ross asked George via email if he intended to resign from the position in November.

“No, my agreement (with the city) indicates I will serve as the interim City Manager through November 2024 or until the Commission decides to hire a permanent City Manager. If a new City Manager is not selected by then, I and the Commission will discuss moving forward. Simply put, it is not my intention to resign in November,” George stated in the email.

That position was never stated to commissioners as discussions ensued following George’s original statement in the workshop.

“What I’m asking about is the process. How are you going to determine when you’re going to pick a new city manager?” Ross asked in the workshop. “You want somebody in November, you want somebody after November. You have no idea what we want. What is the process so the public knows what’s the process is going forward?”

Details of George’s contract were not mentioned and he did not address the commission when they began discussing future plans for the city manager position.

Mayor Bradley Bean answered that he was “incredibly confident of the work of Charlie George as city manager and I’m incredibly confident he’ll continue to do good work as city manager. I fully support the work Mr. George has done for use and I know he’ll continue to do so. That’s my current plan,” Bean stated.

Commissioner James Antun had a different opinion.

“My concern is succession planning,” Antun said. “We want to make sure we have the next potential city manager for three years, five years or 10 years, we don’t know. We can have that discussion with Charlie privately. We don’t want to wait until the day Charlie says he’s ready to retire to talk about getting a new city manager to replace him and learn the institutional knowledge that he has.”

City Manager Dale Martin was fired a year ago, and it took the city commission six months to name Ty Ross as his replacement. Ty Ross lasted seven weeks in the job and resigned fafter an embarrassing alcohol-related bicycle accident. George took over after the resignation.

Commissioner Darron Ayscue said the public is seeking “stability right now.”

“I didn’t hear much of an appetite from them to make a change or do anything right now,” he said. “There was some turmoil with everything that’s happened, they just want stability right now.”

Ayscue said George could possibly contribute by helping a consultant looking at the city’s organization chart.

“So it’s status quo for the foreseeable future?” Ross said.

“I think that’s what most of the citizens want,” Ayscue answered.

The commission decided to take no action regarding the city manager position.

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Douglas M
Noble Member
Douglas M(@douglasm)
1 month ago

This might be the 3rd or 4th time (second in two weeks) where one article with numerous comments disappears and is replaced by another that is 80-90% copy and paste of the original but with the comments now gone……Mike Phillips, any idea on how to solve that problem?? I think the original reporting (with comments) should be retained.

I remember many of the original comments bashed the Commission for their inaction and lack of concern over Charlie’s comments. I guess now we know why they were not in a hurry……they were not blindsided at the announcement and knew the intent.

Hunter Walker
Trusted Member
Hunter Walker(@hwalker00)
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas M

Couldn’t agree more, the original article/comments don’t matter???