timberland vouchers City commission gathers for special meeting
As for the filling of two vacant positions, the commission voted to move forward with interviews scheduled for several candidates for the next City Attorney. Those interviews will be conducted on January 17. City Attorney Lew Shelley will retire on January 31.
The other vacant position is the City Auditor position.
The commission voted to move forward and begin the process to search for candidates. City Auditor Bert Fletcher retired at the end of 2017. Don Hancock, the current Senior Audit Manager for the city, was approved to serve as the Interim City Auditor.
Finally, the commission approved a settlement with the Tallahassee Democrat regarding public records and text messages.
The lawsuit was filed on November 29 and accuses the city of failing to comply with public records law after a reporter requested text messages sent and received by Rick Fernandez. The city said the requested texts did not exist, but it was later discovered that they did. It’s alleged that the texts were deleted by Fernandez.
City Attorney Lew Shelley admitted that the city was not complying with the law when it came to retaining text messages however, it has now adopted a policy to handle that. He said, “it will be difficult and time consuming” to archive all city text messages, but it is necessary.
1. All text messages transmitted or received over City provided cellular phones will be captured and retained system wide.5. Any public record transmitted, sent or received via text message or email shall be retained in City system.6. City leadership team (appointed officials, city management and department heads) and elected officials will file an annual statement confirming compliance with the public records law and city public records policies.7. Violation of the public records law, or city policies concerning public records, shall be grounds for disciplinary action.