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HomeNassau CountyFernandina BeachFernandina City Vice-Mayor Sturges Proposes Firing City Manager Martin

Fernandina City Vice-Mayor Sturges Proposes Firing City Manager Martin

Club 14 Fitness


By George Miller, 2-14-23

Near the end of the already tumultuous 2-7-23 Fernandina Beach City Commission meeting (see our other article on the meeting), in nearly empty chambers, Vice-Mayor/Commissioner David Sturges brought up an un-agendized bombshell during the response to the Mayor’s comment period: fire City Manager Dale Martin. Many, including this reporter, had already left the meeting. Thank goodness for video archives provided by the City Clerk and tech staff. See section 10 in the meeting video.

FB Vice-Mayor David Sturges

Without any advance warning, Sturges presented a litany of some grievances he had with Martin’s performance and proceeded to read them out loud, without any compliments for other work well-done. Martin agreed to respond “spontaneously”, but asked to allow Commissioner Chip Ross to first respond with what was an impassioned defense of Martin, specifically disagreeing with most of Sturges’ points.

Martin did respond after that, conceding some of Sturges’ accusations but attempting to refute most of them.

Commissioners Antun, Asycue and Mayor Bean did not participate in this much, except that Antun asked for some clarification, particularly on whether Martin tried to shade the budget cut impact and said Martin did a good job responding to the accusations. Asycue felt that Ross seems to get more favored, a longer leash, than the other Commissioners. Bean agreed with that, but said there is a new Commission now. He appreciated Martin’s answers. He was not sure how to proceed. Martin vowed to support the City Commission’s direction without wavering.

There was no discussion of the large increase in staff and budget in recent years, or disputes about development.

Mayor Bean said they could vote or table this for two weeks.
It’s our understanding that such an item must be agendized in advance so it can be carefully considered by the Commission, City Attorney and the public before any vote to act is taken. The City Attorney did not point this out.

But, they made a motion to terminate Martin, then amended to table it based on a motion by Ross, saying they should wait a few months, keep it on the back burner and bring it up again if desired. Asycue, Bean and Antun voted that down. A new motion to postpone action indefinitely was approved by Bean, Ross and Antun. But we see that it’s on the 2-21-23 meeting agenda.

You can also read the “R”-rated opinion version on this in last week’s Dave Scott column.

Mayor Bradley Dean presents Frederick Douglass Day (Feb. 14)/Black History Month proclamation to XXX and Jack Knocke, Executive Director of CCDF (County Citizens Defending Freedom- Nassau County Chapter) at 2-7-23 Fernandina City Commission meeting. See separate article by Jack Knocke on this.

Link to above-mentioned Black History Month article

Just askin’- CCDF member Roy Postel wants to know why the city wants to buy online storage capacity well exceeding Library of Congress and all Amazon book storage capacity- with vague goals, from an obscure CA company. Photo: George Miller, Citizens Journal Florida


George Miller is Publisher and Co-Founder of Citizens Journal Florida, based in Fernandina Beach. He is a “retired” operations management consultant, software and publishing executive and manufacturing management professional.

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