Madeira Beach Reaches Tentative Agreements with City Manager, City Clerk
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
Commissioners are scheduled to consider signing the agreements, which could cost the city more than $130,000, during a special meeting Monday.
MADEIRA BEACH – City attorneys have reached tentative agreements to allow the city manager and city clerk to resign from their positions rather than face firing.
Two additional agreements would see the two kept on as temporary consultants while the city begins its search for their replacements.
The cost to the city for the package: about $135,845. The price includes $10,000 to be paid to the attorney representing Shane Crawford and his wife, Cheryl.
If the Madeira Beach commission accepts the deals during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday (June 19), the votes would end part of a battle that has raged in the community for more than a year. The meeting is open to the public.
The dispute, which began over two proposed developments on the island side of the Madeira Beach causeway bridge, the city’s direct link to the mainland. Opponents of the developments argued they were too intense and large for the location.
The battle over the developments resulted in the election in March of three new commission members – Mayor Maggi Black and Commissioners John Douthhirt and Nancy Oakley.
The three voted to suspend Crawford and fire Mrs. Crawford during a contentious meeting in which the city clerk read a statement saying, among other things, that she did not consider the newly elected council members worthy of her support. The city manager had earlier questioned the validity of the election.
Since then, city attorney Tom Trask, who has resigned, has been negotiating a settlement among the parties. It’s those proposed agreements that are scheduled to come before the commission at Monday’s special meeting.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement between Shane Crawford and the commission:
**Crawford would waive all legal claims against the city and the commission.
**He would be allowed to resign, effective midnight tonight (June 18).
**He would also receive about $88,710 from the city, including 20 weeks’ severance pay. That amount is gross – before taxes and other expenses are taken out. He would pocket about $50,643 of that. The city would also agree to maintain health and other insurance and continue making retirement payments during th 20 weeks.
The figures are based on Crawford’s $157,500 a year salary. He would receive about $60,577 gross for 20 weeks’ severance; about $20,597 gross for unpaid vacation time; and about $2,537 for unused sick time. He would also receive $5,000 toward his attorney’s fees.
Under a second proposed agreement, Crawford would be retained as a consultant for four weeks from Monday (June 19) through July 16 to help with the transition. He would be paid about $6,058 bi-weekly for a total of about $12,116. After taxes, he would take home about $8,254, according to city figures.
The city would withdraw its firing of Cheryl Crawford and allow her to resign, effective midnight May 4, according to the proposed agreement. Like her husband, she would agree to relinquish any legal claims she might have against the city and Madeira Beach officials.
In return, Mrs. Crawford, who earned $65,042 annually as city clerk, would receive six weeks’ severance pay. That’s about $7,505 gross. She would take home about $5,427 of that.
Like her husband, she would also receive $5,000 to help pay her attorney’s fees.
The commission is also scheduled to consider hiring Mrs. Crawford as a consultant to provide advice and support during the transition.
If approved, Mrs. Crawford would work as a consultant for 18 weeks, retroactive to May 5. Her consulting contract would terminate Sept. 7.
She would be paid about $2,502 bi-weekly for a total of about $22,515 gross. Her take home would be about $14,114.60.
To see the agenda and the proposed agreements, go to madeirabeachfl.gov.
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