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Madeira Beach city manager, clerk resign after commissioners approve severance package

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by
Shane Crawford

Commissioners voted to accept the resignation of Shane Crawford, who served as city manager since 2012, and his wife Cheryl, who had been city manager.

The city approved a $135,000 settlement in exchange for Shane Crawford’s resignation, effective immediately. The commission voted 3-2 Monday night to settle with the married couple, offering severance, sick and vacation time.

The agreement comes nearly a year of internal bickering at City Hall, with allegations of wrongdoing and bad feeling turning into a full-scale battle between some residents and Madeira Beach officials.

The dispute began over development plans for a vacant parcel near the former Leverock’s Restaurant with a proposal to build a multi-story complex with a hotel, condominiums, restaurant and parking garage.

Discord led to a March vote ousting three incumbent Madeira Beach commissioners and selecting Mayor Maggi Black and Commissioners John Douthirt and Nancy Oakley — opponents of the development — who then voted to suspend Shane and Cheryl Crawford.

Many argued that Shane Crawford was on the side of builders, putting him at odds with commissioners.

His relationship (and subsequent marriage) to the city clerk also drew criticism.

“In the five years he’s been city manager here, I believe he’s created chaos, with the silent majority and a Garden of Eden for the select few,” resident Debbie Weinstein told WFLA.

The approved agreement includes: Crawford receiving about $88,710 in gross pay – as well as 20 weeks’ severance pay – taking $50,643 after taxes. The city would continue paying into health and other insurance, making retirement payments during the next 20 weeks. Shane Crawford would receive $60,577 gross for his 20-week severance; about $20,597 for unpaid vacation; and about $2,537 in unused sick time.

A separate proposal has Shane Crawford staying on as a consultant for four weeks – through July 16 – receiving $6,058 bi-weekly. After taxes, that would be $8,254.

As for Cheryl Crawford, she also resigned, effective May 4, giving up any legal claim with the city of Madeira Beach and its officials. Based on her annual salary of $65,042, would also get six weeks’ severance – about $7,505 gross.

In the agreement, Cheryl Crawford will also be retained as a consultant for 18 weeks, backdated to May 5, and continue through Sept. 7. She will receive $2,502 bi-weekly – for $22,515 gross – about $14,114.60.

On the city’s website, Crawford posted a message saying it was “an honor and privilege” to work for Madeira Beach since January of 2012.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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