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Madeira Beach to consider tentative deal with embattled city manager, clerk

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

Madeira Beach City Commissioners have reached a tentative agreement with the embattled city manager and city clerk allowing them to resign without firing.

The deal, which could cost the city more than $130,000, is up for consideration at a special meeting Monday evening.

Part of the agreements would have city manager Shane Crawford and his wife, Cheryl, who serves as city clerk, to stay on as consultants until the city finds their replacements.

According to the Tampa Bay Reporter, the package will cost Madeira Beach around $135,845, including $10,000 in attorney costs, ending a yearlong legal battle. The meeting, at 6 p.m. is open to the public.

The quarrel began over a proposal to build a multistory complex with a hotel, condominiums, restaurant and parking garage has blown into a full-scale battle between some residents and Madeira Beach officials.

As a result, Madeira Beach voted in March to choose Mayor Maggi Black and Commissioners John Douthirt and Nancy Oakley — who then voted to suspend Shane and Cheryl Crawford.

At the contentious meeting, City Clerk Cindy Crawford questioned the election, and called out the newly elected council members by saying they were “not worthy of her support.” The city manager had earlier questioned the validity of the election.

Former city attorney Tom Trask, the Reporter notes, had been negotiating the settlement between the Crawfords in the city.

Commissioners will consider terms of the proposed agreement, which include Shane Crawford waiving all legal claims against the city and the commission; he will also resign, effective at once.

If approved, Crawford will receive 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 would have Shane Crawford stay 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, the proposed agreement would allow her to resign, effective May 4, and give up any legal claim with the city of Madeira Beach and its officials.

Cheryl Crawford, at an annual salary of $65,042, would get six weeks’ severance — about $7,505 gross.

The commission is also scheduled to consider hiring Cheryl Crawford as a consultant to provide advice and support during the transition.

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

The full proposal is available at madeirabeachfl.gov.

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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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