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Gainesville city commissioners discuss the performance of their six charter officers and vote to approve a pay raise

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 11:03 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Gainesville city commissioners unanimously approved their six charter officers’ performance evaluations. However, the decision to increase pay by 2.5% ended in a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Gigi Simmons voting in dissent. The district one commissioner did not believe it was the right time to approve this merit pay increase with the current economic climate.

“I did not agree to the increase and rate pay because of the economic situation we are in not only as a city but a country. It is very difficult for me to agree to those type of terms under these circumstances.”

One of those charter officers that underwent evaluation was City Manager Lee Feldman.

He received the overall lowest score out of the six charter officers evaluated. The three commissioners who voted to fire Feldman in November after an investigation into his conduct gave him low marks for leading and integrity.

Commissioner Simmons said there are still pending legal matters when asked about concerns with City Manager Feldman based on what was written on her evaluation form.

“The concern that I have is that we are currently still under investigation. The particular charter officer still has accusations pending in court, and those are some things that I would not like to talk about or discuss because of the legality of everything. With that being said, it is hard to accurately do an evaluation under those circumstances.”

Commissioner Reina Saco said in her evaluation of Feldman, he has “Demonstrated professionalism and leadership.”

Mayor Lauren Poe urged his colleagues to sit down with the six charter officers together, something he did late last year.

“It has helped me understand some of the pressures and challenges that they are facing, much of it coming from us here at the dais or not at the dais. A lot of it coming it from things happening in our city that are independent of any decisions that we may or may not make.”

TV20 reached out to City Manager Lee Feldman to discuss his performance evaluation, but he did not return our request for comment.

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