Fort Myers Beach votes to fire town manager

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-05 13:43:54-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. -- The city's town manager is out of a job after city leaders voted to fire him after the town racked up over $3 million in debt.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to fire town manager Don Stilwell Friday.

Mayor Dennis Boback filed the motion at Friday's meeting for the firing of Stilwell.  The town recently accepted a loan that would help the city pay most of $3.2 million in vendor bills connected to the major water rehabilitation project in progress now.

"The Town Manager should know at all times what's going on in this town. Period," Boback said.
Stilwell wanted to bring in a third party to investigate what went wrong, but instead was fired. He declined to comment on his termination.
Councilwoman Rexann Hosafros said the "rash" decision could lead the town to legal trouble.

"I don't believe it's appropriate to fire... you haven't found the cause yet. You have to find the cause," Hosafros said.

"I don't think it's fair," Councilwoman Anita Cereceda said. "It's just a great loss to us."

The bickering of the council and snickering of citizens watching led Cereceda to make this address;

"Can we remember that there's three TV cameras there, and we're going to look like idiots at this point?"

"It's too late. It's too late," Councilmembers responded.

Stilwell is entitled to a termination hearing to appeal the decision. He has not indicated whether or not he is requesting one.