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Cape Coral City Council votes to terminate city manager's contract sooner than expected

Posted at 11:38 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 05:19:13-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A swift vote from the Cape Coral City Council has left city manager Rob Hernandez out of a job.

Hernandez was originally supposed to leave his position in August but instead, the council fired him today.

Mayor John Gunter says during an evaluation in which the city manager scored 3.8 out of 5 is when they decided his contract wouldn’t be renewed. But why decide to oust him so suddenly? No answers other than it was in the best interest of the city.

City Council took less than three minutes at the top of the meeting to vote him out.

The city manager's contract was coming to an end on August 12, but the majority of the city council thought today should be his last day. With little to no explanation as to why.

Council Member Keith Long made the motion saying it was in the best interest of the city to not discuss why Hernandez was fired. No discussion so it went straight to a vote. 5 "yeses" and 3 "nos."

The mayor saying this about the sudden firing today.

“For me, I just thought it was in the best interest of the city to move on," said Mayor Gunter. "One of the things I thought about the last week was I know we’re going in the budget cycle and budget season and I know the city manager would be working with staff during that time period.”

Now as part of the contract, since he is being fired without cause, Hernandez will get paid 20 weeks of severance almost 5 months of his yearly salary. Which, according to the city's website, shows he makes more than $243,000 a year.

We asked Hernandez for a comment but he declined before leaving the meeting tonight.

As for what's next for the city, the mayor says there will be a special meeting Friday to discuss who will step into the role as the interim city manager.

That meeting will be a public meeting held at 8 a.m. in room 220A.