Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Official Quitting City Job

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Official Quitting City Job

Article excerpt

Comptroller Ann Meuse resigned Thursday after exactly five

months on the job.

Meuse, who came highly recommended to the job after four years

in a similar position in Atlantic Beach, replaced Shari Schuman,

who left to take a job with the Jacksonville Economic

Development Commission.

On Thursday, Meuse said she was leaving to accept a position in

the private sector. She would not comment on whether her

departure had anything to do with the city's accounting-system

problems.

Starting about 10 months ago when the system was first

installed, the ongoing program glitches have made it difficult

to retrieve budgetary information, produce required quarterly

financial hstatements and otherwise keep track of how money is

being spent in the various city departments.

City Council Auditor Bob Johnson highlighted the system

malfunctions in critical reports to the council on Feb. 13,

March 26 and May 14.

Efforts to fix the problem continue, with possible solutions

including additional staff training and some new software

updates by Aug. 1. Next year's fiscal budget also will include

up to $250,000 for system improvements.

Johnson described the departure of Meuse as "a big blow to us."

Next week, Schuman will return to help in the comptroller's

office.

MUSICAL CHAIRMANSHIPS: One of the perks of being City Council

president is getting to appoint the chairmen of the council's

six committees -- plus not having to serve on any of those

committees yourself.

New council President Don Davis, who was sworn in this week

along with Vice President Ginger Soud, announced his committee

appointments Wednesday. They include some big changes and one

familiar face. (The vice president title was recently adopted by

the council to replace the president pro-tem title.)

Returning to her post as chairwoman of the city's Parks,

Recreation and Entertainment Committee is Gwen Chandler-Thompson,

who's one of only seven members on the 19-member council who

will be eligible to run for a second term in 1999.

Davis said he let Chandler-Thompson keep her position because

her heart was set on it.

"That has become her first love and she was really keenly

wanting to remain as chair of that committee," Davis said.

"She's got some things that she is still working on, and I

thought it would be a good idea."

Davis made another friend when he appointed Denise Lee to be

chairwoman of the Finance Committee. He noted that Lee, with 17

years of council experience, served on that committee nine or 10

times but never had the chance to lead it.

"I feel like she deserves to be the chairperson," Davis said.

"She has more than sufficient experience, and I think she is

very capable. …

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