Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Green Cove Springs Officially Hires Bowles as City Manager

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Green Cove Springs Officially Hires Bowles as City Manager

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS --- The City Council has taken what it hopes is its last action to name Don Bowles, currently the city's acting public works director, as its new city manager.

The council's intent to make Bowles its manager was started, then stopped several times amid legal wrangling over the terms of a proposed contract and as the council waited on the results of a required background check.

On Tuesday, with Bowles asking to serve without a contract and the background check in council members' hands, the council made it official.

"This is the biggest problem I've ever seen us have trying to get a vote passed. This is the third time we've hired and fired Don in the last three or four weeks," said Mayor Jim Loner, his comments greeted by laughter from the council meeting audience. "I am sick of it."

The council then ratified Bowles' appointment, and a $65,500 salary.

He will serve "under the same working conditions as all other city employees," without a contract stipulating special benefits or terms, said Councilwoman Jerry Williams.

The vote was 4-1, with Councilwoman Virginia Steinmetz dissenting. Steinmetz said later that her vote stemmed from City Attorney Jim Arnold's earlier opinion that Bowles did not meet the city charter's requirements for the job.

The charter requires a city manager have three years' experience as either a city or county chief executive officer, assistant or deputy city manager, or "in a senior management position with a like-size organization and significant work in the public sector."

Bowles is currently president/owner of Trammell Bowles Company, an investment, real estate and consulting company. He has served 16 years in local government, four years, from 1974 to 1978, as county planning director and 12 years as school facilities director, from 1982 to 1994.

He was removed as facilities director by former Superintendent Phyllis May, who said at the time that he allowed a school playground to be built on property the district did not own. Bowles was a candidate for superintendent two years earlier, but was defeated by May.

The city background check on Bowles, done by David M. …

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