The city’s two newly elected commissioners are not opposed to the idea of bringing back former City Manager Jim Drumm, making it a possibility that he could be rehired.
High Springs Commissioner-elect Sue Weller said there’s a lot to discuss before she could decide whether she wants him to return to the position.
“I don’t know yet,” she said, “But I’m not ruling anything out at this point.”
Possible scenarios under which Drumm might return include a majority vote by the commission to reinstate him, or if the position was openly advertised according to the city’s usual hiring process, he could apply for the job and be considered like any other applicant.
Weller is sure the issue will come up one way or another, but she doesn’t yet know what she’ll do.
There needs to be open, public discussion among the commissioners before any decisions are made, Weller said.
Fellow commissioner-elect Byran Williams said he hadn’t really thought about Drumm’s return as a possibility.
But he agreed that it would need to be discussed, but was noncommittal whether he would support it.
“I’m not in favor, but I’m not opposed.”
Vice Mayor Eric May suspects there are those who intend to rehire Drumm, although he didn’t specify which commissioners, but did say it would be “a huge mistake.”
May said if a majority votes to hire the former manager again, he will be more than willing to work with Drumm, and he will respect that decision, but he wouldn’t vote in favor of it.
May said that as long as the commission follows the proper process of advertising the manager position fairly for all who are qualified to apply, then Drumm has the right to apply – but he shouldn’t be brought back carte blanche. “We need to find a manager we all mutually agree on,” May said. “There’s too much animosity surrounding Drumm.”
Facing termination, Drumm resigned on Oct. 21. At that time, the city commission gave unanimous approval to accept a severance agreement which included $66,433.80 in severance pay, retention of city health insurance including family coverage for the next six months, and a neutral reference letter for future employers.