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Mary Ellzey hired as
Chiefland city manager
Laura Cain becomes
deputy city clerk
~ City seeks staff assistant and accounting specialist ~
Chiefland City Commission members (from left) Vice Mayor Teresa Barron, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Teal Pomeroy, City Commissioner Betty Walker and City Commissioner Chris Jones conduct business Monday night (July 28) as they lead the city into the future.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 28, 2014
CHIEFLAND -- Mary Ellzey became Chiefland's newest city manager Monday night (July 28), although she has served as interim city manager on at least a couple of occasions, including most recently when the City Commission chose against renewing the contract with former City Manager Kevin Gay.
On a motion by City Commissioner Betty Walker, seconded by City Commissioner Chris Jones, the city leaders voted 5-0 in favor of ratifying the employment agreement to pay Ellzey an annual salary of $65,000. The one-year contract includes provisions for reviews.
Chiefland City Manager Mary Ellzey
Walker asked for a time-frame for corrective action. She was making reference to the review forms. She noted that when an employer wants an employee to change their actions, the employee is expected to do so within some period of time.
After discussion, the City Commission agreed to note for each issue that a time for anticipated corrective action to be completed would be included.
In regard to Ellzey accepting the offer, Mayor Teal Pomeroy said he looks forward to continuing to work with the woman who has served the city for 31 years, primarily as the deputy city clerk. Now that she is city manager, she is also the ex officio city clerk.
The mayor said he sees Ellzey already putting in the time needed to get the job done.
“Every single person in the community, from every spectrum, is tickled pink,” Pomeroy said in regard to the City Commission’s choice of Ellzey as the city manager.
Laura Cain becomes deputy city clerk
After Ellzey’s deal was complete as a result of the unanimous vote, the new city manager had the duty to find a new deputy city clerk to accept her position.
Ellzey selected Laura Cain to be the next deputy city clerk of Chiefland. As a result of that, Ellzey was given permission to advertise for a new staff assistant – to take the position from which Cain had been promoted.
While these changes in positions reflect positive and happy alterations in the municipal structure at the Hardy Dean Sr. Municipal Building (Chiefland City Hall), 214 E. Park Ave., there is another position open.
Carol Marie Allen (March 2, 1956 - July 24, 2014) is no longer alive. Her death was unexpected, and she was looking forward to retirement in the near future when it happened.
As a result, Ellzey asked for and received permission to hire a replacement for the post of accounting specialist.
After more discussion, and on a motion by City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, seconded by Walker, there was a unanimous vote of approval to allow Ellzey to hire staff for the budgeted positions that exist. During the discussion the mayor city commissioners all agreed that the number of staff positions has been cut to the minimal amount.
Four members of the bird family walk on the parking lot of Carter's Crossroads Convenience Store at the intersection of State Road 345 and Levy County Road 347 recently. Birds sometimes puff up their feathers to make themselves look bigger, but this group seems to be taking their day in stride and just strutting their stuff at the convenience store.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison
City takes action
to dissolve airport committee
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 23, 2014
WILLISTON – On a motion by Williston City Councilman Elihu Ross, seconded by City Councilman Cal Byrd, the City Council voted Tuesday night (July 22) on first reading to adopt an ordinance to dissolve the Airport Committee.
The vote was 5-0 in favor of it. The second and final reading will be at the next Williston City Council meeting.
One man who was on the committee for 10 years said he objects to this action by the City Council. For men who say they want more citizen participation in government, this action is contrary to those words.
Dave Bibby, who cooks at the Pyper Kub Restaurant that his wife Carol Bibby owns, used to be active in management at the Williston Municipal Airport.
Bibby alleged that as a result of Debra Jones being appointed as the chairman of the Airport Committee and Byrd being appointed as the vice chairman, that is the reason for the dissolution of the committee. He did not specify how this logic follows to that end result.
Since the City Council is doing away with citizen participation by abolishing the Airport Committee, he asked why not continue by abolishing the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Citizen Advisory Board and other boards?
“They work hard,” Bibby said. “They do a good job. So did the people on this board (Airport Committee).”
Pet adoptions recognized
Kaye Gaither expresses her happiness and gratitude after the successful adoption of cats and dogs in Chiefland recently.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 22, 2014
BRONSON -- The successful pet adoption event of July 12 at Tractor Supply Co. in Chiefland received some attention at the regular Levy County Commission meeting Tuesday morning (July 22).
Kaye Gaither, speaking on behalf of herself, and "Honey” the medical service dog and Kaye's husband Michael Gaither, was the first to mention it during the first public comment part of the meeting.
Gaither said everyone appreciates the work put forth by Crystal Marie Bell and County Commissioner Ryan Bell, as well as Levy County Animal Services Director David Weatherford, and his staff his staff – Bridgett Domenico, Ursula Williams, J.R. Hall and Nathan Mercer.
Later in the meeting, Weatherford said altogether there were 16 dogs and seven cats adopted on that Saturday. There was a reduction in adoption fees of $30 for each animal.
Weatherford said he appreciates time and money that was put forth in the effort. He mentioned Winn-Dixie, Walmart, The Print Shop of Chiefland, Tractor Supply Co., Dr. Darlene Esler, who gave all of the animals rabies shots, was mentioned as well.
Commissioner Bell and his wife were there from the beginning to the end, and Crystal Marie Bell worked with a staff member to wash all of the dogs before the pet adoption event, Weatherford said. Commissioner Bell cooked to give away food during the process, Weatherford said.
Weatherford thanked the County Commission for letting his department hold the event, which he hopes can happen once a month.
By answering questions for people about medical service animals, the Gaither couple and Honey helped in that regard, Weatherford said as he noted his appreciation for their volunteering time.
Bell said he feels the staff did a phenomenal job, and they helped people have a better understanding about Levy County Animal Services.
Saturday In The Park
Chicago - the band - has song that is titled Saturday In The Park. It has lyrics that begin 'Saturday in the park / I think it was the Fourth of July.' It would have been the fifth of July this year, but on the 19th of July, these birds are seen getting food and water in a park. The lyrics in the song by Chicago include various happy activities on that day in the park.
Seen here at James H. Cobb Park, 200 Picnic St., in Bronson, at about 11 a.m. on Saturday (July 19), the whole park was relatively quiet. Other than birds, one jogger was in the park for a few minutes. As for the song written by Robert Lamm and recorded for the 1972 album Chicago V, it ends with a happy thought about every day in the park potentially being the Fourth of July. 'A real celebration / Waiting for us all / If we want it, really want it / Can you dig it (yes, I can) / And I've been waiting such a long time / For the day.'
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison
Post 291 elects officers
By Mary Christians © July 17, 2014
STEINHATCHEE -- American Legion Post 291 of Steinhatchee recently elected its new slate of officers for the coming year.
On June 12, Past District Commander Chris Christians installed Commander Wayne Roberts; First Vice Commander Ron Hill; Second Vice Commander Van Jester; Chaplain Tracy Nielsen; Finance Officer Cliff Barber; Adjutant Steve Hedgepath; and Sergeant-at-Arms Jack Raulerson.
The Sons of the Legion (SAL) elected and installed Commander Ricky Malone; First Vice Commander Mike Williams; Service Officer Steve Shimp; Historian Barry Sellers; Adjutant Larry Barrett; and Sergeant-at-Arms Randy Cole.
On July 10, Auxiliary District President Hilde Schmidt installed President Mary Christians; First Vice President Carole Erdman; Second Vice President Barbara Hill; Secretary Carol Roberts; Treasurer Laurie Barber; Historian Lory Waldrop; Chaplin Susan Williams; Sergeant-at-Arms Jackie Pons; and Members at Large - Karen Hedgepath, Pat Hurd and Tami Weaver.
American Legion Post 291, SAL and Auxiliary members are reminded that it is time to pay dues for the new year. Everyone is invited to stop by the Post and drop off your check. Another opportunity presents itself with the next meeting on Aug. 14, to pay dues and pick up a new card. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the meeting is at 7 p.m. Members are invited to meet some new and old friends there. For more information, please call the Post at 352-498-8177.
Chiefland City Commission
chooses Mary Ellzey as first candidate for negotiations
to be city manager
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 16, 2014
CHIEFLAND – The Chiefland City Commission unanimously selected Deputy City Clerk Mary Ellzey on Monday evening (July 14) to negotiate a contract with as the next city manager.
Ellzey was the 23rd of 23 people listed to consider during a special meeting that evening before the regular City Commission meeting.
Chiefland Deputy City Clerk Mary Ellzey serves as interim city manager until the City Commission completes negotiations to make her the city manager.
The commission went through each applicant to create a short list, however when they reached Ellzey for consideration, the five leaders all agreed she was the first with whom they should attempt to negotiate a contract.
On Wednesday, Ellzey said she is negotiating with Mayor Teal Pomeroy for the City Commission to accept or reject at the next regular meeting, which will be July 21, starting at 6 p.m., in the Hardy Dean Sr. Municipal Building (Chiefland City Hall), 214 E. Park Ave.
Ellzey, who is currently serving as interim city manager, has been with the city for 31 years, has on at least two occasions now served as the interim city manager. Beyond that, she always has filled in as the person who is the top administrator for the city when the previous city managers were on vacation.