Atlantic Beach Commission votes to fire city attorney, manager

Mayor claims residents complained about officials

Author: Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter, hwinslow@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 09 2013 10:09:54 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 10 2013 07:18:59 AM EST
ATLANTIC BEACH CITY, Fla. -

After more than three hours of public discussion and debate, on Monday night the Atlantic Beach City Commission voted to fire both City Manager Jim Hanson, and City Attorney Alan Jensen. 

Jensen, who had worked on behalf of the city for more than 20 years, was fired first.  He chose not to address the meeting after being told the news,  Then the Commission voted to also fire Hanson, who had served as City manager for 16 years.  He did address the commission afterwards.

"I do wish you honestly the greatest of success, in moving forward with the community," Hanson said.  "I've devoted a considerable piece of my life to this community, a lot of extra hours.  My wife and I have made Atlantic Beach our home, we have raised children here, we have both worked here, and we hope to be able to retire here."

Mayor Carolyn Woods previously told Channel 4 on Friday she wanted to fire both longtime city employees, saying she's received many complaints from residents who are not happy with city government since she was elected in August.

The idea has caused strong division among many in the community.

"We need to change things in Atlantic Beach," said Collier Summers. "There's such a network of people that have been here too long. We can't trust them"