Atlantic Beach residents upset about firings of city leaders

Controversy continues at Atlantic Beach City Hall


ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Controversy continues in Atlantic Beach at City Hall after the recent firing of the longtime city manager and city attorney. 

Residents in Atlantic Beach say they're unhappy about the mayor's push to terminate the two men. Locals like Dee Reiter have said since they were fired, Mayor Carolyn Woods has continued to make bad decisions. 

"It's very concerning for me; both served our community more than capably," said Reiter. "They did a great job for us - have a lot of knowledge."

Reiter said a big concern is the cost of the new city attorney, hired out of Orange Park.

"Alan Jensen, our previous city attorney, he charged a monthly retainer of $2,500 per month. These other people charge $8,000," said Reiter. "That's a big difference."

During the same meeting Jensen was fired, Reiter said a proposal was put forth to hire the new attorney. She said there was no vetting by any other commissioners or any committee. 

Atlantic Beach Mayor Carolyn Woods said she is standing by her decision. 

"The new attorney's office - they have a different way of charging. Just a single charge. The old city attorney was charging for meetings and phone calls and all those things separately," said Woods. "All those things add up."

Woods also got the attention of the state attorney's office when someone filed a violation of Sunshine Laws against her. She has since come out of that lawsuit unscathed.

"I would just hope everyone would be willing to stop, take a deep breath. Calm down, let the boat quit rocking and move forward," said Woods. "A lot of people may not understand why this happened, but it's very good for the city."

The mayor told Channel 4 on the advice of legal council, she can not publicly say why the men were fired. 

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