Controversy at Atlantic Beach Commission workshop

Atlantic Beach mayor wants city manager, attorney fired

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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - There was plenty of controversy during a crowded Atlantic Beach City commission workshop Monday night. The Atlantic Beach City Commission looked at a proposal by the mayor to fire both the city manager and the city attorney.

Mayor Carolyn Woods told Channel 4 on Friday she wanted to fire both longtime city employees without cause. Woods said she's received many complaints from residents not happy with city government since she was elected in August.

The idea has caused strong division among many in the community, particularly after Channel 4 aired a story Friday where the mayor would not give a specific reason for wanting them fired.

The community packed the house to make sure their voices were heard Monday night. Tim Saggau said he's concerned about firing anyone without a cause. 

"If there's no cause, then what are we doing, why are we doing it?" said Saggau. "I saw your interview. There's no reason. There's no reason given, I'd like to hear it."

"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."

Current City Manager Jim Hanson has held the post since 1999. Attorney Alan Jenson has served the city for more than 20 years. 

The commission will vote on the proposal at their next meeting scheduled for Dec. 9.

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