Stew Lilker’s

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Lake City, City Manager Candidate Glen Adams: His Philosophy ‘Teamwork & Wins’ – His motto, "Do it right the first time"  Pt-II

Photo of City Manager Candidate Glen Adams in Lake City, City Hall
Glen Adams waiting to address the City Council | Columbia County Observer photo and graphic

Saturday’s Special Council Meeting: Off to a Sideways Start
Public Comment: the Public’s Only Shot at a Question
Mayor Witt Called the Headhunter to the Microphone
Candidate Glen Adams
Mr. Adams and a City Manager Contract
Headhunter Narlock: Fast talk about Adams' employment history
Epilogue: "... do it right the first time!"

LAKE CITY, FL – This past Saturday morning, January 8, the City Council met in a special session to interview City Manager candidate Glen Adams, the newly discovered X-City Manager of Santa Fe, Texas.

The Saturday morning meeting continued the Friday evening meet & greet, where Mr. Adams met with a handful of community members.

See: Lake City's City Manager Search Continues With Cheese & Crackers – Where’s the Community?

Saturday's interview and his initial interview have shown Mr. Adams to be articulate and quick on his feet. However, at Friday's meet & greet, when asked a couple of simple questions by community activist Sylvester Warren and your reporter, Mr. Adams became defensive and evasive.

Saturday’s Special Council Meeting
Off to a Sideways Start

Poor planning led to only one of the two City Manager finalists appearing this past weekend at the City Council.

On Thursday, December 30, Mayor Witt, City Manager Mike Williams, City Clerk Audrey Sikes, Assistant City Manager Paul Dyal, and Councilmen Hill, Jefferson, and Sampson received an email from headhunter Renee Narloch explaining that candidate Thomas Thomas would not be able to attend the Council scheduled interviews on January 7 and January 8.

It is unknown what phone calls were made or if Ms. Narloch received any marching orders from City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr., or any emails between Ms. Narloch and Mr. Koberlein regarding the sudden change in plans.

Three days later, on January 3, the City Council met in regular session.

See: Lake City’s City Manager Search Goes Sideways: Candidate Interviews Split – Public Kept in the Dark – Two Councilmen Not Happy - One MIA

Councilman Jake Hill did not check his email and did not know of the change. None of the people who received the email from Ms. Narloch mentioned word one about Mr. Thomas not attending the scheduled meetings at the end of the week.

City Clerk Audrey Sikes
Veteran Clerk Audrey Sikes

The Clerk, not knowing if all the Council members had seen the email sent while the City was closed for the New Year Holiday, could have advised the Council that Ms. Narloch had reported a change of plans. The Deputy Clerk attended the January 3 meeting in place of Ms. Sikes. It appears that Ms. Sikes did not advise Deputy Clerk Cannon to make any announcement.

City Utility Director Paul Dyal, who was now running the City as Interim City Manager, also did not say one word to the City Council.

Public Comment: the Public’s Only Shot at a Question

Sylvester Warren, Lake City, Florida
Sylvester Warren (file photo)

Community activist Sylvester Warren was given permission to speak and addressed the City Council, “The candidate was very defensive and refused to answer certain questions. There is issues that are very concerning to me… How do I get those questions to the candidate at the meet and greet refuse to answer those questions? I’m left without gettin’ the answer. How do we rectify that, Mayor?”

Mayor Witt answered, “I don’t know, but I don’t think we can have the citizens be part of the interview process unless the council has a different idea.

The Council remained silent. It didn’t have a different idea.

Your reporter addressed the Council, mentioning both candidates were not appearing at the same time, and asked, "I'd like to know how you think this is entirely fair?"

Your reporter continued, “I’d like to know how much this candidate knows about public records in the state of Florida.”

No responses were forthcoming from the City’s elected leaders.

Your reporter continued, "When I spoke to the candidate last night, I got the impression that he wasn't working anymore in Santa Fe, but yet his resume says he's still employed there. It says to the present. I would like to know if he is still working there. Maybe somebody could ask that question."

Once again, there was silence from the Mayor and Councilmen.

Mayor Witt Called the Headhunter to the Microphone

Ms. Narloch addressed the Council. She said Mr. Adams was there for the city manager process and added he had been in Lake City for a few days. “He came in early of his own accord, she said.

Headhunter Renee Narloch in Lake City, City Hall
Headhunter Renee Narloch views the proceedings before coming to the microphone.

Ms. Narlock explained he met with the City staff on Friday and then met with the Council Members earlier that morning for about a half-hour each. “We have set aside a time for about an hour for him to do another group interview with you.”

Ms. Narloch gave her spin on the separate interviews. She said, “We were originally scheduled for this weekend. Mr. Adams was available. Mr. Thomas was not. We tried to move it to next weekend. Mr. Adams was not available; Mr. Thomas was. Both candidates were aware that the other candidate would be scheduled at a different time. I made sure they were comfortable with that. And that's why Mr. Adams is here today, and Mr. Thomas is scheduled to be here in the future."

Ms. Narloch said, “Today, we do not have to have the same set of questions for candidates. We're in the second round of interviews, and it's most important that you drill down to what's important to ask Mr. Adams while he's here.”

Ms. Narloch continued, “I have given you a set of suggested questions if you want to use those. I'm not telling you to use those. That's not the format for today… But if you can't think of one, or you want to ask one, or you see one on there that you think is important to ask, then please feel free to use those questions….I encourage you to ask follow-up questions?”

Candidate Glen Adams

City Manager Candidate Glen Adams answers question from the City Council
City Manager Candidate Glen Adam answers questions from the City Council.

Mr. Adams took his seat in front of the City Council. He had plenty of notepaper. It was not clear if he took notes during the public session of the meeting. He did not address the articulated concerns of the public participants.

Councilman Jake Hill asked if Mr. Adams had gone around the North side of Lake City. The north side is typical of the “other side of the tracks” areas across America: socioeconomically deprived, substantially minority, and large areas of blight.

Lake City's population is approximately 50% white, and 50% minority, with a large part of the Black community concentrated on the "other side of the tracks." (read the "Northside" of Lake City)

Mr. Adams responded, “Only on the Northside when I stopped at a gas station."

Mr. Adams said he did not go to specific locations other than “to do some house hunting” to see if he could find a place to live.

Mr. Adams said, “There is definitely a disparity between that area and this area.”

Interim City Manager Paul Dyal gave Mr. Adams the tour.

Councilman Jefferson asked:  "Based on your experience as City Manager and other previous professional positions that you’ve held – speakin’ of the role as you view it, the role of councilman – workin’ relationship with each other, what is your opinion on what a." (Adams interrupts)

Mr. Adams:  Sir, I know you just set me up, and I'll be happy to answer that question. I honestly, and I ask forgiveness in advance, I don't see you guys as a functional City Council. I see that you're not teaming at every opportunity. I believe there's real opportunities for you guys to make a significant interest -- and just like I said in the meeting --  if this is my number one important item, all of you should support it if I'm a council member.

Mr. Adams continued, “It shouldn't be a disagreement thing. You should be saying, ‘City Manager figure out how to bring that forward to the Council so that we move –unintelligible.' Everybody is allowed to have wins in this Council… I should be held accountable to making that happen.”

Mr. Adams and a City Manager Contract

While Mr. Jefferson didn’t ask about the City Manager contract, Mr. Adams opined about the contract for both himself and his only competitor for the job.

“Whether it's Mr. Thomas or I [sic], you need to have a long-term contract to make sure you are sending a message to the County and to the businesses that we're gonna stabilize things, and we're gonna play fair. And it needs to have a severance package. You don't pay a severance package if you force yourselves to work together. And I believe in my heart of hearts that you send a message to the community -- you're here for the long haul, and you're gonna work through all the issues, and we've got to hold each other accountable to that. It has to be a team. Nobody sitting in the city manager's seat will be successful if the Council is not teaming at every opportunity it can. And, quite honestly, holding me accountable to the fairness to the community.”

Mr. Adams asked, “Did I answer your question?”

Councilman Jefferson said he did.

Mr. Jefferson left the meeting, and the questioning continued.

Mr. Adams did not address the hardball issues facing Lake City. He wasn't asked.

One hour and twenty-nine minutes into the Saturday morning meeting, Mayor Witt invited Ms. Narloch back to the microphone.

Ms. Narloch told the Council: “I want you to be thinking forward here, about should we move one of these candidates forward and make them an offer; there is certain items that we would be needing to think about. I don't know if you want the prior contract or what, but I can send you some things to be considering, as far as elements in an agreement…."

Headhunter Narlock: Fast talk about Adams' employment history

Ms. Narlock: “The last thing is I wanted to clarify the question about Mr. Adams' employment. When he originally applied for the job, he was still on a payroll for the city of Santa Fe. When I interviewed him, which would have been several weeks after he applied for the job, he clarified during that conversation his separation date that he was willing to stay on longer, but he had a separation date on the calendar. And then he separated from the city.”

Ms. Narlock continued, “I just want to make sure that there is no question about whether he misrepresented anything or I misrepresented anything. Even when I presented him to you as a candidate, I mentioned that that was taking place.”

On December 15, documents presented to the City Council and the public include a list of Narloch recommended candidates. On one page, Mr. Adams is represented as the “Former City Manager” of Santa Fe, Texas, and on the next, he is still employed as City Manager.

In documents presented to the City Council at 2:46 pm on January 7, 2022, Ms. Narlock presented Mr. Adams, and Mr. Adams presented himself as still employed as the City Manager of Santa Fe, Texas. Nothing stated that he was no longer employed by the City of Santa Fe, which he wasn't.

Epilogue: "... do it right the first time!"

Interestingly, of the four candidates presented on December 15, only Mr. Adams’ letter of interest is undated. At the bottom of that page, and all of Mr. Adams' documents that state presently employed as Santa Fe's City Manager, is the motto: “It’s always cheaper and easier to do it right the first time!”

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