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Lake City's City Manager Search: More Questions In Another Lake City Mess – Glen Adams Part-III

Illustration of black hole with caption: Lake City city manager search. More trouble - more questions

widget-city-manager-storiesLAKE CITY, FL – A little over one week ago, City Manager candidate Glen Adams entered into legendary territory when he appeared in Lake City with his handler, headhunter Renee Narloch of Narloch & Associates. Lake City’s City Council was not prepared to play hardball. While Ms. Narloch's softball questions seemed designed to cover up the real condition of Lake City, the conditions surrounding Mr. Adams exit from Santa Fe, Texas were swept under the carpet.


On July 12, 2021, the City Council began thinking about finding a permanent City Manager to replace the beleaguered Joe Helfenberger.

To keep the City running as it figured out what to do, former HR Director Ami Fields was installed as the Interim City Manager.

City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr., predicted Ms. Fields would be the next city manager.

September 7, 2021, the coup to oust Interim City Manager Ami Fields failed. However, a week later, Ms. Fields resigned.

The next week, a ‘midnight’ call to Mike Williams, a former City Manager of Hamilton County and member of the Lake City Chamber of Commerce, resulted in his being installed at City Manager without showing up in City Hall.

Photo of the Lake City Council members and City Attorney Fred Koberlein, Jr.
Lake City's search team, Clockwise beginning top left: Councilman Jake Hill, City Atty Fred Koberlein, Councilmen Eugene Jefferson and Todd Sampson, Mayor Steve Witt  | Columbia County Observer Photos

As the September 15, 2021, Council meeting drew to a close, City Attorney Koberlein announced that he had provided the "search firm" (Renee Narloch & Associates) with the "direct" numbers of each of the Council members. Mr. Koberlein did this so that Ms. Narloch could interview them about hiring the new City Manager. Instead of their City-provided cell phones, using private phones made it very difficult to trace interactions with Ms. Narloch without a court order.

Attorney Koberlein said, "I do know part of the process is that they will interview you all and look at and discuss your vision of what you feel where the City's at, where it needs to go, and the positives and negatives of what you are looking for. And so if you see a phone number that's odd, please check voicemails."

Headhunter Renee Narloch in Lake City, City Hall
Headhunter Renee Narloch views the proceedings in City Hall.

Renee Narloch has been in total control of the show ever since.

Other than Councilman Hill saying he thought a minority should be the next city manager, none of the Councilmen or the Mayor has revealed what they wanted in a city manager or any of their conversations with headhunter Narloch.

During a recent Council meeting, Councilman Sampson began to share a conversation he had with Ms. Narloch, but questioned whether or not he could talk about it.

While City Attorney Koberlein has inserted himself in the city manager search process from the beginning, he remained silent.  Mr. Koberlein has acted as an intermediary between members of the Council and Ms. Narloch, something which is not his job, and depending on its extent, not legal, and not in compliance with the City Charter.

January 8 & 9:
Candidate Glen Adams and Renee Narloch

January 8th’s meet & greet was notable: a low turnout of residents and candidate Adams' responses to Sylvester Warren and your reporter.

A look back to the events of January 8 and Mr. Adams’ attitude toward Sylvester Warren, who he had never met, belies the kudos received by Mr. Adams from associates when he was the civilian leader at the White Sands Missile Range.

Glen Adams receiving an award for his service at White Sands Missle Range.
Sgt. Major Woffard (left) with Glen Adams and unidentified. (US army photo).

After almost five years as the chief civilian at White Sands, Mr. Adams left to be the City Manager of Santa Fe, Texas. Before he departed, he was honored for his achievements by representatives from the Office of the Secretary of the Army, the state of New Mexico, Doña Ana County, the City of Las Cruces, and White Sands leadership.

On Mr. Adams’ exit from White Sands, Command Sergeant Major William Wofford, the primary advisor to the commander on all enlisted Soldier matters, said of Mr. Adams, "The chief was always there. For a lot of reasons he became a friend." Read more about Sgt. Maj. William Woffard here.

Mr. Adams’ remark during the meet & greet to your reporter about his salary, “None of your business,” was bucked up against by everyone who spoke about the article.

The $64,000 Question

Did someone on the "down-low" give Mr. Adams their 'skinny' on Mr. Warren and your reporter? Did Mr. Adams get sucked into the underbelly of a community that has lost its way? Does Mr. Adams understand the depth and breadth of the problems confronting Lake City/Columbia County, divisions, and dysfunction that have confronted Lake City since before the Battle of Olustee, a Civil War battle that the City and County still embrace?

Headhunter Renee Narlock: Shooting From the Hip or Well Researched Remarks About Mr. Adams

On December 15, 2021, when Ms. Narlock introduced the candidates for their Zoom interview, she said, "The candidates that I’m recommending to you, I can say that they have done their research and their homework. They understand there are challenges in Lake City.”

A few minutes later, Ms. Narlock said about Mr. Adams,

“Glen Adams is our first candidate… He was military for most of his career, as you can see…  He got a job as the City Manager of Santa Fe, Texas. They brought him in as a change agent. The City had a lot of challenges… He left on good terms. He actually separated recently, like the end of November. He's not been separated very long. However, they've asked him to stay on. They've given him a severance. They've asked him to stay on through January and help them hire a police chief… so he's on a contractual arrangement."

Was Mr. Adams hired as a “change agent” by the City Council of Santa Fe, Texas?

The only instance that could be found about Mr. Adams being hired as a change agent was his Linkedin account, where he mentioned he was hired as a “change agent.”

Ms. Narlock mentioned Mr. Adams left on good terms.

On or off the record, the only explanation is that Mr. Adams left, and it was mutual.

Mr. Adams was hired by the Santa Fe City Council on January 23, 2020, and began work on February 3. It was his first job as city manager.

Mr. Adams’ contract states: “Employee agrees to remain in the exclusive employ of employer until January 31, 2022…." That is two weeks from now.

Mr. Adams’ salary was $118,000 plus benefits. He took his health benefit in cash as he already had a health benefit.

While Mr. Adams’ contract called for an annual employment review, according to the Santa Fe's City Secretary and Mayor, a performance review of Mr. Adams was never performed.

City Manager Candidate answers  questions in Lake City
During his Lake City interview, Mr. Adams told the City he believed in long contracts and severance packages.

One year after coming on board, on January 28, 2021, Mr. Adams endorsed an addendum to his contract, which increased his salary to $132,500, a 10.9% increase after one year.

In return, Mr. Adams extended his stay with Santa Fe until January 31, 2024, “and [agreed to] neither accept other employment, nor to become employed by any other employer except in the event of termination, or with permission of the City Council.”

A Closer Look at the Record:
City Manager Adams Resigns – Gets 80 Grand

In May 2021, Mr. Adams spoke against further tax exemptions for Santa Fe residents. The City Council adopted the exemptions.

In September 2021, Mr. Adams supported a tax rate increase. The Council did not approve the increase.

On October 4, 2021, the City Council went into an executive session to discuss and evaluate Mr. Adams.

On November 19, the Council again went into an executive session. If it were going to give Mr. Adams another yearly raise, historically, this would have been the time to approve it.

When the Council came back into open meeting, the Santa Fe City Council unanimously agreed “to accept the separation agreement with the City Manager.”

Finally, on December 2, in a special meeting held based on a cooling-off period built into Texas Municipal Law, the City Council came back and unanimously approved Adams' resignation letter effective November 22, 2021, and his separation agreement.

Mr. Adams’ severance package was substantial. He received $80,973.01: $66,250 in salary; $11,684.29 in unused vacation; $2,887.52 in unused sick leave.

Callout: Headhunter Narlock has not requested information from Santa Fe, Texas, regarding Glen Adams. Santa Fe's City Secretary Janet Davis confirmed the City has has "received no inquires for references or employment verification for Glen Adams.At the Santa Fe December 2 special meeting, the Council appointed the Police Chief as acting City Manager as needed.

As reported above, On December 15, 2021, Ms. Narlock told the Lake City City Council, “They’ve asked him to stay on. They’ve given him a severance. They’ve asked him to stay on through January and help them hire a police chief… so he’s on a contractual arrangement.”

What Ms. Narlock knew at the time is unknown. Her statement, “They’ve asked him to stay on,” is not true.

Comparing other dates, facts, minutes, and correspondence raises more serious questions about who knew what and when regarding Mr. Adams and Ms. Narloch.

Lake City City Clerk Audrey Sikes:
Concerned About the Upcoming Adams Meet & Greet and Interview

Link to city manager candidate material prepared by Renee NarlochFinally, on January 3, 2022, concerned about not receiving an “interview booklet” for the City Council, Lake City’s City Clerk Audrey Sikes emailed Ms. Narloch: “Good morning. When do you anticipate the interview booklet will be ready for Saturday’s interview? Thanks so much.”

On January 4, 5:34 pm, Ms. Narloch emailed Clerk Sikes advising her, “Should have that to you tomorrow.”

On January 5, 6:43 pm, after the close of business, which technically makes it Thursday, January 6, one day before Mr. Adams meet the public and the City Council events, Ms. Narloch forwarded the interview book.

Ms. Narloch did not date the interview book January 5, 2022, when she sent it, but January 2022.

In the book, Mr. Adams' letter of interest remained undated, and his resume still showed he was employed by the City of Santa Fe, Texas.


Lake City Florida: one mess after another and a City Council that does not get embarrassed.

Nothing new – The Lake City saga continues.

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