Miss Mary is in charge

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Former City of Chiefland Deputy Clerk Mary Ellzey was officially made city manager at Monday night’s city commission meeting.

After choosing Ellzey as the frontrunner for the position at the last meeting, commissioners Monday voted unanimously in favor of signing a contract with the 31-year veteran city worker.

“The contract with Mrs. Ellzey was easy. I look forward to working with her,” Mayor Teal Pomeroy said at the end of the discussion, adding that he’d heard good things from the community about the prospect of Ellzey working as city manager.

Ellzey will be making $65,000 in her first year in the position, and, unlike her predecessor Kevin Gay, has agreed to only four weeks of severance pay, should such a thing become necessary. Her contract was approved for one year.

Gay’s recent departure from the city left commissioners wanting to address certain aspects of future city manager contracts – severance pay – and performance evaluation processes. In recent meetings, after Gay was removed from his position as city manager, commissioners felt it might be beneficial to instate more frequent evaluations, as well as having a place on the evaluation forms to record potential “corrective action” in keeping with city objectives.

The new evaluation procedures reflect those desires and make it clearer, according to commissioners, what is expected and how to reach those goals.


In other matters:

• David Pieklik, of The Nature Coast Business Development Council, spoke briefly to the commission in what he said would be regular briefings to city officials each quarter.

Pieklik said there are 26 projects in the works for the county to help increase business, with about five being in the Chiefland area.

The good news, Pieklik said, is that there are new talks of a hospital finally coming to fruition and, perhaps more certain, talks of an urgent care center.

“He’s pretty much finalizing the project ….” Pieklik said of the proposed center’s developer, adding that he expects an official announcement within the next two weeks.


*Commissioners unanimously approved signing on with Blue Cross Blue Shield as the city’s health insurance company. Recent estimates showed a 12 percent increase in rates from last year, but, according to staff, the city’s insurance agent, Mike Michaelis, was able to negotiate for only a 5 percent increase, totaling about $11,000 more than last year.

Similarly, commissioners unanimously approved signing on with the Florida League of Cities for general liability, auto, property and workers compensation insurances. This, too, will be going up for the next fiscal year, though only in the amount of $8,798, which, according to staff, is attributed to an increase in workers compensation for police officers and because of more claims filed last year. The total premium for the year was quoted at about $162,000.