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Deputy Administrator Brewer Resigns

Manatee Deputy County Deputy Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Jan Brewer submitted her resignation yesterday morning, ahead of a contentious meeting in which the board extended the contract of County Administrator Scott Hopes while increasing his compensation. In the letter, Brewer accused Hopes of directing staff to withhold information from her.

The full text of the letter read:

It is with an extremely sad heart I must submit my resignation to Manatee County. Manatee County became my home 10 years ago and I have loved every minute of the community, our organization, and the public service which we strive so hard to meet.

It has come to my attention that the County Administrator has directed staff to withhold information from me as it relates to employees. This was discovered by me last Tuesday. When I spoke to Dr. Hopes, he said he did not give this direction however the direction was given to Human Resources from his office. He refused to bring in his staff member that gave the direction but instructed he would handle it. The department was given this direction two weeks prior to my discovery of the situation.

While the matter is of a personnel nature, I cannot help but be concerned that other information is being maintained in this manner as well. I now find myself in staff meetings wondering who has been told to keep information from me and if they are doing this action because of the fear of losing their job. Within days of the discussion on the matter with him, he has scheduled a meeting this week with all leads of this department I oversee and does not invite me or let me know the meeting is happening. This is with the same department that told me the truth.

The next item came when Clerk Angel Colonneso's letter came to light on Friday. The fiscal items, the VOYA and the vehicle, did not run through my office but bypassed my office. This follows the same pattern which I am discussing above. The exclusion of the CFO from the conversations is not healthy for the organization. I had no input on or direction of the letter but yet I have been accused of being a part of it.

I came to Manatee and have lived and (thrived) by the ACE philosophy - Accountability, Civility, and Ethics. I believe the taxpayers of Manatee deserve no less from the people they are paying taxes to handle services. My concern is to the well-being of the employees and the adherence to policies we strive to maintain.

It has been my pleasure to serve Manatee County citizens and the Board. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the team. The teams of Information Technology and Human Resources are made of individuals trying to do the best job possible every day. The team within FMD, Budget and Procurement, are made of knowledgeable individuals who are dedicated to their public service. They take pride in their work as I have taken pride in my work. I hope that they will continue to be given the respect and ACE Philosophy they deserve.

Please accept this as my two weeks notice. I am happy to assist with budget until it is presented on June 8 if you wish.

Jan Brewer


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