Davie Fires Town Administrator

DAVIE (CBS4) – The Town of Davie has hung out a ‘Help Wanted’ sign for a new Town Administrator.

In a unanimous vote, the Town Council fired Town Administrator Gary Shimun during a meeting Wednesday evening.

After the vote, Police Chief Patrick Lynn escorted Shimun out of Town Hall and collected his keys. On Thursday Shimun was allowed back into the building to pack up his office and say good-bye to his staff, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Shimun, who was hired four years, will be paid a year’s salary ($177 thousand) and health benefits.

Mayor Judy Paul said the decision to terminate Shimun was heart breaking, but it had to be done because he failed to keep town officials informed on key issues.

The tension between Shimun and the council had been boiling just under the surface for months. Last April, Council Bryan Caletka tried to fire him citing a loss of confidence in Shimun’s abilities. While several other council members agreed that he should be fired, they stopped short of doing so because a generous severance package that was part of his five-year contract with the town. In the end, they placed him on a three-month probation period.

Shimun was hired in November 2006 as a replacement for Chris Kovanes who was fired after it was discovered he had embezzled nearly $500 thousand from the town. He’s currently serving a 12-year prison term.

Fire Chief Joe Montopoli has been named interim town administrator.

In another closely watched item, the council delayed making a decision on buying Arrowhead Golf Course until next month.

Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, who believes buying the property is a very bad idea because it would cost the town money to run, has threatened a lawsuit if council votes to purchase the land for $4.5 million. Mayor Paul and Councilman Marlon Luis have also said buying the 134 acre course would be a bad idea. However Council members Caletka, Caryl Hattan and Susan Starkey think the town could make a profit by 2013.

The Council will take up the issue again on February 2nd.


Source: The Sun-Sentinel

  • Ellis Traub

    Well, the residents of Davie got just what their apathy deserves—just one more rankly political and stupid decision that will cost them a bundle.

    The firing of Mr. Shimun was perpetrated without any notice, without any public input, and scripted well out of the sunshine—as this Council traditionally acts when they seek to benefit the powerful few at the expense of the apathetic many.

    Mr. Shimun had but a year to go before his contract expired and his very expensive golden parachute neatly folded and repacked. Just what was the offense so heinous that they had to get rid of him so suddenly and ignominiously?

    Possibly it was because he was one of Florida’s only Town Administrators to have shown himself capable of bringing his Town through the ravages of this past recession with no major loss of service and no increase in taxes?

    Goodness knows, Davie couldn’t stand another year of that kind of performance!

    Or, maybe it was because he reluctantly held a series of public meetings in response to the Council’s criticism that he was a poor communicator, only to demonstrate that he was better qualified and a better communicator than any of those who were attacking him.

    No, my belief is that he was canned because he wouldn’t knuckle under when his “bosses” threatened him with losing his job. He wouldn’t help them find an excuse for ditching a project the Council had worked for 2-1/2 years to complete and on which they had spent a million bucks of Town money, just to benefit one of those powerful people I mentioned. And, after failing several times to make a convincing case in public for firing him in earlier public meetings, they finally orchestrated it behind the backs of those of Davie’s residents who would care.

    Gee, I wonder if Mr. Kavanes is available to come back. Those behind firing Shimun are the same folks that supported Kavanes. Now THAT’s the kind of government Davie deserves!

    As for me, I hope Mr. Shimun will enjoy the leisure time his “retirement” funds will afford him and that he’ll take his time, finding a community that really deserves him. He has my best wishes!

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