Town of Glen St. Mary 

Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year-2004

February 18, 2020 -Workshop

The Town of Glen St. Mary held a workshop on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:30 P.M. at the Town Hall with Council Member Hodges, Council Member Reneau, and CouncilmanRhynehardt present.  Mayor Dickie Foster presided over the meeting. 


The purpose of the workshop was to Discuss Employee Duties and Responsibilities.  Mayor Foster told Council he took over as the Mayor not knowing what everyone’s responsibilities are.  It is something he is having to learn as he goes.  He stated apparently there are some problems and it is time to voice them.  He addressed the Town Clerk first to hear what she had to say. 

She responded that she sent a letter that she had dated February 7th, but did not send until the 10th.  She told Council she is not here to point fingers, but she has been here for seventeen years and she likes her job and thinks most everyone attending knows her, but there are things going on here that she does not feel comfortable with and she isn’t going to stand by and put her name out there for.  She said she voiced her concerns with Mayor Foster and Matt Torgerson when she had a mini meltdown in the office several weeks ago.  She is prepared to stay and train someone for sixty days because she isn’t just going to walk out on her duties because that’s not the kind of person she is.  She said she isn’t here to ask for money or more hours or any of that, adding she doesn’t want special treatment, but she is not going to be in this environment.  A public records request was recently submitted and Town Clerk Loadholtz released three related documents to the Baker County Press.  The Clerk told the Council she not interested in getting in trouble for activities of others in the office.  After some discussion, Councilman Rhynehardt asked Mayor Foster if he knows what the responsibilities and duties of the Mayor are.  Mayor Foster told Council he has been learning as he goes.  He has walked around and helped the guys pull pumps, doing the things outside that he knew were best to do.  He stated the Clerk is referring to the times he has nothing to do in the office and he orders things for himself on his personal cellphone.  He didn’t think it was a big deal.  Councilman Rhynehardt made the statement that he thought Mayor Foster had said when he began his campaign that he was going to turn the plumbing business over to his son. Mayor Foster replied that he has done that.  He doesn’t do any construction work in any kind of way.  He just orders material on his personal telephone during the times that he didn’t have anything to do.  Councilman Rhynehardt then stated he believes that’s one of the problems we are facing.  That is against the Ethics rules.  That’s one of the things Donna is upset about because she sees and hears what is going on.  Council expects the four hours of time being paid each day to be spent on Town of Glen St. Mary business.  Mayor Foster doesn’t think there’s anything that he has been asked to do that he hasn’t done.  He has come in early to do stuff and stay late to do things.  He told Council he feels like not answering his phone between the hours of 8:30 and 12:30 is like going to school or being a child.  Councilman Rhynehardt replied that he feels this is going to continue being a problem if he can’t separate the two duties.  Mayor Foster told Council this isn’t something that goes on every day, but every now and then.  Council member Hodges asked Mayor Foster if he felt like since being sworn in until now, does he feel comfortable with the day to day and weekly functions.  He feels like he knows what he is doing, but feels she doesn’t want him on her computer.  Council member Hodges understood the concerns of employees not wanting someone else under their login in case something happens and something gets deleted or websites are accessed that should not be.  He stated he has not tried to access any of those files because he is not familiar with them, not has she tried to show him any of that.  He didn’t walk in here with seventeen years of experience. And there is a world of difference between sitting on the Council and being the Mayor.  Town Clerk responded saying he has not asked her to show him anything with the Town files.  A brief discussion ensued about plumbing business, phone calls, and emails and permit processing in the office with customers coming in the office.  She informed him that was one of the reasons Charlie left, because he came in the office to ask a question and couldn’t because the Mayor was on his cellphone.  Councilman Rhynehardt told Council he has spoken with each of the Town employees and they have similar concerns.  He doesn’t know what the solution is.  He asked if we are holding meetings weekly to see what needs to be done.  Mayor Foster said he talks to Matt about doing things.  He doesn’t feel he needs to include her in that since she is working on her own things.  Councilman Rhynehardt suggested everyone needs to be in the meeting on Monday.  Then on Friday the list is turned in with the accomplished tasks and an explanation for things that didn’t get accomplished.  Council member Hodges agreed that she is trying to understand how the wheels came off so quickly.  That everything was working well, but since the election the environment has deteriorated.  She has also gotten complaints from people that have come to them with concerns.  Councilman Rhynehardt said it isn’t what the Clerk wants, but what the Town deserves. He feels the Mayor is being paid good money for the four hours he is here each day.  Councilman Rhynehardt asked what the Town is getting in return for his salary.  He added that he is going to bring that up with Matt too.  Mayor Foster reiterated that he is new and he is learning.  He said he gets out there with them, that he doesn’t just sit here in the office all the time.  Partly to give her some relief from him.  He again stated that he will leave his cellphone in his truck if that is the problem.  He also told Councilman Rhynehardt that the good money he is talking about, he can make that money in two hours.  He told Council it’s not the money that he’s here for to start with.  Councilman Rhynehardt then responded with his thought of the Town doing away with the Mayor and make Donna the manager and pay her decent money because he feels that she is doing about eighty-five percent of the work now other than the physical part.  He added it is a plus that the Mayor has experience of being a plumber, but feels that if Matt is a supervisor, then Matt should be doing that and not the Mayor.  Mayor Foster responded that Matt can’t pull a pump by himself, sometimes it requires help that he is happy to step in and do.  Councilman Rhynehardt said that is why we have two maintenance workers.  He isn’t sure the Town will find someone like Donna or someone with the knowledge of the things that have happened in the past.


Councilman Rhynehardt then told Council he had a meeting with the City of Macclenny’s City Manager and assistant City Manager this past Thursday about the Water and Sewer.  He said even if Matt walks out today the Town will be covered for the first ninety days.  Mayor Foster replied that he knew that and that he had already talked to them before Councilman Rhynehardt ever went around there.  Councilman Rhynehardt added that if we still didn’t have anyone after the ninety days, we could talk about a contract.  Mayor Foster said Richard Harris wants $2,000 and Aaron Higginbotham wants $1,750.  Town Clerk Loadholtz asked for clarification of whether it was a week or month.  Mayor Foster said per week.  Town Clerk Loadholtz replied that we paid $450 per month before.  Mayor Foster reiterated it was per week.  Councilman Rhynehardt told Council there was no discussion of price when he was there and that he would need the City to come in and tell us point blank what they are going to charge us just to do what Matt is planning on doing.  Mayor Foster said Matt’s new paper shows he is going to do whatever we want him to do for twenty hours.  Council member Hodges asked if the City is willing to loop us into their schedule for ninety days until we can either find a replacement or set up a contract.  It was also discussed using one of their licenses if we hired someone to work under them.  Councilman Rhynehardt compared Matt’s new list to the previous list and told Council the reason he was given a raise was because he was doing all the maintenance and working on the mowers which was saving the Town money.  Mr. Jack Reneau asked what it took to get the water license.  Town Clerk Loadholtz said the problem is that you have to work under someone licensed for a length of time before you could obtain your license.  Prior Mayor Juanice Padgett questioned how many hours the new employee is working stating that in the 2018/2019 budget planning, Matt went behind her back and brought something in to the Council telling them they had to have thirty-five hours per week because they can’t get the work done.  She asked what is going to go lacking because they aren’t going to have the seventy hours, they are now down to forty hours.  Matt said this was before Charlie left.  That Charlie was going to work thirty-five hours, a new guy was going to work twenty hours and he was going to work twenty hours.  Matt added this would give five more hours a week for the same price.  Ms. Padgett then asked who is going to supervise that employee while they are here.  Matt replied they are twenty hours and would be the same hours that he is.  He thought Charlie was going to stick around but he is gone at this point.  Matt said it was to be three of them, but Ms. Padgett and Councilman Rhynehardt disagreed saying at the time, they were given the thirty-five hours so the Town didn’t have to hire a summer employee.  Councilman Rhynehardt referred back to the minutes from that budget workshop.  Matt then stated that since then his circumstances have changed and he can’t work that many hours here anymore.  He told Council that since he has his licenses, he wants to stick around and help them.  He thought it was significantly less than what the City of Macclenny was going to charge.  He said that the $200 per week would cover anything water related.  If something breaks or needs greased, it wouldn’t cost more, but would be covered in that $200 price.  He said he would do all the testing, keep the plant up and running and keep his license up to date.  Or for $18.50 an hour, he will work twenty hours a week and work on sewer pumps, equipment and everything else Council wants him to do during those twenty hours and he will still be on call for when water pipes break.  He told Council it is an either/or proposal. 

Councilman Rhynehardt addressed the issue that if the Commission of Ethics were to come in to investigate, no one would be able to deny knowing about plumbing business being conducted while being on Town time.  Attorney Bense then stated that the ethics code has a standard provision for conduct for public officers, agencies and local government.  The only provision that this would fall under would be conflicting employment. Under Florida Statute 112.313 it would be under the provision that no public officer shall have or hold any employment that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interest and the performance of his or her public duties that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.  He said there is not a lot of guidance on that, but the question is how often is it occurring and is it preventing him from performing the duties of the Mayor.  Mayor Foster replied that he is “Jonnie on the Spot”, if it comes across his desk, he takes care of it.  He said he will put his phone away for the four hours, stating it doesn’t bother him.  Former Mayor Padgett told Council we had a problem with cellphone usage in the past and had employees turn them off and leave them in the office.  The Town bought walkie talkies to communicate with maintenance employees at that time.  Mayor Foster stated that he felt like anything Donna has asked him to do, he has done.  She expressed her frustration that she isn’t his boss and doesn’t feel she should have to tell him what to do, adding he has been on the Council for years and should have a sense of what has been going on from the monthly Town meetings.  She addressed the notebook and stack of files that former Mayor Padgett left for him that he only looked through and filed away after she submitted her resignation letter.  She said that she can’t make him want to do anything.  She told Council she isn’t saying we never do personal things here and there, but it is like an epidemic that she isn’t going to be a part of.  Councilman Rhynehardt replied he understands where you need to keep your phone on for emergencies but if you are constantly on your phone, people can see that.  Mayor Foster agreed that Matt seems to be on his phone a lot.  Councilman Rhynehardt then said that brings up what was said back in September about the maintenance coming in early and not being supervised.  Mayor Foster said he has been coming in early when maintenance does.  Mayor Foster stated that during the winter months, a third employee would be a waste to the Town.  Council agreed with that.  Mayor Foster told Council that anything we have going on right now, we can handle it.  He told Council that in the summer we are probably going to have to hire some part-time labor to cover this.  Ms. Padgett told Council the winter time is a good time to get projects done.  Mayor Foster stated he wants to get the park fixed up.  Everything is pressure washed and painted, but the fencing needs to be fixed before it falls on someone.

Council member Hodges asked about what had been proposed of cutting the Mayor’s position back to like a Council member and then having someone to manage the Town and the employees.  She understands Mayor Foster has a lot on his plate with his plumbing business.  Mayor Foster replied that he really doesn’t.  Ms. Padgett asked or clarification that it would be like the City of Macclenny’s Mayor, that he isn’t a working Mayor.  Attorney Bense told Council that would require a Charter amendment.  There would have to be an election on that.  The Council would propose it and then put it out for the residents to vote.  Former Mayor Padgett told Council she doesn’t know what they’re going to do to keep Donna, but feels the Town will be hurting without her.  She said she worked with her for seventeen years and she not only knows everything, but is also very conscientious.  Mr. Charles Reneau asked Council why they let it get this far before something was said.  He agreed the Town will have a time finding someone to take her place and to learn all that she does.  Council agreed that seventeen years is a lot of job experience that can’t just be replaced.  Mrs. Jeaneva McCullough asked Donna if there was anything she would consider to stay.  She responded that she isn’t here to ask for a raise or more hours or anything like that.  She said she needs the situation to change.  She has spoken about it before and for quite a while and nothing is changing.  Councilman Rhynehardt told Mr. Reneau this is something he has been working on for several months.  He has known about it for a while, but it has taken this long to get this meeting to hash it out and see what’s going to happen.  Ms. Padgett asked Attorney Bense how long it would take to change the Charter.  Attorney Bense said probably a couple of months.  They would need to have a workshop to decide what the Charter proposal would be and then schedule an election for it.   Council member Hodges expressed concern that an election may turn out like the Mayoral and Council member. Attorney Bense said it is the majority of the qualified voters showing up and voting.  Mayor Foster said he feels he is trying to do his very best and felt Councilman Rhynehardt was trying to push him out of his position.  Councilman Rhynehardt responded that he is looking out for the Town and that he would have done things differently but that he chose not to run.  Mayor Foster felt he is fighting a losing battle with Councilman Rhynehardt wanting to run for the position in the first place.  He said everything Councilman Rhynehardt has done as far as going to the City of Macclenny and everything, he has already done long before Councilman Rhynehardt did.  Councilman Rhynehardt told Council he has the best interest for Glen in mind and it was his understanding that no one had been to Macclenny to talk to them so he went to see what our options were.  Matt had expressed to him that Friday was the six-week deadline and that was it so he could only assume Matt wasn’t coming in.   He was told that if the Town doesn’t have a licensed water operator, the Town could be fined.  As a Councilman he feels it is his responsibility to see what the Town’s options are.  If Matt walks out, Glen St Mary is not going to shut down.  We would have ninety days to figure out what we are going to do.  It may cost the Town more money until the Town could hire someone with a water license and get back to normal.  Matt replied he would still be doing it for less than half what Macclenny would charge.  Councilman Rhynehardt responded that the City of Macclenny is ten times or more bigger than the Town.  Matt is currently making over $31,850 per year.  Councilman Rhynehardt thought that was a good salary for the size plant we operate.  Matt responded that his license is good up to 5,000 houses, it isn’t based on the number of houses.  He told Council about maintenance issues he saves the Town on things such as generator repairs and de-ragging the lift stations.  He told Council he is asking for a dollar more an hour because someone on the Council told him to, but Council doesn’t have to give it.  Council member Reneau was good with the extra dollar an hour. She said it is only $73.02 more per week.  She feels it is worth it if he is going to be doing maintenance and running equipment.  Councilman Rhynehardt responded that is why he got his raise back in September because he was working on the equipment and such.  Matt told Council he will leave his cellphone on the desk everyday if they want.  Town Clerk showed Council member Reneau where the water license had expired April 30th and wasn’t active again until July 16th.  Council member Reneau asked if Matt was going to pay to have his license renewed.  Clerk Loadholtz told Council the license is good now, but how Matt is saying how the Town would be fined with no water license, it wasn’t a problem for two and a half months when he had sat here and done his licensing classes last year to get it renewed before April 29th and it didn’t actually get done until July 16th and we paid for that to be done.  The license is good until April 30, 2021, which would be two years.  Councilman Rhynehardt stated that before he would agree to the request, he would need to see some improvement.  Council discussed trash around Town and Matt said the previous Mayor said he made too much money to be picking up trash, to which she argued she did not say.  Councilman Rhynehardt then argued the supervisor’s responsibilities.  Mrs. Jeaneva McCullough addressed the question of what the job descriptions are.  There have been daily, weekly, and monthly checklists.  It is unclear if those are still being utilized.  Mayor Foster told Council that Matt has a checklist for what he has to do at the plant, then when he gets done, he gets on the lawnmower or mule and picks up trash and such.  Mrs. McCullough asked if that was at Matt’s discretion or that the Mayor goes out and says this is the section we’re going to work on today or this week.  Mayor Foster said he rides the Town twice a week looking for stuff for them to do.  Mr. Charles Reneau stated Matt has worked her for a long time, he knows what to do already.  Ms. Padgett stated we had weekly meetings on Monday and Donna was brought in because she has knowledge and everybody’s opinion helps out.  For the most part they kept the stuff done and then when they didn’t, you knew it.  Mrs. McCullough addressed the need for accountability.  It should be set for everyone across the board.  Council needs to figure out how the Town will survive the next couple of months.  Ms. Padgett said it could be done, that Donna has given a sixty-day notice if the Council chooses to go with a Town Manager.  Mr. Charles Reneau said they would be out more money per month.  He said they would keep the Mayor and hire Manager.  The manager would handle the day to day duties.  Council member Reneau asked if we could just start over and move forward.  Councilman Rhynehardt asked about whether to change the maintenance hours or the Mayor’s so they are supervised.  Mayor Foster stated when he comes in, they are already out doing the ride, but that he can change their hours to 8 o’clock. Councilman Rhynehardt told Council he has checked several times in the past three weeks that they weren’t here when they say they are and when they do get here, it is forty-five minutes to an hour before they go out.  Mayer Foster said he will supervise Matt and will take maintenance time back to 8’oclock and he will come in at 8 am, rather than 8:30 am.  Mr. O.D. Rewis told Council it may be cheaper to have a contractor cutting the grass.  Perhaps the prisoners could come do some work.  Perhaps the Town needs to figure out what it costs for what the Town wants to do. 


Mayor Foster closed the workshop at 7:45 P.M.

This is the official site of the Town of Glen St. Mary, FL