Town of Glen St. Mary 

Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year-2004

May 19, 2020 - Workshop

The Town of Glen St. Mary held a virtual workshop on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 6:00 P.M.   Council Member Hodges, Council Member McCullough, Council Member Reneau, CouncilmanRhynehardt, and Mayor Dickie Fosterwere all remote with Town Clerk Loadholtz working the meeting from the Town Hall on her laptop. 


The purpose of the workshop was to discuss employee issues that still have not been resolved.   Mayor Foster opened the meeting after Attorney Bense stated all were present should someone else join the meeting, he would address the guidelines for the virtual meeting.  Maintenance employee Matt Torgerson participated remotely to discuss previous concerns Council had relating to his hours being worked.  Mayor Foster told Council he sees Matt doing all he can do with no employees to help.  He went on to say that he has knowledge of the town and holds both water operator and mosquito license.  He can fix almost anything that breaks down and thinks he would be a great loss to lose him.  Councilman Rhynehardt replied that was never a question.  The question was when he was coming in and leaving.  Mayor Foster stated that he had cut his hours back to take care of his son.  Councilmember Hodges replied that the Council wants to make sure he is being paid for the hours being worked.  Matt responded he has stuck to the 7 AM -11 AM schedule and that he calls the Mayor if he will be late.  Mayor Foster also stated he is here at 7 AM to witness that he gets to work on time.

Mayor Foster then turned the meeting over to discuss issues with the Town Clerk Donna Loadholtz, stating he would hate to lose her, but that she hasn’t told him of her intentions.  Councilman Rhynehardt stated with all the extra work she is doing he feels she should get a pay increase if she is to stay.  Council member Hodges asked what extra things she has done since the last mayor. Dona replied there are new build calculations and zoning issues that were usually handled by the Mayor.  She added that Council can’t just make up money, we only have so much budgeted.  She stated she is here to do what is best for the town.  Council member Reneau then asked if she is not resigning.  Clerk Loadholtz told the Council she can’t make people do their job, that she can only do her own.  Councilmember Hodges asked about hiring an assistant to train and help so that she can take a day off.  She wants to look at the budget to reconfigure salaries.  She said Donna is also entitled to take a day off.  Maintenance employee Torgerson stated neither of them can take off right now.  Of the other two maintenance employees, one quit and the other one was fired.  He added the current mayor is not computer literate, no offense to the mayor. Clerk Loadholtz told Council the previous mayor used to help if needed and for the past 3-4 years the salary was $1,600 per month.  She added that with the new budget year the clerk position was given a $1 per hour raise and five more hour a week.  She has come in feeling ill to cover the office and added that since the mayor was last hospitalized, he leaves Monday, Wednesday, and Friday around 10:30 AM.  During the Covid-19 lockdown, if she is there after 12:30 PM, and people are knocking on the door, she has to let them in.  Councilmember Hodges asked if the office is only open for a half day, and he leaves at 10:30 AM, the residents may feel they are restricted from access to their government.  She spoke of possibly changing the structure to be more like a management position and get an assistant.  Councilman Rhynehardt questioned why the clerk is doing research she wasn’t doing before.  Clerk Loadholtz responded that sometimes it is that the mayor is gone and you have to handle the requests when they come in.  Councilmember Hodges suggested the setup like Macclenny has where the mayor is more of a figure head.  Mayor Foster replied that he works 7 AM until 10:45-11 AM on dialysis days and is here 22 hours a week.  He added he does everything he can in the maintenance yard and claimed he has asked Donna several times and was told “no”.  He added the research on the houses is for water and sewer and is written on a piece of paper, but that she has helped Juanice with property boundaries, claiming they were not related to Town business. 

Donna then told Council she took off work last Tuesday for her daughter’s birthday and the mayor did not take the deposit to the bank.  The payments had been dropped off in the front door mail slot.  He replied he wasn’t told to take it.  Councilman Rhynehardt told Mayor Foster it is his responsibility.  Mayor Foster replied for Council to look at her attitude.  Council member Reneau then stated she believes there are personality issues between the two.  She added that she appreciates Donna’s work and feels Dickie deserves a chance to learn.  Mayor Foster told Council he feels like he is walking on eggshells in the office.  Council member Hodges asked Donna about her sick and comp time.  She suggested that Donna take some time off in June so that he can learn.  She replied that she is already scheduled to be off June 12.  Council member McCullough asked about setting up training days.  Donna responded she had no problem training, but worries about the mess she will come back to.  Mayor Foster said he would be glad to sit down beside her and have her show him.  Council member McCullough suggested having a payroll day and not to just do it for him.  She felt they were just repeating what was said two months ago when they agreed they need to get a plan in place, stating it was going to be a mess either way.  Council member Reneau asked if the former Mayor Padgett was present at the Town Hall, to which Donna replied she was in the meeting room listening.  Council member Reneau replied that perhaps Ms. Padgett may be willing to help.  Council member Hodges asked Mayor Foster what he does from 7 AM until the office opens.  He replied he goes out with Matt and has done research on the RV park since he was told he had to come in and supervise Matt.  He said he has meetings with Matt to see what he is going to be doing and he has watched him do the readings at the plant.  He told Council the town’s computers are set up different than what he is used to.  Council member Hodges asked if he has picked up on anything since October.  He told Council there are different types of paper for checks and water bills.  He added that he can’t log into anything.  Council member Hodges stated that is an issue for the IT person to fix, and asked if he has reached to them to get access.  Donna responded that the passwords work on either computer as they are linked together.  Mayor Foster replied that he is computer illiterate when it comes to what she is doing.  Council member Hodges voiced her concerns that we should not be seven months in and not know how to get into the computer.  Mayor Foster stated that he had brought it up at the first blow up meeting.  Council member Hodges told Council this is 2020 and we can’t have this.  The mayor needs to contact the IT people and to get into the computer.  Matt has a sign in, but stated he didn’t know he could get into the Town’s e-mail.  Donna replied that the e-mail is available from anywhere.  Councilmember Hodges told Council they need the capability to be able to help the public and we need to be able to function as a Town.   Mayor Foster stated he can take payments but can’t go on the computer and do anything she does.  Council agreed it is the Mayor’s responsibility to get it fixed.  He said he would put items on her desk until she comes back.  Council member McCullough responded that we need a backup plan if she isn’t coming back.  He responded that he didn’t think the previous mayor could do that.  Council member McCullough then asked when Donna was not in the office, was there no one to back her up.  Donna told Council that the previous mayor could get in the computer and type a letter, check the e-mail, and she could definitely take a payment, make copies and take deposits to the bank.  Donna told Council she left the receipt book and list of payments owed on top of her desk and still had customers at the post office that dropped off payments and they said he didn’t give them receipts.  She told Council he can say it is her attitude or whatever, but she is fed up with the crap.  Council member Hodges stated that after seven months, we are way too far in to say “I don’t know how to do it”.  Maybe in November it would have been fine, but we are almost into June.  Mayor Foster again told Council he is doing the best he can under the situation he is in.  He said he also has sleepless nights and didn’t take the job to be a secretary.  He thought he could run the office and came in with a different attitude than Juanice.  He stated he has been shut down at every angle.  He said he can run around town and research to get a lawn maintenance to mow the town, but was told by some they didn’t want any part of it.  Another guy was supposed to come give a price, but we haven’t heard back from him for about three weeks.  Attorney Bense then asked if he was soliciting for proposals, if it was posted in the paper or just word of mouth to individual businesses.  Mayor Foster replied it was word of mouth as there are only three in town covered by insurance.  Councilman Rhynehardt stated the Town can’t afford this.  Mayor Foster said it was brought up in a couple of meetings and Juanice had even said to get quotes.  Council member Hodges asked Mayor Foster if his dialysis appointments could be moved to the afternoon.  He said there is nothing after 11 AM and he has the last appointment of the day, stating that when he took office and doing appointments after 12:30 PM, he was going to Jacksonville.  The Clerk pointed out the time and told Council we needed to close the workshop to get ready for the regular town meeting

Mayor Foster closed the workshop at 7:55 P.M.

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