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Doug Barthel, director of tennis at the Palm Coast Tennis Center, "is not longer with (the facility), according to Rich Stanfield, general manager of the facility.
Stanfield wouldn't comment as to whether Barthel was fired or resigned, but Kemper Sports sent out a memo Friday, Aug. 10.
Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon said Wednesday in a phone interview that he wasn’t exactly sure of the reasoning as to why Barthel, who was technically an employee of Kemper Sports, was let go. Landon said he was notified Friday of the decision.
“He wasn’t meeting their expectations, and they were not seeing the results they were hoping for,” Landon said.
Barthel was introduced to the City Council during a budget workshop in July.
Barthel, a certified teaching professional for 26 years, was tasked with driving up revenues. At the time, he told the City Council that he planned to make the Tennis Center profitable by establishing increased play during non-peak hours — such as afternoon and evening play — and by reaching out to the younger generations in the Flagler County school system.
“Junior development is key,” Barthel said during the July meeting.
The Tennis Center faces a budget deficit of approximately $120,000 in this year’s budget, according to city documents. The City Council agreed to retool the program, and give the Tennis Center one last shot at becoming self-sustaining or even profitable.
When asked if the firing of Barthel changed the plans, Landon replied: “Absolutely not.”
“I specifically told Kemper Sports that our expectations remain the same and this can’t be used as an excuse,” Landon said. “And (we’re) still expecting the positive results that (Kemper Sports) presented to City Council.”
Landon said Kemper Sports is in the process of hiring a new tennis director.
"I strongly support the idea (of making the change), which is uncommon in government," Landon said. "If it’s not a good match and the expectations are not being met after the employee has been coached ... you have to take the necessary actions.”
Currently 4 Responses
- Thank you Kathy for telling the right side of the story. Doug did more for that center in 6 weeks than any of the over priced idiots they had working there since it's inception. Doug's clinics were filled, one on one instruction in constant rotation, the quadrants were just getting started, juniors tournaments, childrens programs in full "swing". Doug was highly visible and approachable at all times. I truly believe Kemper has no desire to see this facility succeed.
- This is absolutely some of the worse absolute lies that I have ever heard or can even imagine about Doug Barthel. He is one of the best tennis pros and Director of Tennis that has ever been - he knows the profession like a "pro" and has done tennis for 26 years - there is nobody any better on the teaching court than Doug Barthel. He is a man of integrity, loves the profession and teaching tennis to all, and has never been slandered the way the article is written. Also, where is Doug's response to this slanderous letter?? What somebody needs to do is look into the Management Man (which was Doug's so called boss) of the Golf Center that Kemper has hired . Evidentally, there are some problems with either the City or Kemper Sports, or both, as the previous Manager, who left after hiring a Controller, who was supposedly embezzling monies and the City and Kemper supposedly kept this "under the cover" so as not to embarrass the City and to let the community know that the City was losing monies.It sounds to me like somebody needs to look into the City Manager (who refused to give Doug an Exit Interview, as Doug was told that he was Kemper's employee, not the City's, even though Doug had to interview twice (2 times) with the City Board before he was offered the Director of Tennis position ----what is going on here???- Doug Barthel has never been "fired" as was said in the paper after saying that (Manager Man) could not say if he was fired or just left. Somebody is lying and Doug was used as a "SCAPE GOAT". Do you people in Palm Coast not have any care for folks - Doug and Kathy had to pay monies to move to your area and they were looking forward to living there until Doug could see that things were not on the UP and Up there. He was lied to after several weeks and the Man was going to cut his salary in "HALF" - this is just so horrible - now Doug and Kathy have to spend again to move back again - this is atrocious!!! I could fill your ears with much more. Having four (4) tennis pros in such a short time should tell somebody with half a brain that somebody doesn't check up on the folks they are going to interview for hiring. Also, what about the handbook saying Nepotism is not permitted - husband and wife working there - please check this out - as Doug would have been "supervising the wife of his boss!!!! Oh, my gosh!!! I truly feel so bad for the few good folks there who deserve much better than they are getting - does city management and Kemper want to "shut down" the Tennis Center - sounds like that.
This is a nightmare for Doug, Kathy, & Drew - they don't deserve this kind of treatment and neither does the others that have been done this way also.
You really need to give Doug his "say" to this disgusting newspaper
Somebody please start looking deeper than the surface!!!!
- First of all, there are always 2 sides of a story, and if you'd really like the other side you should interview Doug. Kemper brought our family here with a letter of offer that clearly states percentages. Doug was to recieve 80% of his clinics, Junior Development, etc. After the Manager's (Mr. Stanfield) wife was put on a "hefty" salary and told that since Kemper does not condone nepotism, Doug was suppose to be her boss, and his pay was cut to 35% instead of the 80% that was in the letter of offer. Doug has been doing this for 26 years, not sure how much experience the Stanfields have in the tennis industry. The only thing Doug was told he needed "coaching on" was that he needed to be more visible in the evenings and not doing his computer work at home. Which he corrected!!!! More new programs were implemented by Doug in his 6 weeks of employment there than Kemper has been able to do in the last 2 years. Ask the members, ask people who think Kemper's involvement here has been bad for the tennis center. Doug nor Superman could be expected to fix in 6 weeks what mismanagement under Kemper has caused for the past 2 years and the city for the prior 3. The City is grossly overpaying for what they are getting. There are no excuses, as Mr. Landon stated......except he is not doing his job by really looking into what is going on there. The city is paying, or was paying 3 people what 1 person could be doing!!!! Mr. Stanfield gets paid to manage the Tennis Center and according to Doug, actually comes out there a total of maybe 30 minutes a week. Under this current contract and Kemper's mismanagement, the City Tennis Center will never make money!!! This begs the question, Does the City Government really want the Tennis Center to be a financially feasible venture? Doug offered to do an exit interview with the Mayor and the City Manger and the offer was declined by both. I would think that with the animosity surrounding the tax payers and the tennis center and the monies being lost there, they would at least be a little more concerned. Under Kemper's Management the Tennis Center has gone through 4 Tennis Pros in the last 8 months.......Don't you think it's time to look into Kemper's lack of Tennis knowledge??? The City and the people deserve so much better!!!!! Actually, so did my family!!!!! Good Luck!
- if they need to fire some one fire landon and make him the tennis couch.bet u won't see any inprovement
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