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Palm Coast Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 2 years ago

Flagler Beach approves contract with new manager Larry Newsom

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Newsom will be paid $88,000 per year.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The Flagler Beach City Commission unanimously approved an $88,000 per year open-ended contract for its new city manager, Larry Newsom, in a vote at a Dec. 22 City Commission meeting. 

Newsom will take the place of current City Manager Bruce Campbell, who announced his intention to resign more than a year ago but was repeatedly enticed by the commission to stay on. 

The contract for Newsom, a former assistant county administrator in Escambia County, is open-ended, something City Commissioner Jane Mealy questioned before the vote. But the city's attorney said that feature of the contract benefits the city. 

"Because you can terminate at will, for your purposes, the time limit running out is almost a hindrance on you," City Attorney Drew Smith replied. "It puts you in these situations where you're stuck in the middle between somebody who's outgoing and somebody who may be coming in."

The contract will continue yearly unless the city decides to end it, and Newsom will have yearly performance reviews every August. 

Mealy also questioned a proposed $200 a month car allowance for Newsom, noting that the city of Flagler Beach is only six miles long. "I know he's involved in things at the state level ... but he could just get (gas reimbursement) at the IRS rate," she said.

Commissioner Marsall Shupe agreed with Mealy, and the city decided to eliminate the $200 per month rate and instead reimburse Newsom for mileage at the standard IRS rate. 

Newsom's contract stipulates that he must work at least 40 hours a week. In a phone conversation with commissioners at the end of the Dec. 22 hearing, Newsom agreed to the changes commissioners made to the proposed contract.

Newsom will start work in January.

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