MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — The city manager and city clerk of Madeira Beach are officially off the job.
The married couple agreed to a $135,000 settlement after city commissioners voted to accept their resignations.
The decision to let them both go comes after months of internal squabbling at City Hall.
There are allegations of law breaking and feelings of hatred, mistrust, and even death threats.
It started over a dispute about development plans for a vacant parcel near the causeway where Leverrocks Restaurant once stood. Some complained it is too big and doesn’t fit in with Madeira Beach’s quaint atmosphere.
Another dispute was over a decaying plaza, where a proposed “town center” will be built.
Some believe City Manager Shane Crawford sided with the builders.
Crawford found himself on the opposite side of the new mayor and new commissioners.
His relationship with and marriage to the city clerk raised some eyebrows.
A number of residents spoke to call for his ousting.
“In the five years he’s been city manager here, I believe he’s created chaos, with the silent majority and a Garden of Eden for the select few,” said Debbie Weinstein.
Others used their three minutes to voice support.
“You have three goals, stop development, fire the city manager, fire the city clerk. That’s the only thing I’ve seen,” said Robert Preston.
The commission voted 3-2 to pay the married couple severance and some sick and vacation time.
After the vote, supporters stopped by to wish Shane and Cheryl Crawford well.
“Frankly, and I’ll maintain this [until] the day that I die, I was the quarterback and they were the coach. I just took orders. I didn’t get politically involved, I did what i was told to do,” said Shane Crawford.
An emotional Cheryl Crawford said she’ll miss working at City Hall.
“He was an amazing city manager and he still is. It’s just a travesty to this community and I just feel bad for everybody that lives in the city,” she said.
The couple walked out of City Hall now unemployed.
Both Shane and Cheryl Crawford agreed to act as consultants for Madeira Beach to help with current projects in the works.
They’ll also assist in helping replacements.
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