INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - It appears that the confusing situation over the status of Al Grieshaber, city manager of Indian Rocks Beach, will continue until at least November 13, possibly.
At mid-October. Grieshaber announced that he had been selected as general manager of a community near Sebring named Sun 'n' Lake.
But he made no move as far as is known to definitely accept the job. Instead, he bailed out of his office the last week of October through November 10 for a "medical procedure."
Commissioner Jose Coppen reported with some dismay the mystery of the Grieshaber situation. In his report by e-mail to his constituents, Coppen, commenting on the commission's lack of action regarding Grieshaber, said, "That complacency is beyond my comprehension."
Coppen pointed out what everyone has known for months, virtually since Grieshaber was officially hired in February, that the city manager apparently was not happy in Indian Rocks Beach, despite his protestations to the contrary.
Why else would he have sought another job on several occasions since February?
The ethical custom among city managers which has its own organization (which Grieshaber does not belong to, even though the IRB city charter says the city manager must be a member of the International City Managers Association) is that one stays at least two years in a job one has been newly hired for.
"Al has given every indication that he has not been happy with the employment contract he signed last February. As his searches have been more frequent and noted, Al has openly admitted he wants to leave," Coppen said.
Then Coppen pointed out how, at the October 23 meeting, one commissioner (Jim Palamara) wanted to give Grieshaber a big merit increase and thus sweeten the pot and see if he stays in IRB.
Concern was expressed by the commission over the high severance package Grieshaber managed to wangle from the city.
It would be interesting, one observer noted, to see what would happen if the city fired Grieshaber and refused to pay him the severance package.
"It would be interesting to see if he sues," that source said. "Given all the circumstances, he probably wouldn't."
It is known that Grieshaber has sought jobs - since being hired permanently in IRB in February - in Citrus County, Minneola, St. Cloud, Safety Harbor, Manatee County and Tavares.
The shopping around routine has left Indian Rocks Beach basically with an unsettled situation in the city manager's office, a situation that has been shaky since the dissatisfactions with John Coffey began almost two years ago.
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