The Lake Park City Council had to humble itself this week. City Council will ask the former city clerk whom it fired earlier this year to return to run the city.
Lake Park’s city government has faced the proverbial one thing after another this year. The resignation of its mayor and two city councilmen. Special elections. A disagreement that led the mayor to accuse an elected councilwoman of trespassing in city hall. A series of new city clerks have come and gone. Various clerical concerns have arisen culminating in the recent situation where Lake Park residents received the wrong payment amounts on their water bills.
It all started in January with the sudden termination of long-time Lake Park City Clerk Ann Peterson and other veteran city employees. Though she had more than three decades of service with the city, two Lake Park City Council members and the newly inaugurated mayor voted to terminate Peterson’s employment in a public meeting.
More than seven months later, Mayor Pro Tem Sandi Sherrill presided over Tuesday night’s meeting where the Lake Park City Council officially voted to ask Peterson to return as a consultant for city hall. Sherrill was one of the councilmembers who voted to dismiss Peterson in January.
On Wednesday, Peterson said she learned of the city’s plan to request her help through an article in The Valdosta Daily Times. She also told The Times Wednesday that she’s not certain if she will says yes to the request.
There are any number of relevant morals to this tale, but the most pertinent seems to be: If you’re going to fire essential personnel, be sure someone else can do the job.
Or you may have to beg the person thrown overboard to save your sinking ship.