TREASURE ISLAND – After a lengthy discussion, Treasure Island City Commissioners accepted an offer from City Manager Reid Silverboard to resign on March 21. His last day will be May 8.
As part of the agreement, Silverboard will receive six months severance pay and benefits totaling $128,618.
Silverboard, 67, has served as the city’s manager for nearly 10 years. But in recent years he has been the target of criticism for the city’s financial problems and the possibility of returning tolls to the Treasure Island Causeway. Also, voters overwhelmingly turned down a planned development zoning district proposed by Silverboard and his staff in November.
Silverboard said he made the decision after the March 14 election when two anti-Silverboard candidates, Deborah Toth and Ralph Kennedy, won seats on the City Commission. Ken Keyes, who joined the commission a year ago, also opposes Silverboard.
“I just don’t think I have the confidence of the commission the way I would like it,” Silverboard said. “My sense of the commission and some in the community was that it’s time for a change. That is why I made the offer.”
Under terms of Silverboard’s contract, if he resigns voluntarily he does not receive severance pay. However, had he been fired, he would have received the full package his contract calls for. Under that scenario, Silverboard would have most likely been terminated on the spot March 21 without an interim city manager in place or a plan to find a permanent city manager.
Commissioner Larry Lunn suggested accepting Silverboard’s offer.
“His termination date would be May 8,” he said. “In that time we can find a qualified interim (city manager). It’s a two-month opportunity to work with him and come up with a long-term solution. It seems to be like there’s not much of a choice.”
Toth didn’t agree.
“I have an issue,” she said. “This is too generous. When I leave a job, I don’t get a severance package.”
Kennedy said he preferred to negotiate the severance package but was concerned about who would take over on an interim basis.
Community activist Mel Lenehan said “fire him” but another community activist, Heidi Horak, was more lenient.
“Anyone who has been in a job for 10 years deserves severance,” she said.
Silverboard said he would likely seek government employment somewhere else after leaving Treasure Island and suggested “quite a few” of his current staff members would make a good interim city manager, “or the permanent choice.”