MADEIRA BEACH – Doug Andrews is no longer the city’s recreation director. Interim Madeira Beach City Manager Derryl O’Neal announced last week he has terminated Andrews.
A letter from O’Neal to Andrews informing him of his dismissal states, “I have lost confidence in your ability to provide overall organizational support and general direction for the Recreation Department,” O’Neal wrote. “Effective immediately, your employment is terminated for the city of Madeira Beach.”
O’Neal said his decision came after “a lot of smaller items that led up to a larger event.” He related some recent conversations with Andrews “where he showed no respect for authority at all.”
“I cannot tolerate that or allow that to occur,” O’Neal said.
It was a situation that had been building for some time, apparently. O’Neal said, in the end, “I lost confidence in (Andrews’) ability to provide good organizational direction.”
He said Andrews’ “focus at the rec center had been on revenues coming in. But there were a lot of questions about expenses going out.”
“The direction wasn’t going where I felt it should,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal said times have been difficult for the city recently, “and right now there’s got to be some changes to refocus and redirect our city to where we want it to be.”
“Mr. Andrews, I decided, wasn’t giving me the comfort zone I needed that he was moving forward in an acceptable direction for the city.”
Andrews was hired by former City Manager Shane Crawford in 2014 when the city’s new rec center and athletic fields were about to be completed.
O’Neal’s office also provided an email letter Andrews sent to Karen Paulson of the city’s Human Resources Department, with copies to the commission members. In the letter Andrews speaks of his intention to “file a complaint of intimidation and creating a hostile work environment” against O’Neal.
Andrews also asked Paulson for an appeal hearing with the City Commission.
“The acting city manager and I had a disagreement, no more, no less,” said Andrews. “It should hardly be grounds for dismissal of an employee with an impeccable record and great financial success for the city of Madeira Beach.”
In his letter to Paulson, Andrews mentioned recent conversations he had with O’Neal that became heated. But he said he and O’Neal “never even had a minor issue before Friday, Aug. 25.”
“In my three years here, I have never received a warning or probation and I would imagine my personnel file at the city is spotless,” Andrews said in the letter.
Regardless, O’Neal in his position as interim city manager does have the authority to hire and fire employees reporting to him. He exercised that right by terminating Andrews.