Madeira Beach mayor announces firing of city manager

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, May 05, 2017, 10:42 AM EDT

Better than television is how one resident described an explosive Madeira Beach meeting Thursday evening. This after the mayor asked for the City Manager, Shane Crawford to be fired.

  • Raucous Madeira Beach commission meeting
  • Mayor Maggi Black announced the firing of City Manager Shane Crawford
  • People in the audience screamed out during meeting

The city’s newly elected Mayor, Maggi Black said Crawford was less than truthful about trying to hire a financial director. She said leaders lost confidence in Crawford and accused him of undermining her and two other newly elected commissioners, Nancy Oakley and John Douthirt, since they took office.

City Commissioner, Terry Lister said he was shocked at the firing. He said Crawford has done a good job for the city and he blamed the mayor for the surprise termination. 

Lister said he was notified at the last minute and at one point he ripped up the paperwork with the motion to terminate Crawford and threw it in the mayor’s direction.

The outbursts continued from there. People in the audience screamed out as the mayor got confused on how to state a motion. Another yelled that the new leaders are embarrassing and referred to them as cartoon characters. 

One man asked for newly elected commissioner Nancy Oakley not to vote.

"I really think Nancy, after the debauchery that went on with Shane and the face licking, she should recuse herself from the vote," he said. "Because I don’t see how she could vote fairly." 

Crawford backed up those claims but Oakley had no comment and voted to terminate him. 

In the room of about a hundred residents there were about a quarter of people who sided with the mayor and the two commissioners. 

“Stand firm. Move forward. Clean house and get on with doing business," yelled one woman in support of the mayor’s decision.

Another man told leaders, “It’s wrong. Shane has done a wonderful job,” he said.

Crawford’s wife who is also the city clerk initially refused to call the roll for commissioners to vote on his firing. But she ended up calling it at the end of the meeting and broke down in tears as leaders voted 3-2 to fire him.

Crawford defended himself during the meeting about several allegations. Including one woman who said he did a bad job and violated rules. “I just want to go on record and say everything that woman said is false and I can prove it,” Crawford said.

In the end the mayor got the majority of the votes and Crawford is out of a job if the firing process goes according to their plan.

For now he’s suspended.

The city attorney says Crawford will be allowed to request a public hearing. After a series of meetings his termination will be final.