Interim Gainesville City Manager Cynthia Curry fired three assistant city managers and appointed Gainesville Police Department Chief Tony Jones to take their places on Monday.
Former assistant city managers Fred Murry, Deborah Bowie and Andrea Agha are all out of a job.
Curry, who became interim city manager after former city manager Lee Feldman resigned in September, appointed Jones to act as interim chief operating officer. The new position will take over the assistant city managers’ duties and centralize management structure.
Jones, who will take office Jan. 17, will be given a week to appoint an interim chief of police while he is serving this role, said city spokesperson Shelby Taylor. The city will find a replacement for him in about three months.
Curry said in her letter to the city commission that the person taking this role will provide overall oversight and direction to all areas directed by the city manager. She met with Murry, Bowie and Agha individually to let them know their services would no longer be required, Taylor said.
Murry, Bowie and Agha served a collective 18 years as employees for the City of Gainesville.
“There was certainly a personal impact that happened to those individuals, and the city manager did not take that decision lightly,” Taylor said. “The impact on them personally weighs on her heavily.”
The chief operating officer will work directly with the city manager’s office to carry out their duties.
“Instead of the city manager’s directions filtering through various departments, the directions would come directly from her office to ensure consistency,” Taylor said.
Curry also created another new position Monday: special advisor to the interim city commissioner. This role has been given to Phil Mann, the Gainesville Director of Public Works.
Taylor said that Mann’s role is to ensure city facilities and local infrastructure are on appropriate schedules for proper maintenance. He will advise the interim city manager on keeping facilities up to par as they age.
Another new role Curry created is executive chief of staff to the city manager. It enhances collaboration and acts as a manager and advisor to the city manager. In her letter to the city commission, she notes that working with community builders and external stakeholders is necessary for this position.
The executive chief of staff position will be recruited internally. No one has filled this position yet.
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Erina is a second-year journalism student and reports on East Gainesville for The Alligator. Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Erina grew up in Fort Lauderdale and is excited to discover new stories in Gainesville. When she’s not writing, she enjoys exploring local restaurants and watching Korean dramas.