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Tallahassee city commissioner surprised by city attorney vote

Tallahassee city commissioner surprised by city attorney vote
Tallahassee city commissioner surprised by city attorney vote
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 13:37:16-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The search for a new Tallahassee city attorney continues as commissioners review the final three candidates.

But a vote Wednesday after interviewing all three was surprising to at least one on the commission.

Commissioner Nancy Miller says it was "forced" and unexpected and the vote wasn't part of the agenda. She adds it was unfair and unfortunate to the candidates, particularly the deputy city attorney.

"The vote was forced. It's that simple," Miller asserted. "We had no time to go back, sit down, think over, review the questions and the answers that the applicants had given us and really ponder this very, very critical decision for the City -- not just for today, but for the long term."

Cassandra Jackson has worked alongside Lew Shelly, who retires at the end of the month. Mayor Andrew Gillum and mayor pro tem Curtis Richardson pushed for the commission to vote on whether or not she was the one for the job but the motion failed by one vote.

Commissioner Miller says more time is needed to review each of the candidates, though she argues city staff didn't do enough to find more qualified applicants.

"They said they did a national search. What they did was a national advertisement. That's not the same to me as a search. When you search for something, you go and look for it," said Miller. "If you throw out an ad here and there and you and see what rolls in, that's more like a fishing expedition."

Miller said she needs to feel more comfortable about any decision she would make for this position. She plans to continuing to hear feedback from residents.

The city commission is expected to talk more about the search for a city attorney at its next meeting on Jan. 31.