DESTIN — In a 4-3 vote Monday night, the Destin City Council agreed to give City Manager Carisse LeJeune two weeks to tender her resignation.

The motion was made by Councilman Rodney Braden, who didn’t explain his reasoning.

Councilman Chatham Morgan, however, cited “deep mistrust” between city staff and the council as a big problem.

“For the past six months, there has been ... a division brewing between our staff and our City Council,” Morgan said at the meeting. “I think there are certainly members of this City Council that have serious reservations and trust issues with our staff, and I’m one of them.”

Braden, Morgan, Councilman Parker Destin and Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell voted for LeJeune’s resignation. Council members Cyron Marler, Tuffy Dixon and Skip Overdier voted against it.

LeJeune was brought on as city manager in July 2016 after serving as interim city manager for about two months. This past February, the council unanimously approved giving her a 1 percent merit-based salary increase based on her overall job performance in fiscal year 2017. That pay hike increased her salary to $123,821.15.

According to her amended employment agreement, which LeJeune signed Monday night, she has until July 13 to submit her written resignation to the City Clerk. If she resigns before or on that date, she will receive her monthly salary for July and August 2018, in addition to 26 weeks' worth of salary and payment for any unused sick or vacation leave on Sept. 1.

She's also eligible to receive a maximum of $1,000 for moving expenses if she moves out of her Niceville home before Aug. 14, 2019.

If she resigns, her last day will be Aug. 14, 2018.

The agreement specifies that the resignation "shall be deemed a resignation for the mutual benefit of the city manager, the city, and the Destin City Council and shall not be deemed a termination in any way."

On late Friday afternoon, Braden added a review of LeJeune's performance, as well as a discussion of about dissolving the deputy city manager position, to Monday’s meeting agenda.

But shortly after the meeting began, the council agreed with Braden’s request to have the latter issue removed from the agenda. Last October, the council had approved promoting Steven Schmidt from development manager to deputy city manager.

At Monday’s meeting, several council members, including Overdier and Mayor Gary Jarvis, who were both elected in March, said they were caught off guard by Braden’s late additions to the agenda.

Later during the meeting, the council had to take a short break so each council member could receive a copy of LeJeune’s amended contract.

“This is the first time I’m seeing this,” Overdier said. “What started this? What are we trying to do here? There’s obviously something going on I don’t know about.”

He and Jarvis defended LeJeune and praised her for the assistance she has given them as new council members.

“No one would do this (crafting the terms of LeJeune’s resignation) unless they thought they had the four votes to make this happen,” said Jarvis, who does not have general voting power on the council. “I apologize, Carisse, but I want some justification for this, and if things get a little bit muddy, they get a little muddy.

“I just think this looks bad for the city of Destin; I know this is not good for our community. It’s not good for city staff. I’m not happy.”

Marler noted that he has already been through five city managers during his time on the council.

“Destin has a reputation for not holding onto a city manager,” he said. “I was caught off guard also. What has she done that is so wrong? I don’t want to go through another city manager. I’ve been through enough of them.”

Dixon said he does not like “how this went down” and would not support Braden’s motion to have LeJeune resign.

When asked by Ramswell to comment, LeJeune stated that she deals with facts.

“The fact is I was presented with this amendment to my contract sometime between 2 and 3 o’clock this afternoon,” LeJeune said. “The fact that it was presented to me at all let me know I don’t have the full confidence of my City Council.”

She said by tendering her resignation, she would retain her reputation as a professional, “even though it pains me to leave my staff and the citizens of Destin. But if there is no hope of a solid working relationship with all of the members of the council, perhaps I’m not a good fit as a city manager.”

Several Destin residents spoke in support of LeJeune before Braden made most of his comments, and before Ramswell and Morgan brought up problems they have with the city manager.

Resident Mike Parker said he and the entire city have confidence in LeJeune.

“We want this woman in the position of city manager,” he said. “I ask you to reconsider and take a step back. She has done a wonderful job for this city.”

Another resident said the move to force LeJeune to resign sets a poor example of what to expect in Destin. And resident Walt Newman said he opposes the practice of council members voting on an issue but not explaining their reasoning.

Braden told the audience that no matter what he said, “You’ve already got your minds made up. There’s a whole lot more going on on this side, between the council and the city manager. If you want to see what’s going on on this side, run for the council and you’ll see. I don’t want to go through all of my reasoning and drag anybody through the mud.”

Morgan said the “division” between city staff and the council for the past six months was not entirely LeJeune’s fault.

For example, the city’s recent visioning session “was an absolute joke,” according to Morgan.

“Not once was I, as a policy decision maker, asked for my opinion,” he said. “It was clear that city staff was not interested in my vision for the city.”

He also said that even if he voted not to amend LeJeune’s contract, “There is a large part of this council that does not have trust in her.”

Ramswell said she echoed Morgan’s thoughts. She added that LeJeune has failed to provide clarification on various requested items or give reasons for various actions by staff, and that different city committee members have complained about getting their meeting agenda an hour before their meeting and not getting other certain documents at all.

Those represent “deep problems that cannot occur,” said Ramswell, who later added, “I don’t like hurting anyone. I don’t want to see anyone lose their job. But I have to follow my heart and my gut. Carisse feels there is no faith up here anymore. I have deep concerns that have thus far not been remedied.”