DESTIN — Lannie Corbin has served as Niceville’s city manager since 1972 and Michael Beedie has served as Fort Walton Beach’s top administrator since the fall of 2012.

 

In comparison, Destin has had five city managers, including one who served two stints at the helm, since 2002.

And current City Manager Carisse LeJeune could be the next to go through the revolving door.

LeJeune, who was brought on as city manager in July 2016 after serving in an interim capacity for about two months, submitted her letter of resignation Wednesday.

On July 2, after citing concerns such as a lack of trust in LeJeune and a division between staff and the council, a majority of the City Council approved a motion to ask for her resignation.

The council on Monday plans to consider whether to formally accept LeJeune’s resignation, which includes conditions set by both the council and LeJeune. If approved, her last day on the job will be Aug. 14.

Councilman Cyron Marler, however, said he already has been through five Destin city managers and doesn’t want to see another one go.

Among its current members, Marler has served the longest on the council —from 2000-07 and 2012 to now. His current four-year term expires in 2020.

Historically in Destin, personality conflicts between a council member and the city manager often has led to the manager being let go, Marler said Thursday.

More recently, some council members have been trying to “micro-manage” LeJeune and are not letting her do her job of administrating the legislative policy set by the council, he said.

Councilman Rodney Braden made the motion on July 2 to ask LeJeune to resign. It was supported by council members Chatham Morgan, Parker Destin and Prebble Ramswell and opposed by Marler and Councilmen Tuffy Dixon and Skip Overdier.

Braden has declined to publicly give specific reasons why he wants LeJeune to leave.

“To be totally honest with you, I am very upset with my fellow council members,” Marler said. “I’m not on board with what’s going on right now.” LeJeune has “had some issues, but she’s a fact finder and is not going to give information until she has all the facts.”

That remark was in response to Ramswell’s recent complaint that LeJeune had not provided requested information on the city’s plans for Heritage Park and other items in a timely matter.

Marler also expressed his concern about "outside influence" being involved in the quest to end LeJeune's tenure.

“I do believe there are some problems with some (of the other existing) council members doing too much for certain people, as if they’re being influenced,” Marler said. “I believe there is serious outside influence on the City Council that (involves) presenting certain agenda items, and I’m not happy with that."

He also said he wishes more residents would attend and participate in the council meetings instead of watching them on YouTube and call the mayor and other council members to share their concerns instead of only expressing them on social media.

Corbin noted that LeJeune lives in Niceville and he wished her the best. He attributed his longevity as city manager to many ingredients, including a bit of luck.

"First off, I love my job, and I have a very understanding family," Corbin said. Also, "I put together a great team of employees, and our philosophy has always been you work for the city, not just a department. I guess they all signed off on the same version for the city that I have."

In addition, Niceville's employees are not intimidated by working with the City Council, he said.

"Our council has a great relationship with me and our employees," Corbin said. "The council disagrees on things sometimes, like zoning issues, but they always leave as friends once the meeting is over."