Just before the meeting adjourned at 10:39 p.m. last night, St Augustine City Clerk, Ali Ratkovic, announced that she will retire from her appointed position on September 30th.
Ratkovic began her career working for the City on June 8, 1989 and trained for the position under former City Clerk, Nell Porter.
Ali holds one of the three positions not hired by the City Manager, John Regan. Her appointment, along with that of the City Attorney and the City Manager, comes directly by a vote of the City Commissioners.
Commissioner Todd Neville acknowledged that he was certain that a senior employee in the Clerk’s office would apply to fill the vacancy, however, he said that he felt the public expected an open, advertised search be conducted for the city’s next clerk.
Mayor Shaver agreed, saying that a top level position like City Clerk demanded an internal and external search for candidates.
Apparently raising hackles from her left, Commissioner Leanna Freeman argued that the mayor was merely expressing “her opinion” — to which the Mayor, who was just recognized at the July 13th meeting for her successful completion of training offered by the Institute for Elected Municipal Officials, corrected Freeman to the fact that it was not a matter of opinion, but rather accepted as a matter of “best practices” in public administration.
Obviously intent on ignoring best practices and shortcutting the open search process, in favor of awarding the $53,543.62 per year job to an inside employee, Freeman became argumentative, so the mayor simply called for an end to the discussion.
In the interest of time, and the late hour, the mayor asked that the City Manager include the decision following a vote at the next meeting.