Just a month after the departure of their city attorney, the Sebastian City Council received unexpected news on Wednesday night that their city manager, Paul Carlisle, would also be leaving. Carlisle tendered his resignation, effective June 9, 2023.
Having assumed the role of city manager in 2018, his resignation comes as a surprise to the council. Expressing gratitude for the accomplishments achieved and the exceptional staff he worked with, Carlisle commended the city’s dedicated employees and urged the council to retain their invaluable expertise.
While leaving was not easy, Carlisle explained that he needed to prioritize his family on the west coast of Florida.
Vice Mayor Chris Nunn and Councilwoman Kelly Dixon expressed regret at Carlisle’s departure, praising his knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to the city.
Nunn apologized for not adequately defending and supporting Carlisle during challenging moments, acknowledging his responsibility as a council member to protect all employees.
Nunn shared the sentiment expressed by some city employees, who consistently praised Carlisle’s extensive knowledge and ability to provide prompt answers during meetings.
However, Carlisle faced difficulties following a public performance evaluation conducted by Councilman Bob McPartlan in March. The review drew criticism from residents who viewed it as a targeted attack, creating a high-stress work environment.
Councilman Ed Dodd proposed keeping Carlisle as a consultant to assist an interim city manager, ensuring a smooth transition of ongoing projects. Dodd highlighted the concern of transferring Carlisle’s specialized knowledge to department heads, who might not possess all the necessary information.
The council discussed the possibility of hiring an interim city manager through a research company or considering qualified candidates within the city’s current staff.
One challenge identified by Dodd was the overload faced by existing department heads, who have been operating with insufficient staff. The City of Sebastian currently has a staff-to-resident ratio of 3.5 employees per 1,000 residents, significantly lower than that of Vero Beach.
Dodd emphasized the need for additional staffing to support the city manager’s office.
To address the vacancy left by Carlisle’s departure, the City Council scheduled a special meeting to discuss finding a suitable replacement.
The meeting will take place next Wednesday at 5 p.m., as the council seeks to ensure a seamless transition in leadership.