Escambia Hires New Administrator
September 18, 2010
The Escambia County Commissioner voted unanimously Friday to hire Oliver, who said he will be able to start work by November 1. His maximum salary will be $145,000.
Oliver most recently (2008-March 2010) served as city manager in Surprise, Arizona, a city of 118,000 citizens, 850 employees and an annual budget of $300 million. According to The Arizona Republic newspaper, he was fired on the spot on a 4-3 vote by the Surprise Town Council without giving any real reason. The four council members that voted to terminate Oliver issued the following statement:
When former City Manager Oliver was hired, his skills and personality aligned with the needs of the City at that time. Over the last two years, Surprise has undergone many dramatic changes and felt the economic downturn that has impacted communities nationwide. As the City has gone through these growing pains, the focus and direction of the City has changed as well. Mr. Oliver has provided adequate service during much of this time period, but our City needs to move in a different direction.
From 2003 to 2008, Oliver was city manager in Peoria, Illinois, a town of 120,000 residents, 850 employees and budget of $250 million. He resigned at a press conference without the Peoria mayor or city council, according to The Peoria Chronicle:
When asked why he’s leaving, he responded by saying, “I have other things I want to do.” When asked “what other things,” he said “consulting.” Later in the conference he elaborated, saying that he used to do consulting work and enjoyed it, but it required him to travel a lot. Since he had young children at the time, all the traveling wasn’t so good. Now that his kids are grown, his wife can travel with him when he does consulting work.
Oliver was the city manager in Greenville, South Carolina from 1999 to 2003 before resigning.
From 1996 to 1999 he worked to consolidate the City of Augusta, Georgia, and Richmond County. He resigned to accept the job in Greenville, South Carolina, “after years of bickering” according to The Augusta Chronicle.
Oliver served as assistant county manager and assistant for special projects in Polk County, Florida, from 1991 to 1996. He was fired from that position, according to The Augusta Chronicle:
“I was never asked to resign,” he said. “I was terminated from a technical point of view from Lee County…Frankly, probably, the majority of the board – I’m sure the majority of the board in Lee county – would like to have me back,” he said.