Escambia County Commission Terminates Administrator Randy Oliver

October 19, 2012

The Escambia County Commission has voted to terminate the contract of County Administrator Randy Oliver.

Commissioner Grover Robinson made a motion Thursday night, seconded by Marie Young, to retain Oliver for the year remaining on his three-year contract. That motion failed 3-2, effectively terminating Oliver’s contract.

Following his termination, Oliver said, “I’d like to thank the board and thank the citizens of Escambia County for the opportunity to serve them.”  He then exited the commission chambers quietly.

During a public evaluation of Oliver’s job performance over the past year, commissioners spoke  very little. Prior to Thursday night’s meeting, each county commissioner had already submitted their own personal written evaluation of Oliver’s job performance. He was given a generally good reviews by Young and Robinson, but numerous issues and shortcomings were raised by commissioners Kevin White, Wilson Robertson and Gene Valentino.

Before his termination, Oliver made a presentation that lasted about 40 minutes applauding the accomplishments made by numerous county departments. Then he discussed his own performance and the projects he hoped to champion next year.

“You have my commitment to keep this county on sound financial footing,” he said.  “We could have done some things that would have made us look good for a couple of years, and I can pad my resume to go someplace else. And you’d be thinking that you were in great shape. Then one day you wake and up and say we aren’t.”

“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Robinson said. “There are many great accomplishments that we have been able to reach; I appreciate all of you leadership in making that happen. It’s a good team, but you’ve assembled a good team…and y’all have certainly done good work.”

Commissioner Marie Young agreed. “Randy, I’d like to thank you for a job well done…you’ve done an excellent job.”

Oliver will take “terminal leave” until November 2 in order to complete two years of service to become vested in the Florida Retirement System.

Oliver’s severance package will include a lump sum payment of $72,599, which is equal to half of his annual salary, along with accumulated leave. He will also remain oon the county’s health and dental plans for six months.

Effective Friday morning, Assistant Administrator Larry Newsome will serve as acting county administrator for a few weeks until commissioners name an interim administrator and begin a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

Pictured: Randy Oliver at Wednesday’s grand opening of the Molino Community Complex, just one day before he was terminated as county administrator. photos, click to enlarge.


27 Responses to “Escambia County Commission Terminates Administrator Randy Oliver”

  1. Betty on October 19th, 2012 10:33 pm

    I am excited that the county has come up with ways to spend the money that I will pay for property taxes this year. I see they must pay the fired county administrator half his yearly salary which is a hefty $72,000 plus. That, in addition to the beach mouse property that someone made the “small” mistake of giving construction permits for. That only cost the tax payers $119,000 plus. These two items alone could have payed a few cents raise to some underpaid teachers or other county employees. Amazing how clever our elected officials are and how well they hire the right people. Maybe if their salaries were docked for their mistakes, they would not make so many. Just thinking!

  2. Russ on October 19th, 2012 5:51 pm

    Thank u Mr. Oliver for all that u have done for this county. Speaking as a county employee we haven’t got a raise in over 6 plus years and it really hurts because we are the lowest paid emploees in the state. But u might not of had a dog in the fight for the employees.

  3. Randy on October 19th, 2012 2:59 pm

    I watched the fiasco unfold during the County Commissioner’s meeting last night and frankly I think the wrong person was fired. There is more to this story then the average joe citizen will ever know.

  4. CJ Lewis on October 19th, 2012 12:21 pm

    I had plenty of interaction with Mr. Oliver and his staff and every contact was professional. Every inquiry received a prompt and complete response.
    Every interaction with Oliver that other citizens told me about was also professional. I doubt Oliver really knows why he was fired. You certainly can’t tell even if you try to read between the lines of the tortured his 2011 and 2012 evaluations.

    A fairer approach would have been to hire an outside management expert to conduct a 360 degree performance review speaking with the County Commissioners but also the Constitutional Officers, county employees and public. Most of the criticism Oliver has received has been for doing the job he was hired to do. At least two new Commissioners will soon join the Commission. Maybe Oliver will be rehired.

    The real problem is with the Commission governance model. They need to elect a Chairperson for two years and let that person supervise how well the City Administrator does or does not carry out the will of the Commission as a legislative and governing body. No one can succeed having five bosses pulling them in five different directions with some imagining the County Administrator as their personal “gofer.”

  5. Oversight on October 19th, 2012 11:26 am

    I guess Commissioner White had an axe to grind with Oliver because he didn’t get that BOCC job he wanted after his term is up in November. Well, now they’re both fired!

  6. c.w. on October 19th, 2012 10:56 am

    I guess that robertson won,ts to give his buddy another job with the county like he did at the horse stables. The good old boys carry on!

  7. Terminal Craziness on October 19th, 2012 10:30 am

    Maybe Kevin White should take Terminal Leave until his term ends November 14th..ish – he doesn’t need to have an influence in any further County business…..

  8. Just my 2 cents on October 19th, 2012 10:24 am

    Mr. Oliver, Thanks for your supervision over the last 2yrs. You balanced the county budget and have served county employees pretty well.
    Good Luck in your next endeavor. Please don’t judge all of us by the three that voted NO.

  9. M&M on October 19th, 2012 10:20 am

    So sorry this happened just after the Sheriff made his remarks about the Administrator. I thought Mr. Oliver had done a good job.
    I am so sorry this turned into a personally contest. It is the same thing everytime a good Administator is hired. Because they give an Administrator the job they try to control to much. This is the second time they have released a great Administator because of his personally. So now we dtsrt sll over again.

  10. shiloh on October 19th, 2012 9:15 am

    What happened white, robertson, and valentino? Was Randy to honest for the good ole boys? I bet, if the truth be known, Oliver slept better last night than he has in a long time.

  11. downtown don on October 19th, 2012 8:51 am

    Viable candidates need to step up and compete for these seats on County Commission. These same old faces have made what is intended to be public service positions into a career. VOTE THEM OUT!

  12. well on October 19th, 2012 8:10 am

    Too many don’t seem to fully understand the election process.
    Wilson is the only one of the three with a, write in, challenger left. Kevin thru up his hands, surendered,and is not running. Gene is not up for a vote for a couple years.

    Frustration makes us say stupid things. Not paying attention and never having honest people to vote for makes us frustrated.

  13. B meadows on October 19th, 2012 7:40 am

    Next should be the County Assistant Administrator – then one below him that should take care of the Good ole boy network..

  14. PSU1Earl on October 19th, 2012 7:32 am

    This is criminal… The 3 stooges need to go!

  15. Jane on October 19th, 2012 5:18 am

    All the people who are making comments….do you go to the County Commissioner’s meetings? Do you vote? Do you let your Commissioner know your feelings on the issues? If not, don’t complain about what they do. Get involved! Make your thoughts known!

  16. Mayhem Minded on October 18th, 2012 10:49 pm

    The poor leadership of our County Commissioners is almost criminal, it really is sad that Commissioner White was able to wield his sword of ignorance and idiocy to help oust an administrator with whom he would not have been working with anyway. I’m sure he was motivated by something more self-serving and unethical; time will tell! And Valentino…..He is the poster child for questionable ethics, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface where he is concerned. Good luck Randy Oliver and best wishes!!! Thank you for a job well done!!!! Also, good luck Larry Newsom, you are gonna need all the luck you can get working with this bunch!

  17. Robert Jackson on October 18th, 2012 10:48 pm

    “We” vote them in to “manage” things, whether city, county, state, or federal.
    How lucky for us almost none of them perform.

  18. Johnny on the spot on October 18th, 2012 10:27 pm

    Here we go again….Good Ole Boy Politics have returned……They should not be allowed to fire someone this close to an election…….people remember this when the election comes around in Nov.

  19. William on October 18th, 2012 10:12 pm

    “The Dude” wrote “Sorry that my earlier comments were moderated out….Moderate this one out William. Please, try to be an impartial news source.”

    The comment you are referring to was deleted due to violating the posted rule about vulgarities or (in your case) an obvious substitution.

  20. Leo Brazzell on October 18th, 2012 10:07 pm

    I have never seen commission Valentino,in my area in my 11years on Martha Ave I have not seen a commissioner.There are things that need too be done.when you call the county they don’t send nobody out.maybe our commission will pay us a visits when he get time.

  21. The Dude on October 18th, 2012 9:54 pm

    Sorry that my earlier comments were moderated out.

    Don’t make accurate criticisms of Kevin White, Gene Valentino, and Wilson Robertson.

    These folks who supposedly represent us are only after their own agenda.

    Mr. Oliver was a check on the rampant good old boy BS we cannot seem to get away from.

    If King George T comes back we are in for a world of hurt.

    Moderate this one out William. Please, try to be an impartial news source.

  22. North End on October 18th, 2012 8:16 pm

    Numerous issues and shortcomings have also been raised about the elected commissioners Kevin White, Wilson Robertson & Gene Valentino. The Job Performance of these three has not met voter expectation.

  23. Joamma Robinson on October 18th, 2012 8:15 pm

    Don’t know why we keep changing this position every year. If we are trying to attract businesses to Escambia County …. stop and think: Would you join a company that fires it’s CEO every year. What kind of strategic planning and sound decision making does this demonstrate. Good luck Randy, we do appreciate all you did in your short time here. Citizen’s make an educated vote this November. Do you really want to re-elect (good ole boy and slack jaw) Robertson for another term. The one who hired an unqualified friend to the equestrian center management, and gave him a raise before he even started … while employees of the county work for 5+ years with no raise?

  24. No Excuses on October 18th, 2012 8:10 pm

    Best of luck to you Mr. Oliver. I hate to see you go and I am sorely disappointed in what happened to you as well. The three who voted to oust you will see repercussions for their actions when election time rolls around again.

  25. Escambia County Resident on October 18th, 2012 7:55 pm

    I was disappointed to see the commissioners carry out this unwarranted task. Mr. Oliver has done an outstanding job in these most difficult times. The evaluations made public had no specifics to support some of the unfavorable ratings so it appears to be a personal motivation. How unfortunate and especially with the public speaking out in support of Mr. Oliver. Now we go thru another interim period and a huge expense for a search for another administrator. I had hoped to see Escambia County move forward but this is a step or two backward. Thank you Mr. Oliver for all your hard work and best to you in your future.

  26. got me thinking on October 18th, 2012 7:32 pm

    Wonder if the further actions will be to re-instate George Tuort (sp) as an “interim” administrator?

  27. County Employee on October 18th, 2012 7:32 pm

    Although the handwriting was on the wall and we knew this was coming, I am very disappointed at what I just witnessed. Mr. Oliver has done a great job in the time that he has been with the County, and it is unfortunate that three commissioners chose to overlook that. Thank you to Commissioners Young and Robinson for attempting to do the right thing. I encourage everyone to please remember these antics in future elections. Best wishes to Mr. Oliver. So glad the contract had such a favorable severance. Take the terminal leave and say good riddance!

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