Century Mayor Ben Boutwell Resigns Effective Immediately

August 22, 2023

Century Mayor Ben Boutwell resigned Tuesday afternoon effective immediately.

In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the supervisor of elections and the town clerk, Boutwell said, “I take great pride in the accomplishments that your administration has worked with me to accomplish for Century, specifically Representative Michelle Salzman, Senator Doug Broxson and Commissioner Steven Barry. Together we have secured over $25 million to improve the infrastructure and quality of life for Town citizens.”

“My thoughts and prayers will continue to be focused on the Town and its citizens,” Boutwell concluded.

During a council meeting on August 15, Boutwell walked out of a town council meeting Tuesday night saying that he would submit his resignation the following morning but then said he was staying on.

Council member Dynette Lewis questioned what she termed the mistreatment of employees. She also questioned why one employee was not paid more while being trained how to do a different task.

Boutwell said some employees were simply being cross-trained to do different jobs because, he said, there’s often no one else on the small staff able to perform a job when an employee is out.

“I’ll tell you what, if this is what you want, I’ll resign right now,” Boutwell said as the discussion became more intense. “Because you know what, I’ve had enough. All I’m trying to do is best for this town.” He then stood up, walked out of the meeting and went home.

On August 16 he said, “I need to put that offer aside and press on. I have an obligation to the citizens who voted for me to see my term through and continue to do the best I can for our town”.


37 Responses to “Century Mayor Ben Boutwell Resigns Effective Immediately”

  1. Century Resident on August 24th, 2023 11:58 am

    Ben accomplished so much as mayor, and worked hard to bring valuable $$ and business to improve the quality of life in Century.
    It is a shame to see him treated this way and interrogated by a council member (Lewis) who clearly has an ulterior motive. This level of pettiness will continue to hold Century back.
    I don’t blame him for resigning, what he was asking employee to do was not uncommon or unfair in the workplace.
    Good luck Mr. Boutwell and thank you for working to improve the town.

  2. Ddb on August 23rd, 2023 7:30 pm

    It is unreal that the council stands behind employees who refuse to do their jobs poorly or not at all. It’s ridiculous to say that the mayor has a responsibility to make them feel welcome. It’s the mayor’s responsibility to make sure the job gets done! He was trying to do that and this is the thanks he gets. Lewis attacks relentlessly anyone who doesn’t look her. Let go of the hate lady. It doesn’t look good.

  3. Billy bob on August 23rd, 2023 4:15 pm

    What a train wreck! Ms. Lewis is a disgrace. She literally turn her nose up when she is speaks to people. She is so rude and does a terrible job on the council. Get her out of here!

  4. Bob on August 23rd, 2023 3:15 pm


    “employer can fire you without reason in Florida at any time”

    Oh no, JJ. That’s not how the law works.

    Florida is an at-will state, meaning that employers do not have to build a case before terminating someone’s employment. That does NOT mean they can “fire you without reason at any time”.

    If you fire an employee as retaliation for using their legal rights? or as discrimination for the employee being in a protected class? or for protesting when/if you violate their contract/employment agreement? They can (and SHOULD) sue.

    Again, if you are reading this, and work/worked for someone like JJ, please contact the National Labor Relations Board. They take workplace abuse and retaliation very seriously.

  5. JJ on August 23rd, 2023 12:53 pm

    @Boob you
    Guess what, employer can fire you without reason in Florida at any time when I let NoMonday
    Go in 2003-4.
    He told me he would draw unemployeement

  6. Just My 2cents on August 23rd, 2023 12:07 pm

    This situation has to involve something more than just cross training an employee for other positions. I would sincerely hope that something as trivial as that would not cause the Mayor of any town to resign and if it does, then he wasn’t the right person for the job in the first place. Century has, for many, many years had way more greater problems than this. Many of the comments speaks about the fact of Century being broke. But why is it broke? Somehow, it seems as if no one has ever had the wherewithal to do an investigation to see why. Wherein or who in does the problems lie? Century has for years, received monies and grants and for some reason, no one seems to know what happens to most of it. One thing is for sure, there is always going to be a paper trail. So why not do what is necessary to see where this money has gone. All you have to do is get the right people to follow the trail; an auditing firm that is in no way affiliated with anyone in Century, a firm that don’t have a stake in it one way or another. That would be my next move as the Century council. That’s something that should have been done years ago. And what about this 25 million dollars? It’s one thing for the town to receive it, but where will it end up? How about showing exactly how this money is, or will be spent. And what about the 3.9 million, that supposedly could only be spent on the Carver community center? The town of Century has long had a problem with money disappearing and the time has come to see just where all this money goes or have gone in the past. It’s time for the council to be about some real business and stop all of this pettiness. When the powers that be, in Tallahassee, look at Century they see the demographics, which is a town being majority black, so they expect failure. Century, it’s time for the citizens to care about what happens to Century. This town has been taken advantage of by others long enough.

  7. Swamp Gas on August 23rd, 2023 8:54 am

    Cross training is fine as long as all employees who are interested in cross training get the same opportunity. If not then it is grooming.

  8. Bob on August 23rd, 2023 8:35 am


    Then consider yourself extremely lucky that you managed to own a business for 32 years and never had an employee that knew their workplace rights.

    To everyone else: if your employer is pulling the same stuff JJ is proudly admitting to, like trying to make you do a job outside of your job description, or firing you/reducing your hours in retaliation, please call the NLRB. Labor exploitation is no joke, and if they are doing it to you, they are likely doing it to your coworkers as well.

  9. SW on August 23rd, 2023 8:30 am

    Revoke the charter. Sell off assets. Close the doors.

    Flood the State Representative, State Senator, Governor, and Secretary of State with calls and letters.

  10. W.B on August 23rd, 2023 6:52 am

    M.in Bratt said it BEST . A CLOWN SHOW ……Century needs to let Dynette Lewis GO . I understand cross-training it’s perfectly normal but nowadays it aint. Nobody wants to work thanks to the messed up Country we living in….JS …Sorry Not Sorry..

  11. Backwoods on August 23rd, 2023 6:32 am

    If you think it was a circus before, here comes the guy with the biggest clown shoes! No self respecting person would ever be mayor of that cesspool. Good for you Mr. Boutwell and God have mercy on Century.

  12. Chip Sahoy on August 23rd, 2023 6:26 am

    Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But, did the Mayor ever grab a shovel when they were understaffed?
    Also, was the job posting for a City Worker? It was probably more specific, I assume.
    If you hire someone to paint a house for an agreed upon price, that’s the contract. If you’d like the painter to cut your grass because the work was done earlier than expected, you enter into a new contract.
    Training is different, but training for another craft should be voluntary.
    The “other duties as assigned” is BS, because police aren’t janitors and welders aren’t electricians.

  13. JJ on August 23rd, 2023 3:07 am

    Had my own business from 1979-2011, never once did an employee say NO to his so called,NOT IN MY JOB DESCRIPTION. If he had, which he never did. OUT THE DOOR.I hiired you to work while on my clock. If you didnt like it ,LEAVE.
    Only employee I fired was a guy that couldnt show up on Mondays. Not once did he show up 3 weeks in a row on Mondy in seven months. Told me it was hard to show up,he hated Mondays. I paid on Tuesdays and gave him his check when he came in for work and said GOODBYE. HAPPENED HERE,NOT BACK IN oklahoma or Atlanta where I lived before moving here in 1989.

  14. MBA Graduate on August 22nd, 2023 11:57 pm

    Most job descriptions state, “or duties as deemed necessary”. Does this not apply here? I’m not understanding how someone that is JUST TRAINING for the what if scenario thinks they need to be paid more for; “just the training”. This is for skills you as an employee get to KEEP once you leave or are you going to give them back somehow? Are you a “master” at that new position yet? Do you have certificates in this position yet? Is there additional qualifications required? Degrees?

    Would you pay a student Dr a Drs wage for training/being in school to be a Dr? Are they in their 1st year of college? Med school? Residency? Still not a Dr tho. The answer is No you wouldn’t.

    Someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill and an employee is a favorite of a council person maybe even related, which boarders ethic issues. Humm someone needs to dig a little deeper on this one.

  15. David Huie Green on August 22nd, 2023 11:08 pm

    Best wishes to you in the future, sir.

  16. Thankful on August 22nd, 2023 10:54 pm

    Great job running off the only competent one of the bunch. Y’all gonna get what you ask for…. Chaos. Oh yeah ya already got that.

  17. Disband Century town on August 22nd, 2023 10:33 pm

    It is clear to me and the rest of the county it’s time for Century to be dissolved. Everyone wants to point fingers for the failure. No one wants to take responsibility. Here you have a Mayor saying cross training because we don’t have the payroll in order to cover someones vacation or sick time. We don’t have that luxury but we still have to service the community. As for someone who wants to follow a job description maybe you should read the ending line and anything else your supervisor says to do. As for different pay for the jobs if it was written in the Job description then yes but if it’s not then tough. Just remember more staff = higher TAXES. So good job driving a person out who has fought to get State funding for projects. So I say DISBAND CENTURY. Let the county take over.

  18. RaD on August 22nd, 2023 10:30 pm

    @M in Bratt…Every time I see an article on Century, I wonder why someone with standing has not contacted the State and asked for a charter review. There is little doubt it needs to be revoked and rule returned to the County.

  19. Jim Stanton on August 22nd, 2023 10:08 pm

    Sounds like Dynette Lewis is more interested in being a victim and encouraging others to be victims then she is in improving the town. Employee, in the 50+ years I worked at mainly three companies I cross trained at every one of them. I never got an extra penny for cross training, some of the training was to move into a higher paying job, when that job came open, and I moved into it, I got the extra money, but never for training. Other times I cross trained for job security, I figured the more skills I had the better my chances of being transferred to another position, if my present position was done away with.

  20. Bob on August 22nd, 2023 9:44 pm


    A job description is an agreement between a worker and their employer. If our contract says that I will milk cows for 40 hours a week for $20/hour, that’s what I’m going to do.

    I’m assuming this is all hypothetical, and that you don’t own a business, but on the off chance you do? Don’t do what you just described. Reducing a worker’s hours as retaliation because they would not agree to expanding their job responsibilities can be considered a breach of contract (bad) or a structured dismissal (worse).


    …why would a position open at a higher pay rate, if my company already has me doing that job at my old, lower salary?

    Don’t get me wrong, OJT and cross training are fantastic. However, as my skills, abilities, and responsibilities increase, so should my compensation.

  21. Bobbob on August 22nd, 2023 8:59 pm

    And sir bobb what is the easiest way for you to improve your skills if not ojt cross training. Position comes open you now hopefully have learned the necessary skills and will promote up.

  22. ed on August 22nd, 2023 8:41 pm

    what do we have cross training or working out class for a extend time

  23. Not JJ on August 22nd, 2023 8:08 pm

    @JJ settle down chief. You’re showing everyone why nobody wants to work for you!

    “Nobody wants to work these days” he says, probably, absent of any self awareness.

    Get lost, homie.

  24. JJ on August 22nd, 2023 8:08 pm

    Then you will go home after 2 hours of milking and paid for only 2 hours. …
    I hired you for 40 hours, then you do as you are told.

  25. Bob on August 22nd, 2023 7:41 pm


    “No. You hired me to milk the cows. That is what I will do. If you want me to invest the time into learning how to shovel manure, I will, but having multiple skills and being able to fill multiple job roles makes me more valuable to your business, and I expect to be compensated accordingly.”

  26. JJ on August 22nd, 2023 6:54 pm

    If I hire you to milk the cow in your 40 hours and you have time to shovel the manure in that 40 hours, I WILL GET MY 40 HOURS FROM YOU. EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO GET ON YOUR KNEES AND SCRUB THE BARN DOWN!!!!

  27. Citizen on August 22nd, 2023 6:41 pm

    D. Lewis and her sidekick should be ashamed. They want nothing more than for the town to be the laughing stock it was under Hawkins!! Good luck to you both. You don’t have what it takes to run an outhouse much less a town.

  28. Concerned Citizen on August 22nd, 2023 6:28 pm

    This is horrible news, the only person with any common sense is now gone. Maybe the State will step in now, that is the only hope for ghetto know as Century.

  29. Luke Augustus on August 22nd, 2023 6:20 pm

    In regards to the cross training issue… is it not standard practice to be cross trained? That does not mean you are absorbing additional work, only that you can do the job if an emergency arises. The workload does not suddenly increase due to training. You are just gaining a new skill to use if/when needed.

    Surely, should the job require more work on a consistent basis, you would be compensated as such. Most offices function like this. Training does not automatically equal increased workload. I’m honestly confused what the initial issue was here.

  30. Luke Augustus on August 22nd, 2023 6:05 pm

    What an absolute shame.

    Ben, I understand your decision. It’s a huge loss for the town, but I understand.

    I have been a resident for almost a decade and the only real improvements I’ve seen have happened under your watch. I’ve questioned the integrity and competence of most of our council throughout the years, but you seemed to always have what was best for the town in mind and were the only one to think things through.

    Thank you for the attempt to fix a broken system. Your loss will be felt. I wish you success wherever you end up.

  31. Resident on August 22nd, 2023 6:01 pm

    Ben was a true leader for Century! $25 million in grants from the state, the first in over a decade to lure a business to the industrial park, a man that stood for an loves Century.

    Now what? Looks like we are headed for the lifeboats. Don”t be late. The ship is sinking fast.

  32. just a fact on August 22nd, 2023 5:35 pm

    The one complaining is centurys biggest problem.

  33. Employee on August 22nd, 2023 5:29 pm

    I know its crazy…but maybe hire more people so your office is adequately staffed in the event someone is out of the office??

    Frank… Yeah… “Cross training is normal” … when you are cross training someone to take on an additional role/responsibilities. This usually comes with a promotion.. or at minimal a pay increase. More work = More responsibilities = more pay.

    Corporations are getting very used to adding more work but not pay on employees plates. If he expected to add more responsibilities on to an individual then he will need to pay them for their time.

    If you think being given more work but not a pay increase is acceptable then you have been brainwashed into thinking that is ok and it is not. More than likely you have been taken severe advantage of in your work life (or you are comfortable taking advantage of others beneath you.)

    If you’re an individual who likes to just take on anything you can and pay doesn’t matter…then great on you! But people are growing way to used to taking advantage of people and not actually paying them for doing more work.

  34. Beverly Driver Cawby on August 22nd, 2023 5:20 pm

    Ohhhhh Ben so sorry to hear this. As a former Century Resident I thank you for all you’ve done and your service to Century. Thank you for helping to promote the arts in Century. God Bless You!

  35. M in Bratt on August 22nd, 2023 5:17 pm

    Ben; thanks for your service. Now that you have seen the inner workings of this clown show, maybe you will see the value of getting the legislature to revoke the charter. The few services that Century provides could easily be transferred to whatever entities could better handle them with honesty and integrity. You would be doing the citizens of Century, the residents of North Escambia, and the State of Florida a great service by leading a Revoke the Charter Movement. I am sure you would find some eager helpers if you undertake such a project. Good Luck in all your endeavors .

  36. Aaron Smith on August 22nd, 2023 4:52 pm

    Well the only good thing Century had going for it resigned over cross training complaints. Something that not only helps the town but the Employees as well.

    Thank you Ben for your service and hours spent trying to do good things for the town.

  37. Frank Smith on August 22nd, 2023 4:46 pm

    This is horrible. Ben Boutwell was the best thing to happen to that city in decades. Dynette Lewis must go! Cross training is completely normal and expected!