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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 25, 200712:00 PM EST

Planning director not the first time job requirements waived

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

Mayor John Peyton’s request to waive legislatively-mandated eligibility requirements to appoint Brad Thoburn as director of planning and development has created a cacophony of controversy and public comment, but it’s not an unheard-of request.

In 2001, Mayor John Delaney requested a waiver of requirements in order to appoint Debra Igou as director of parks, recreation and entertainment.

Igou didn’t meet the requirements, specifically “having a college degree and at least five years of experience in an administrative or executive position in recreation sports, entertainment or an allied field.”

City Council amended Section 28.102 of the ordinance code to read: “The Director shall have a college degree or at least five years of experience in an administrative or executive position.” Igou’s career in City government did meet those criteria.

Two months after John Peyton was sworn in as mayor in 2003, he asked for the requirement that the chief of neighborhood services within the Neighborhoods Department hold a four-year college degree be waived to reappoint Lorrie DeFrank, a former newspaper reporter and editor, to the post.

Four months later, in January 2004, Peyton asked to waive the requirement that the chief of parking facilities and enforcement within the Administration & Finance Department hold a four-year college or university degree and have at least two years experience in the operation of public parking facilities or in parking enforcement or two years experience in general administration.

Bob Carle, who had two years of experience as public parking manager but held only an associate’s degree in administrative management from the Community College of the Air Force, was appointed to the position through the ordinance amendment.

In 2004, Peyton appointed Michael Clapsaddle to chief of buying and administration within the Procurement Department after the Council approved waiving the job requirement of a bachelor’s degree.

In October 2006, two waivers were requested by the mayor within the Environmental Resource Management Department: one to appoint John Shellhorn as chief of mosquito control despite his not having five years experience in the field, and another to appoint Loren Pearson to chief of solid waste without the required four-year college degree.

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