Greg Oravec: Port St. Lucie City Council to discuss removing city manager

Greg Oravec has been in job less than a year

Thursday, Port St. Lucie's mayor was supposed to give her state of the city address.  Instead, a special city council meeting has been scheduled to discuss the fate of city manager Greg Oravec.


"It's always sad when relationships break down.  Always," said Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Linda Bartz.


The Vice Mayor wouldn't say what she'll do Thursday but the relationship between city manager Greg Oravec and the council is strained.


That was made clear this week in dozens of pages of memos and letters Oravec sent to the mayor and council.


One letter, predated March 9th, Oravec's one year anniversary, says he will not be seeking a renewal of his Employment Agreement upon its conclusion in March 2014.


There's also a memorandum dated Monday from Oravec to the city attorney in response to the city attorney's offer of two months severance if he were to quit. Oravec writes perhaps it's time to negotiate an amicable separation agreement.


It was just last March when the council decided to fire Oravec's predecessor Jerry Bentrott for lack of leadership following an incident where an assistant city attorney was pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving and driven home by police instead of being given a field sobriety test.


If Oravec were to meet the same fate, I asked the Vice Mayor if all the recent shakeups would give some potential city employees pause to work here.


"I certainly hope not. I think that people understand that there are changes along the way," said Bartz.


None of the city residents contacted Wednesday had any strong feelings about the Oravec situation.


"They do the best they can, there's so much politics in any organization," said Billy Hanning.


Regardless of what happens Thursday, the Vice Mayor says the city will continue to move forward.


 "We have a great group of employees and department heads that step up to the plate and make it all work," said Bartz.


Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that one council member who has long backed Oravec, Michelle Berger, is out of town and there's no word yet if she'll be back.


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