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Councilwoman Dawn Pardo breaks silence on firing of City Manager Jonathan Evans

Posted at 11:42 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 12:14:30-04

The firing of City Manager Jonathan Evans wasn’t even on the agenda for Wednesday's Riviera Beach city council meeting.

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However, the meeting started with Councilwoman Dawn Pardo, who voted to fire Evans on Sept. 20, breaking her silence, calling Evans a disgruntled employee. 

“I’m not going to be quiet anymore,” Pardo said. “I have been trying to give Mr. Evans the benefit of the doubt on a number of smaller things, I’m afraid, only emboldened him to make more significant proposals, such as proposing a beach re-nourishment tax.”

Mayor Thomas Masters reminded Pardo that the city manager doesn’t make those decisions, he can only suggest things and the council votes on them. 

“He gave us several options but it’s still up to the board to decide which ones are the best,” Masters said. 

Several residents from Pardo’s Singer Island district came up to the microphone and voiced their frustration with the councilwoman. 

“I think this will be your legacy, unfortunately, that you fired a man who was investigating you and other people on the council,” one resident said. 

“I live on Singer Island and I used to be very proud of her,” another resident said. “Now I joined a recall effort against her.”

Council has the right to fire the city manager at any time, but council voted to fire Evans for cause, for misfeasance (which would mean Evans didn’t do his job). After 6 weeks, residents are still waiting to hear what Evans failed to do. 

Council member Terence Davis, who motioned to fire Evans said on Sept. 20 he can’t give the specific reasons on advice of the city attorney. 

Last week he said he would hold a news conference soon, giving out the specifics. 

But on Wednesday he told the crowd that he already gave out the specifics. 

The mayor said he still doesn’t know them.

“Not one specific reason. At all,” Masters said. 

Davis refused to answer our questions after the meeting. 

On Thursday, council will hold another special meeting to interview the two candidates for the interim city manager position. They said that this time they would run a background check prior to hiring.