RiseMagazine | Sarasota

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine of Florida's Black Communities

And There He Goes…

Moving Forward

By Michael Paragon

(Sarasota, FL – January 21, 2012) – City Manager Bob Bartolotta has officially resigned as of Tuesday, January 17th. After shouldering the accusations of e-mail tampering and spying on his auditors, Bartolotta had the audacity to insist that the legal expanses of his defense against those charges be covered by the City. The same city that had started the investigation in the first place. That makes about as much sense as getting a divorce and asking your soon-to-be ex to cover the costs! Makes sense in his world at least.

What genuinely boggles the mind is that he could come under fire in the first place and still hold his job. Given similar circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the accused was placed on suspension without pay until the charges were either confirmed or deemed false. If he were cleared of the charges, proper compensation would be issued and life goes on. However, if found guilty, he would keep whatever was left after paying the court costs, pack out of his office and allow the city to replace him. Back to business!

Prior to the federal funding issues that came to light in September, Bartolotta had already shown that he simply didn’t play well with others. Conflicts between he and former City Clerk Billy Robinson seemed to have been inherited by Robinson’s successor, current City Clerk, Pamela Nadalini. Ms. Nadalini was endorsed by Robinson and secured her position through a 4-1 vote. There was a question of her ability to function in that capacity based on her limited municipal experience. Those doubts have been laid to rest since her acceptance of the position back in 2010.

The largest issue here is the actual structure of Sarasota government in the first place. There’s literally a handful of cities within the state of Florida that maintain the type of checks and balances format that is in place here. Knowing that the City Manager is responsible for buying and purchases and that the City Clerk and Auditors monitor those transactions creates tension by default. No surprise that their respective offices are on opposite ends of the City Hall building.

Ms. Nadalini has stood her firm in her abilities and convictions. She chose to dig in and take no flack from Bartolotta, responding truthfully and refusing to be pressured. Winning control of the city’s Information Technology department on the 1st of October, a management opportunity Bartolotta was clamoring for, didn’t make Bartolotta her biggest fan either!

Strangely enough, even in his departure, Bartolotta still feels that his “good deeds” outweigh his “bad”. That’s his story and he is more than welcome to stick to it. I only hope that someone was kind enough to hold the door open on his way out.

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This entry was posted on 01/21/2012 by in Business, Local Interest and tagged , , , , , .

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