Mayor Admits Failure


(By Ed Ryan) After a bit of a temper tantrum about who sets the agenda for the town council, Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy admitted that the council, in which he leads, failed to even set goals for the town manager, which is also in the manager’s contract. along with an annual open meeting evaluation.

Murphy, who wanted to be Mayor so badly, he had to nominate himself, admitted that it’s in the manager’s contract that the council set goals at the beginning of the year, which will be evaluated by the council at the end of the year. “I don’t know that we set any goals at the beginning of the year,” Murphy said.

Murphy then went on to say that if we did set goals, I’d like somebody to remind me of those, as if, as the defacto head of the council, he had no responsibility in getting that job done. “It’s pretty hard to evaluate something that hasn’t been done. So if there’s any blame to be passed along here, it’s on us collectively for not having set a specific set of goals.”

Murphy’s earlier temper tantrum was aimed directly at our reporting. We’ve consistently reported that both Murphy and Hernstadt control the agenda. They can both add items to the agenda as we’ve been told by many previous council members on multiple occasions. And, obviously, a lot of the agenda is also as a result of what’s discussed in Management and Planning meetings. Councilman Jim Atterholdt has consistently asked for this item to be placed on an agenda. Why wsn’t it? For whatever reason Murphy and Hernstadt simply decided not to do it. To this day, it has not been an agenda item.

The point is if you want so badly to be a leader that you nominate yourself as the leader, then lead. It’s the taxpayers money on the table here, not a pool of prizes at a weekend fishing tournament. And that should be taken more seriously and dealt with more professionally.


  1. Ed, go back to the meeting and watch how Ray nominated himself , he clearly asked for nominations from the floor and no one came forward. Yes , he did nominate himself and is serving his second term as Mayor!

  2. Council members have the ability to meet, one on one, in private, with their manager and discuss issues including the manager’s performance.
    It’s a good bet all or some of these council members have done that.
    I think it’s probably a good bet Ray has met with Roger and voiced some concerns about his relationship with business people and committee members. Damn few politicians are going to tell you that. Creating the perception that all is well is important to them, even when it’s not well.
    Too many elected officials don’t like publicly discussing problems with their manager. In the old days before ground breaking, nationally acclaimed Sunshine Law was adopted in1967 it was done privately and the public had no access to what their elected officials were thinking
    I think some on this council feel that way even when they tell you they don’t. They come from the private sector where most things are done in private. The transition to the public sector for many of them is agonizing.
    Doesn’t matter. Performance reviews must be put in writing and are a public record. And his contract requirement is just that – required. If they have missed the deadline then they probably haven’t put anything in writing but you might want to ask. Scoresheets are a common process.
    This is for sure – a slim 3-2 support base for any town manager in a community this critically outspoken is not a good place to be living.


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