Mayor: Manager is Doing a Great Job


The Fort Myers Beach Town Council, as required by the town manager’s contract, publicly reviewed Roger Hernstadt’s job performance at their Monday meeting. Mayor Ray Murphy said of Hernstadt, “I think you’re doing a great job. Keep up the great work.”

Murphy said, it’s no secret that he’s very pleased with Hernstadt’s performance. “One of the big problems is he doesn’t blow his own horn enough.” Murphy also said Hernstadt’s salary is below market value. Hernstadt is paid over $200,000 per year when all of his benefits are added in.

Concilman Jim Atterholt was a little less glowing about Hernstadt. While the big three construction projects (Bayside Park, Bay Oaks and Times Square) play into Hernstadt’s strengths, Atterholt would like to see the town’s relationship with Lee County improve and better communication with the community. “We have a great story to tell on the island, I would encourage you to continue to tell it. If we don’t tell our story, other people are going to tell it” Atterholt wants Hernstadt to get out and tell that story more to the media. Atterholt has consistently stated that he wants Hernstadt to get out more and engage with the public.

Councilman Dan Allers who one year ago tried to work toward replacing Hernstadt said Monday that he’s had private conversations with Hernstadt about his performance and nothing has really changed.

Councilman Bill Veach said he speaks with Hernstadt often about things he thinks the manager is doing well and things he disagrees with. “He’s got a good skillset for where we are now. I’m not a big fan of changing horses in mid-stream, especially when we don’t have a better horse ready to go.”

Hernstadt’s contract runs through 2024. There was no discussion of a contract extension or a raise at the Monday meeting.

Since incorporation in 1996 Fort Myers Beach has been somewhat of a revolving door in the town manager’s position. By comparison, Judy Zimomra was Sanibel’s City Manager for 20 years before she retired last year. Since 1996, Fort Myers Beach has employed 11 people in that position.

The Fort Myers Beach Town Manager roster over the years
Jan 1996- Dec 2005 – Marsha Segal-George (fired)
Dec. 2005-Feb. 2006 – (Interim) John Gucciardo (quit)
April 2006-October 2006 – Rachel Lambert (quit)
Nov. 2006 – Mar. 2007 – (Acting) David Sallee (temporary)
Mar 2007 – Oct. 2007 – Gary Parker (quit)
Nov. 2007 – Mar. 2008 – David Sallee (temporary)
Mar. 2008 – July 2009 – Scott Janke (fired)
July 2009 – Feb. 2010 – (Interim) Jack Green (temporary)
Feb. 2010 – Feb. 2014 – Terry Stewart (resigned)
April 2014 – May 2015 – Don Stilwell (fired)
May 2016 – May 2017 – Jim Steele (temporary)
May 2017 – Present Roger Hernstadt

*** A previous version of this story said Terry Stewart was fired. He was not. He resigned.


  1. Hey where’s my joking remark. Some people can’t take a joke. It was meant to be funny. Not anything more. If someone took
    Offense to it then I guess they haven’t a sense of humor. No harm was meant to hurt the tiny feelings of some. It was a joke. Nothing but serious from now on. No fun to be had on this island. It’s all seriousness.

  2. Wait, what? Roger’s handling of the Big Three projects has been his strength?
    That apparently is what Jim Atterholt believes.
    Hey Jim, not a square inch of concrete has been poured in any of those projects in the three to four years they’ve been on his agenda.
    Instead, one of them created lightning storms of criticism from Times Square business people angry over Roger’s failure to include their participation in planning their upgrades.
    Public mocking of he and council over his mishandling of the ill concieved and now abandoned Bayside Park anchorage showers building still linger. His alterenative, a million dolllar purchase of property to plop such a facility also appears to be discarded.
    At Bay Oaks, over three years of advisory committee planning came to an abrupt end when we members discovered he’d suddenly and unilaterally decided to simply scap the committee’s hard work and recommendations and announced his own plan, concieved in the privacy of his office, a half-assed community building too small and too unimaginative to be of any meaningful worth. Five years after planning began still no building is standing, and still no details on its budget failures and overruns.
    These are his strengths? Elected boards I have known and covered as a journalist would have shown him the door long ago.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here