Chapman hands Hendry his resignation

CLEWISTON — Charles Chapman, county manager in Hendry County since 2013, presented his letter of resignation and gave 60 days’ notice to the county commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

He accepted an offer and signed a contract on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to become the new city manager in Naples, Fla., effective the first Monday in December, and will be absent for three weeks this month and next to prepare for his move.

Saying he had mixed emotions about leaving, Mr. Chapman wrote: “The past five years with Hendry County have been an amazing adventure rich with both professional and personal growth. The Board of County Commissioners should be proud of all it has achieved and the objectives Hendry is poised to complete in the near future.

“I am grateful and humbled to have had this experience in Hendry County. Please know Hendry will always have a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my family.”

Mr. Chapman called it a pleasure to have worked with each of the five commissioners, and promised that “during the next few weeks I will be working with the executive team and administration staff to put into place an operational plan in preparation of my separation.”

He actually gave commissioners, meeting Tuesday night in the Clewiston City Commission chambers, a five-page report of his transition plan, with an interim management structure made up of acting Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Davis, his current deputy; Executive Assistant Keitha Daniels, County Engineer Shane Parker, Planning and Community Development Director Margaret Emblidge, IT Director Ryan Purdy, Community and Media Relations Director Emily Hunter and HR Manager Audelia Bustamante.

It envisioned the county board setting a process that night for hiring a new permanent administrator with the help of the Florida Association of County Managers, involving a 60-day period to advertise for applicants and the board considering finalists in early December. Mr. Chapman’s report also listed all of the projects under way in the county along with lists of current activities on each item and those who will take over in leading.

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