James Chisholm

Editor, The Beacon:

A commentary on the mass exodus of Deltona city officials in August of this year: Mr. Chisholm’s resignation letter leads one to think that there was a poor relationship between himself and the City Commission. If so, this can be corrected.

In addition, his statement that politics must be eliminated tells me that he was subjected to a savage barrage of criticism about himself personally and professionally. By whom? The City Commission or the public. I believe that it was the public.

Deltona residents, unlike other Southwest Volusia cities, do not understand the disconnect between an experienced city manager and his decisions. There is no excuse for calling Chisholm stupid, dumb and ignorant just because one does not agree with his decisions.

Chisholm was not used to this constant barrage of unwarranted criticism and did not have to endure this in his previous jobs. This too can be corrected, but it will take positive efforts by the city attorney and the commission itself as described.

My wife was an executive assistant for 29 years to Bob Dallari, chairman of the Seminole County Commission and also a commissioner for many years. Whenever a citizen came into the office or called on the telephone and directed derogatory comments, for example, calling the commissioner stupid, dumb or ignorant, my wife would immediately call security and that person would be escorted from the building and told not to return to his office unless the insults were stopped. She did not have a recurring problem.

Our city needs to implement this type of policy. No city employee deserves this type of commentary. No one deserves to be talked to like this. I am certain that the city attorney would have to draft an ordinance of some type to curtail this without infringing on the person’s First Amendment rights.

It can be done. This barrage of criticism led to the resignation of our city manager as well as others. It does not have to be this way. It has to stop forever!

Douglas MacDonald



  1. So true. A semi-retired city manager is likely to just not put up with such abuse. You might get a very experienced, well-seasoned professional but the price is to that you are thoughtful and careful in how you treat them. Ensuring respect and civility is key or you end up with a someone with far fewer options in the top job.

  2. Get rid of these dictator wanna be postions in OUR government. City/County managers are “HIRED” and not elected positions with way too much power. They do not listen to the citizens of the community, only what they want.

    $200k per year, 2 weeks paid vacation, a vehicle “including insurance, maintenance, repair and fuel” and “without restriction of personal use.” The city paying the full premium for health, dental and vision coverage for the manager and his spouse.

    The city also will contribute to a private pension plan in an amount equal to the Florida Retirement System.

    How many people in Volusia County gets this kind of employment package not working for the government? And you help to pay for a dictator’s salary so they can tell you how to live and die.

    When will these old farts retire and move on with life so that the new generation can hopefully fix their screw-ups?


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