james chisholm deltona
James Chisholm

Thirteen days after James Chisholm tendered his resignation as interim city manager of Deltona, the City Commission Aug. 28 formally recognized his exit — and voted to cut short his time on the city’s payroll.

Chisholm abruptly quit Aug. 15, but his resignation letter informed the commission that the effective date of his departure would be Sept. 14. For the 30 days between Aug. 15 and Sept. 14, he wrote, he would be on “administrative leave.” Although he would no longer come to Deltona City Hall, Chisholm offered to be available for consultation, if needed.

Chagrined by Chisholm’s decision to leave the post for which he had been hired in October of last year, the commission opted to cut its ties with him and stop paying him immediately.

“I move to accept James V. Chisholm’s resignation effective the day that he left, Aug. 15th,” Mayor Santiago Avila Jr. said.

In keeping with parliamentary procedure, Avila passed the gavel to Vice Mayor Anita Bradford for her to preside over the debate.

Former City Commissioner David Sosa urged the City Commission to cease paying Chisholm.

“He took his football and went home on Aug. 15. Why would we start making it effective Sept. 14?” Sosa said.

Avila subsequently rescinded his motion and offered a stronger alternative motion.

“I move to terminate James V. Chisholm effective Aug. 15 and with a day of pay until Aug. 15,” Avila said, drawing some applause from the audience.

Commissioner Dana McCool seconded the mayor’s motion.

The City Commission voted 5-1 to end Chisholm’s tenure with Deltona on the day he turned in his resignation. The dissenting vote came from Commissioner Tom Burbank. Commissioner Maritza Avila-Vazquez was absent.

The Deltona City Commission hired Chisholm, who retired as city manager of Daytona Beach last year, to bring stability to the municipal government following the commission’s termination of former Acting City Manager John Peters. Peters had submitted his resignation in September 2022, with an effective date of Nov. 17. The Deltona City Commission terminated his employment Sept. 19 and named City Attorney Marsha Segal-George to fill both positions for about two weeks.

Chisholm was hired with the understanding he would work until Deltona hired a new permanent city manager. He also offered to assist the commission in selecting a new chief administrator.

In March, the City Commission entered into a contract with Chisholm, whereby he would receive a salary of $200,000 per year. The agreement also called for the city to pay for full medical, dental and vision insurance for him and his wife. In addition, the city agreed to pay into a private retirement fund an amount equal to what it would pay “if the city manager participated in the Senior Management Class with FRS [Florida Retirement System].”

Moreover, the contract called for the city to provide Chisholm a vehicle, along with fuel, maintenance, repairs and insurance, “without restriction of personal use.”

The Beacon has requested from Deltona City Hall information about the city’s final full payout to Chisholm, but thus far that information has not been released.


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