VIERA, Florida -- Calling the concept of succession planning important for continuity, Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton proposed that the Brevard County Commission designate Deputy County Manager Stockton Whitten as "County Manager In Waiting" following Tipton's announcement that he will retire in 15 months.
But all of the residents who spoke at this morning's Commission meeting about the succession plan were opposed to it. "This succession plan is totally out of order," said Merritt Island resident John Weiler. "I recommend that you accept Tipton's resignation immediately. He [Mr. Whitten] should compete for it."
Despite the public outcry, all but one Commissioner was opposed to Tipton's plan. "I think it's a great plan," said Commissioner Robin Fisher. "It makes a lot of sense."
"Alachua County did all the head-hunting for us. And who do they pick? Stockton Whitten," said Commissioner Mary Bolin.
Commissioner Chuck Nelson added that FLORIDA TODAY "got it right" in the paper's editorial in support of Tipton's plan.
Upset at what she sees as paying two people for the same position, Commissioner Trudie Infantini was the only one who voted against Tipton's plan. "It doesn't seem to be to the best interest of the taxpayer to pay for 15 months salary, plus 6 months severance pay on top of that, plus annual leave, sick leave, retirement and health benefits - its too much for the taxpayer to bear," said Infantini.