ORANGE PARK, Fla.-- Taxpayers have concerns over the interim town manager in Orange Park.
John Bowles was the Orange Park town manager for more than 20 years. In 2010, he was fired after disagreements with the board over personnel issues. According to the minutes from that town council meeting, one council member said he had "lost confidence" in Bowles.
Fast forward to Tuesday night's board meeting. By a 4-1 vote, Bowles was named interim town manager again. Bowles said he's happy to help out the town.
But taxpayers had concerns. "He was fired from his job. I really think it would be terrible for this council to even interview someone that had been fired before," said one taxpayer.
"John knows how to run this town in his sleep. We all know that," said another taxpayer.
But we uncovered another issue. According to a copy of the employee handbook, only employees who "voluntarily terminate employment " can be rehired. Again, Bowles was let go.
We called all the members of the town council. The mayor told us council can change the employee policy. Other board members told us it didn't concern them because it was just an interim position.
So for now, Bowles will go back to work on Monday doing the same job he was fired for three years ago. Bowles' salary has not been determined yet. Town leaders tell us they want to have someone hired by early next year.