DADE CITY — Longtime City Clerk and Finance Director Jim Class has resigned his position rather than sign a contract reducing his role in city government to finance director only.
Class is leaving the city to accept a job as a senior manager in the finance department at the Pasco County School District.
Class had served as both city clerk and finance director for about 21 years and as an assistant under Lindy Smith who had held both positions for more than 35 years.
Class announced his resignation at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
City Attorney Karla Owens was leading the commission through procedures Tuesday to split Class from his responsibilities as city clerk, establish a new finance director job description, and approve a new contract for Class.
Commissioners had worked out details of the contract and approved the new job description when they asked Class if the contract was OK.
“Yes, the contract is fine,” Class responded, then added:
“I try to live my life by what the Bible tells me and it tells us to glorify God in all we do,” Class told commissioners. “I try to do that in my life and in my work life and even in these last three months, or several months when all this political drama has gone on regarding me and my position. The Bible also tells us we’re supposed to forgive each other when we’re wronged, and I want to make it clear that I don’t harbor any unforgiveness or grudges against anyone for anything that has been done.”
Class thanked Commissioners Scott Black and Bill Dennis and City Manager Billy Poe for their leadership, integrity and support. He also thanked Owens for her integrity and support and thanked his staff who he said had supported him.
“It has been a privilege to have served as either the assistant city clerk and finance director or city clerk and finance director for these past almost 27 years now … I’ve never — never, ever considered doing anything else — until now,” Class said with a slight trembling in his voice. “I’ve been offered another job which I’ve accepted. I will be resigning from the City of Dade City with my last day being Jan. 10, 2014.”
Owens told commissioners that the city should “quickly advertise for a finance director,” adding “I’m kind of at a loss for words.”
Due to the Christmas holidays and the short time until Class’ departure, commissioners agreed to find a temporary hire for finance director before filling the position permanently.
The commission has set up workshops to discuss the finance director job for Dec. 30 and Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and a possible additional meeting on Jan. 8.