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Former Troy City Manager John Szerlag Faces Criticism in Florida

Some Cape Coral residents are reportedly accusing Cape Coral City Manager John Szerlag and his staff of making controversial comments during a meeting that was mistakenly broadcast live over cable access last week.

 and  is reportedly facing criticism in Cape Coral after audio from a meeting with his staff members was mistakenly broadcast live over cable access on July 18.

Szerlag denies accusations that he insinuated that the mayor and a city councilman "didn't matter" when it came to their opinions on a controversial utilities expansion project, calling the accusations "absurd," according to the News Press.

Cape Coral city officials told The Cape Coral Daily Breeze that the meeting, while broadcast live, was not recorded.

Cape Coral City Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz and Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan say they were mentioned by name during the meeting, the audio from which was reportedly broadcast over another video on CapeTV, according to Fox 4 News.

One alleged comment, as reported by Fox 4: "We won't be able to sell that to Sullivan and Leetz, they don't matter."

"City staff totally dismisses Mayor Sullivan and myself as being involved," Leetz told Fox 4. 

One man who heard the audio told the News Press: "I remember one of them saying, ‘Well, if the Council knew about these specs, we’d be in a lot of trouble, but don’t worry, they’re buried so far in the weeds they’ll never find ‘em.’”

Sullivan and some residents called for an investigation into the incident, though their demands were met with little support, and Cape Coral City Council ultimately decided not to investigate the incident further during its regular meeting on Monday.

Szerlag addressed the issue during the meeting and denied he and his staff members made the comments, according to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze. Szerlag also noted that none of the attendees questioned reported hearing negative statements or comments made by those present.

Szerlag also faced criticism in Troy earlier this year when embattled Troy Mayor Janice Daniels told Szerlag she while reading a position paper during a council meeting. Szerlag later .

Sassafrassy July 27, 2012 at 03:21 AM
So, if the though their demands for investigation were "met with little support, and Cape Coral City Council ultimately decided not to investigate the incident further during its regular meeting on Monday", does it even matter?
Peoplearenuts July 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM
He's in hot water already? That didn't take long. The good thing is that he is their problem now, not ours. Glad he is gone.
Ed Hecker July 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I never had an issue with Mr. Szerlag. But I know there is a political contingent here in Troy that did. (Frankly, many of them seem sketchy themselves; I'm trying to sort it all out.) Perhaps once we have a new city manager and we have eliminated the inept ideologue Janice Daniels from practicing partisan politics in such a divisive and offensive way, this community can move on. The way the mayor and the councilman handled it was very unprofessional. The whole thing seems questionable and I wonder about the character of those elected officials.
Barbara Koehn July 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I have always felt as though John Szerlag had the best interest of the Troy residents at hand when he performed his Manager duties each day. I have no doubt that with all we heard about these people in Cape Coral before John left, he has his hands full! I said before he left that he was going from the frying pan in to the fire-Looks as though John really does have his hands full in Florida!
Linda July 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
... it makes you wonder what was "buried so far in the weeds" here as well as who else knew -
CC July 27, 2012 at 03:21 PM
It's amazing that the same people who defend the mayor and her freedom of speech are using this story to say she is vindicated. Where is the outrage of this being transmitted without the knowledge of the people in the room? Where is any shred of proof besides one resident and two politicians? The hypocrisy is amazing. This is a non-story.
CC July 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Fortunately, Linda, we elected a Mayor who was going to root out all of this hidden, corrupt behavior and expose it. Oh wait, she didn't come up with anything and sat there silent during the budget sessions. Maybe she is still investigating...or maybe just maybe, there is nothing to uncover.
Linda July 27, 2012 at 04:04 PM
CC, I hope you're correct,
Wiley Coyote July 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
The alleged comment in question makes no sense: "We won't be able to sell that to Sullivan and Leetz, they don't matter." Why would you, as a city manager, worry about being able to sell something to someone who doesn't matter anyway? Something is missing or garbled here.
Randy Jasky July 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I'm glad this slime-ball is gone, and no longer free to spend the City of Troy's money as he sees fit, despite the wishes of the citizens. The audio recording says everything you need to know about how he "represents" the wishes of the citizens. Good riddance. P.S. - HIS actions/comments have NOTHING to do with our Mayor, or how she performs her job. Nice diversionary tactic (straight out of the Alinsky playbook) from the same old (liberal Patch-holes) crowd we've all come to know and (dis)respect.
Eva July 28, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Unfortunately Daniels will have a hand in finding a new manager. Have the other members of council pretty much dismissed her at this point? Or does she still have influence over some of them? As to Florida and Szerlag, has Daniels reached out to like minded cohorts in Florida to go after Szerlag???
Lucille Musser Arking July 29, 2012 at 05:21 PM
He is not a problem anywhere . He is an extremely capable manager .Maybe both Troy and Cape Coral City want a idealogue . That he is not. . He is a problem solver and a superior futurist manager.
Lucille Musser Arking July 29, 2012 at 05:23 PM
It will not until the citizens of Troy start to do due dylgence befoe voting . It became tht way when Bob Gossekin decided to be the political boss of Troy .
Lucille Musser Arking July 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Mr Jasky , You are wrong the city manager was a very neutral person as he should be . He was a fine city manager and we lost a jewel .We have a problems in Troy . That problem is the political boss Bob Gosselin, a small group of loud noisey idealogues,and voters who do not do "due diligence " before voting . Then they regret the results . I watched this since Bob Gosselin was on city council .

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