By BRUCE COLLIER
On July 9, the Herald – Breeze received a copy of an email/letter addressed to DeFuniak Springs Human Resources Director Lacey Woodham and to members of the DeFuniak Springs City Council. The letter is from Tilman Mears, who applied for and was chosen as one of the candidates to be interviewed for the position of City Manager. The letter is below:
“Lacey & Council Members,
“It is unfortunate that I am writing this email to inform you that I am withdrawing myself from the interview process for the City Manager’s position. My attorney has advised me that it would be in my best interest to do so. I will be taking legal action against a group of organized individuals, as well as individuals that has nothing other to do but try and attack my character and education in public.
“For you citizens in the audience, if I didn’t write this to your standards I apologize it is just an email. For those who have supported me I want to say thank you, however it just wasn’t my time. I would not have been upset if not chosen, but it does upset me that a handful of folks that only gets involved in the City Business when they are trying to strong arm the elected officials when they don’t give into their wants does.
“Here is something I don’t understand, if this organized group and individuals are as smart as they proclaim and the Christians they all profess to be, they would realize that I wasn’t running for a political position and they will not get away with threatening me when all I have done is applied for an open position, that should be an equal opportunity to all that meets the required qualifications. Since I was chosen to be in the top three to be interviewed and many successful years in management with larger budgets than DeFuniak Springs I intend to prove your accusations to be false.
“I have always took the high road, however they have put their selves in a unique position as well as me. Myself or my family don’t deserve any of this just because I applied for a open position.
I assure you even though I have withdrawn from this opportunity I am going to do my best to prevent this from happening to any other candidate in the future in the City of DeFuniak Springs. You devoted citizens deserve better than what this handful of folks has created.”
The Herald – Breeze contacted members of the city council individually by email the morning of July 10, asking if they wished to comment on the record. Due to the time constraints and press deadline, the Herald – Breeze will publish any comments received from the council in a later edition