Jim Kelly, North Palm Beach village manager, is asked to leave

 

Agreeing that Village Manager Jim Kelly’s relationship with the public and his staff is broken, the council voted unanimously Thursday night to have the village attorney negotiate Kelly’s separation from the village.

“We didn’t care if he resigned or was terminated. We want him out. He just didn’t get the village,” said North Palm Beach resident and former Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus.

Kelly, who earns about $140,000 and has been manager for about two years, defended his record. He said he had overseen the development of a master plan, progress at Anchorage Park and helped village residents through Hurricane Matthew.

“We had a great team effort to keep services before, during and after the storm,” said Kelly, 61.

Kelly, a former Palm Beach County School District Police Chief, came out of retirement to take the position as village manager. An attorney, Kelly was School District chief for 23 years and oversaw a staff of about 180 sworn officers with an annual budget of about $18 million.

A Rockland County, N.Y. native, Kelly was hired by the school district in 1978 as one of the county’s first school-based police officers. He became chief in 1989. When he retired in 2012, the county school district had 175,000 students and 21,000 employees. North Palm Beach, with about 12,000 residents, has about 240 full- and part-time employees.

Kelly was not fired. Village Attorney Leonard Rubin was instructed by the council to meet with Kelly to work out details of his departure. Kelly could resign.

The town council will meet in about a week to determine the next action, said Mayor David Norris.