Community chooses sides during fight to oust Winter Haven city manager

Ken Suarez reports

- Deric Feacher has been working his way up in Winter Haven government for years. He is now city manager, but his job is under fire.

Fearcher said it appears two commissioners want him out. The other three commissioners support him.

Commissioner William Twyford is leading the charge to give Feacher his walking papers. During a recent performance review, Feacher gave Twyford lower marks than any of the other commissioner.

Earlier this week, Twyford slammed Feacher on two issues. He accused the city manager of not communicating well, and criticized Feacher's social media posts.

"He is here to inform me of what's going on, and that's just not happening," Twyford said, adding, "When you blend your professional and personal  thoughts on social media, you have to understand that people are watching, and when you put something on Facebook that may not be appropriate, you're still representing the city."

Jamie Brown, a supporter and the city's public information officer said it would be a shame to see Feacher go.

"It would be a huge loss to the city, it would be a huge loss to the employees of the city, the businesses of this city," Brown told FOX 13. "This city will go backward."

The idea of possibly firing Feacher has created quite a stir outside of city hall, too.

Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church posted flyers on its Facebook page saying Feacher is under fire because he is African American, and not his performance.

The Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce is another Feacher fan. Katie Worthington, the president said the city has transformed under Feacher's leadership.

"We have had a tremendous transition to forward movement, and this overall move to positivity and working together," she commented.

Feacher did not want to comment for this story. He said he is focusing on his job, which is running the city and making it a better place to live. A vote on his tenure is expected to be taken at  the September 13 city commission meeting.

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