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Fort Myers mayor asks city manager to resign

Mayor Kevin Anderson confirmed Monday night he has asked City Manager Saeed Kazemi to resign from his role with the city. Anderson cited a lack of credibility, confidence and confidentiality in the city manager.

Anderson told us the decision to ask for Kazemi’s resignation has nothing to do with the city manager’s recent salary increase.

Kazemi controls the city’s $400 million annual budget, and he gets paid big tax dollar bucks to do it. His salary was recently increased to $230,000 to be exact.

“That’s not a factor in my decision. No,” Anderson said.

Anderson told us members of the public have expressed concern to him about the city manager.

“When I ran for this position, I pledged to the public that I would work hard to represent the entire city and keep it moving forward,” Anderson said.

Councilwoman Watkins Brown told us the mayor should have discussed the matter before formally putting in the request.

“Unless he can bring something concrete to the council that Saeed has done, I don’t think he should have gone about it in the manner that he’s going about it,” Brown said.

It’s not just Anderson’s process she’s unhappy about.

“It makes me question his leadership as the mayor,” Brown said. “I have the highest respect for Saeed Kazemi.”

We reached out to City Manager Saeed Kazemi but have not heard back yet.

Anderson said Kazemi has not responded to the request he originally made Nov. 17. The mayor said, if Kazemi were to refuse his request for resignation, he and Fort Myers City Council would discuss firing him during next Monday’s regular meeting.

“It would be a resolution to suspend him and move for his dismissal,” Anderson said.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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