“Parting is such sweet sorrow,” Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet.
As she leaves the top administrative post in Deltona’s city government, Jane Shang is cashing in on the promises made to her when she signed on as city manager almost five years ago.
Pursuant to her employment contract, Shang exits with a total payout of $286,881.63, according to information released by Deltona City Hall.
Highlights of the grand totals are:
— Severance pay of 20 weeks of her salary, $75,768
— Accrued vacation, $107,095.23
— Accrued sick leave, $51,413.32
— Accrued birthday leave, $3,030.72
— Well days (leave days earned if no sick leave is taken), $6,061.44
— Wellness Program Days, $3,030.72
— Deferred compensation, $10,000
— Other payments, such as withholding income-tax, Social Security and Medicare withholding, as well as benefits, including insurance and retirement, for 20 weeks, $30,482.20
The payout will be stretched out over the 20-week severance period, rather than in a lump sum, according to Wendi Jackson, an administrative assistant in the City Manager’s Office.
“Jane will be paid in installments over the next 20 weeks so it won’t be in one check,” Jackson wrote in an email response to a query from The Beacon.
How did Deltona get to this point?
Shang’s exit was years in the making
Deltona City Manager Jane Shang resigned effective Jan. 28, after a rocky year of criticism from members of the City Commission and some residents.
Complaints about her deferred-prosecution agreement with the State Attorney’s Office over charges of voter fraud dogged Shang for more than a year. Following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Shang was charged with voting illegally in Deltona’s 2016 and 2018 municipal elections and with illegally listing City Hall as her home address.
The voter-fraud charges are third-degree felonies, but she avoided going to court by entering into an agreement that required her to admit wrongdoing and pay approximately $6,000 in fees and charges, including defraying part of the cost of the state investigation.
In addition to that trouble, some Deltonans alleged Shang used code enforcement to retaliate against her critics, while some commissioners complained of a lack of information and communication between her and them.
The tipping point came Jan. 21, when Mayor Heidi Herzberg, a former staunch supporter of Shang, moved to terminate her, citing low morale among city employees. The motion to oust Shang got a 4-3 vote by the City Commission, but failed to get approval from the required supermajority of at least five of the seven members.
Herzberg quickly followed up with a motion of “no confidence” in Shang, and that expression of sentiment likewise resulted in a 4-3 vote.
Shang was hired as Deltona’s city manager in 2015. She previously served as deputy city manager of El Paso, Texas.
Shang officially stepped down Jan. 28, without attending a special meeting of the City Commission called to discuss her resignation.
Shang issued an exit statement that called for a more positive light on her tenure as Deltona’s city manager. (See sidebar.)
Shang put an upbeat spin on the city under her administration, noting that more businesses are coming to Deltona, including a $160 million hospital and two emergency-care facilities, and pointing to an industrial park whose first tenant will be an Amazon distribution center.
The Beacon attempted to contact Shang, but an automated message informed us we had reached the office of the assistant city manager.
After voting unanimously to accept Shang’s resignation, the Deltona City Commission named Dr. Marc-Antonie Cooper as interim city manager. Shang hired Cooper last year as assistant city manager.
— Al Everson