Fort Meade City Manager Danielle J. Judd

Fort Meade City Manager Danielle J. Judd spoke at the Polk County Delegation meeting Jan. 19 at Polk State College in Winter Haven.

Fort Meade City Manager Danielle J. Judd submitted a letter of resignation Jan. 21 stating, in part, that “An opportunity has presented itself; one that allows me to pursue another career path.”

The letter states that her resignation is effective March 1.

The Fort Meade City Commission is scheduled to discuss the resignation, and whether she must work through some or all of her notice period, at the Jan. 26 city commission meeting.

The reason for her apparently sudden resignation is still unclear. Judd made no reference to resigning during a public presentation at Polk State College on Jan. 19.

Fort Meade City Commission members did not respond to inquiries for further comment. The topic of Judd's first and only performance review was a matter of discussion at the last city commission meeting.

In November, three of the commissioners gave Judd five-out-of-five rankings in her only performance evaluation. Two of the commissioners chose to be more critical. Mayor Samuel Berrien and Commissioner Petrina McCutchen expressed some concerns about Judd's performance in their reviews. None of the commissioners have been known to make any public statements indicating a desire to terminate Judd's employment.

Commissioner James Watts and Judd attended the annual Polk County Delegation meeting at Polk State College Jan. 19. There, Judd lobbied state legislators to fund the modernization of the bridge over Peace River and further asked for funding for a public/private partnership to build an equestrian center at Peace River Park.

State Rep. Melony Bell lives in Fort Meade and said that when she was first elected to the city commission 25 years ago, building a better bridge over Peace River was on the agenda. Bell said she is still trying to get the bridge rebuilt.

“I appreciate you,” Bell said to Judd on Jan. 19. “You have been very proactive of hitting the ground running in Fort Meade and doing a lot of great things. ... You have been a great city manager.”

Judd was hired as city manager Feb. 4, 2019 at the rate of $115,000 per year, plus a $400 per month car allowance. She resigned prior to the completion of her first contract, which would have expired Feb. 4, 2022.

The contract states she had the right to resign at her own discretion so long as she provided a month's notice.