Stewart’s Blog: After 19 Years Michelle Bono, Quietly Dismissed, Deserved Better

Stewart’s Blog: After 19 Years Michelle Bono, Quietly Dismissed, Deserved Better

After 19 years she had gradually become the communications face of the City of Tallahassee.

She answered questions for reporters when she could, because her boss, Anita Favors Thompson would not.

You could tell when she was uncomfortable with the stock answer, but it was her job to deliver the “company line.”

I remember dealing with her on the red-light camera issue.

She defended the City’s position until the end of the program in a professional way even though so many questions about fines and effectiveness could not be easily answered.

She was at all the City Commission meetings and when speakers needed help with the audio-visual equipment someone would yell, “Where’s Michelle?”

One person told me she was “Anita’s go to person.”

When they needed to market Gaines Street, Michelle helped create the flash mob dance on Gaines Street.

She even created a funeral for a live oak tree that died in front of city hall.

I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Michelle Bono.

Ms. Bono came here from Wichita, Kansas, in 1997 and has worked since that time to serve the citizens of this community as the Assistant to the City Manager and Communications Director.

Now those days are gone.

With the shake up at City Hall and a new City Manager, Michelle found her self on the outside looking in.

It appeared that she had safely landed at the Blueprint 2000 Intergovernmental Agency as the manager of strategic communications.

But now word has leaked that after less than two months she is no longer working in that position.

It is hard to believe you cannot find a position for someone with so much experience and so much love for Tallahassee.

I am sure there is a behind the scenes story and maybe one day we will find out the details.

I will end with this: I remember walking neighorhoods when I was running for Mayor in 2010, as I left the door of an elderly gentleman he said “I will vote for you but if you win, don’t fire Michelle Bono, she does a good job.”

Michelle Bono deserved better.

9 Responses to "Stewart’s Blog: After 19 Years Michelle Bono, Quietly Dismissed, Deserved Better"

  1. I was sorry to hear about Michelle. She was always helpful to me during the city commission meetings. I wish her the best of luck in whatever she chooses to do.

  2. A firing like this is what puts another nail in the coffin for loyalty from employees – public and private sector. These better than thou bosses who dismiss just because they can should one day find the shoe on the other foot.
    But I do take exception to Christians in the workplace who do not speak up when they see and hear unethical and sometimes illegal activity. It’s never too late to right a wrong. Keeping your head in the sand gets you a cardboard box of your belongings and an escort to the door. I wish Ms. Bono the best.

  3. Tell me again!

    Rick has fired Michelle, one of the brightest lights in that dark place and hired Ben Pingree, a certified unethical person!

    As they say in Cuba: Que pasa?

  4. I have known Michelle Bono for many years. She is a fine Christian woman. She gives 100% to all that she does. I am sad that the city manager has done this but I know with the faith that Michelle has in Jesus Christ another window or door will open for her. It will be a much better place to work than the city of Tallahassee. Good luck Michelle!!!

  5. Good piece, Steve. Michelle Bono deserved much better and, perhaps, she will get much better by getting out of the cesspool senior management has become. She was always cordial, polite, and professional. It is the City’s loss and I have come to believe, based on the firings, Rick Fernandez’ tenure may not be what many of us had hoped for.

    1. I have read all of the comments posted and I believe they have not only BLESSED me, but Michelle as well. What Steve failed to include in his article was the unethical way they fired her after 19 years. Come or watch tonight to hear how it happened at the City’s Commission meeting. We love you Michellle, and there’s nothing no one can do about it including you!

  6. I have to second that Michelle was a very nice and helpful person in her capacity. However, I will always wish that she had the backbone to sing like a bird! Oh yeah how is that federal lawsuit going with the fire fighter going lately?

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