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CD 4 candidate Hans Tanzler cited for ‘transparency deficiencies’ in water board job performance review

Hans Tanzler recently joined the field in the GOP nomination for Congressional District 4. But in his last governmental role, Tanzler faced serious criticism about a lack of transparency, poor communication skills, and questions about his management skills according to an internal evaluation obtained by

In 2015, Tanzler left his position as executive director of the St. Johns River Water Management District, ahead of an exodus of senior staff members from the same district.

Worth examining are some of the issues he had in that role, according to a performance review authored by George W. Robbins of the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board.

Transparency was a “major deficiency” for Tanzler, asserted Robbins, who gave him the lowest possible rating for this key metric.

Robbins claimed “Hans initiated a scheme to make the board and district appear to be considering the continuance of the Aquafiber contract after clearly stating his position against this …. His explanation was that a state senator was in favor of the contract and was threatening to block two board appointments.

“This charade continued by subsequently proposing a contract extension that violated purchasing guidelines and then requesting an RFP for a project not in the district’s strategic plan or 2014-2015 budget. This was inappropriate and set a very poor example for his management team,” Robbins contended.

Tanzler also had management issues, according to Robbins.

“Hans does well in leading and motivating high-performing subordinates, but is reluctant to make the appropriate changes with below-average performers. This shortcoming allows poor performance to continue and sets the wrong example for the remainder of the organization,” Robbins asserted. He added that Tanzler’s management style “diminishes accountability, protects inadequate performers and negatively impacts the morale of high-performing employees.”

Going further, Robbins reported Tanzler’s “2014 Water Supply Plan … was a major managerial failure. The district spent $5,000,000 on the Water Supply Plan initiative … and the document produced was replete with factual errors, internal inconsistencies, omissions and language our legal department couldn’t explain. After presenting my critique to Hans I requested he schedule a meeting with me to discuss; he declined to do so.”

“It was the most deficient plan I’ve seen presented at a board level,” Robbins stated.

The personal dynamic between Robbins and Tanzler seemed to be fraught with tension: “His communications with me as treasurer were almost non-existent outside of committee meetings, and as a board member have been sporadic and in one instance unsatisfactory by hanging up on me.”

While the report also includes some positive evaluations of Tanzler’s performance, the questions raised by Robbins will almost certainly be something CD 4 Republican voters will be asked to consider.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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