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Here’s The Scoop … SHE WAS NO “SECOND FIDDLE” ….

December 26, 2009 by Barbara

BUT SHE SURE PLAYED US …… WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HER FRIENDS ……

From the Town Minutes from April 24, 2007…

“Acting Town Manager Colon stated that for 11 weeks she has been doing five jobs, and the only
thing she is asking of the Commission is that they hire professional people in the Town. She
said it may take longer, but she’d rather have a decent staff that can all work together towards.”

……………………………………………………….

Dear Readers… little did we know what “Acting” Town Manager Esther Colon  Commissioner Silverstone and then-Commissioner McIntee had in mind as the past commission fell all over each other to offer her the position of “Permanent” Town Manager ……

……………………………………………………………

Apr. 24, 2007….

“Commissioner McIntee asked to withdraw his previous for acting, and wanted to amend it to permanent Town Manager.
Mayor Parker stated that he already made the motion.

Commissioner McIntee stated that his own motion was before Mayor Parker’s.
Attorney Cherof stated that there is no such position as permanent Town Manager, only Town Manager.
Commissioner McIntee amended his motion to Town Manager”

…………………………………………………………..

Acting Town Manager Colon, Comms. Silverstone and McIntee knew 2 years ahead of us along with former Mayor Oliver Parker (per his interview with Editor Mark Brown in the By-The-Sea-Future Newspaper) that Esther Colon would indeed be “permanent ” with a cost to the taxpayers of $250,000 if she is fired!… While we were kept in the dark until this past year that her contract was nothing like her predecessor’s despite the continuous “team” effort from the Manager, McIntee, Silverstone, Clottey and the Furths to keep it under wraps…”deny, deny, deny” until they could no longer  (prev. posts)… Just as underhanded was her request “the only thing she is asking of the Commission is that they hire professional people in the Town. She said it may take longer, but she’d rather have a decent staff that can all work together towards.” …This writer has obtained by public records request the “Offer of Employment” for two key staff employees Town Clerk June White and Assistant Town Manager John Olinzock … (Previously posted were their annual reviews) ……

Town Clerk White hired in July 31, 2007  was hired at an annual salary of $56,057.90 plus full health insurance benefits that kicked in after 31 days…she also received accrued vacation time 3.08 hours per 80 hours worked per pay period…and sick leave accrued 3.70 hours per 80 hours worked per pay period…The “At Will” appointment was the same as it was for the recently terminated Fire Marshall and unlike what Manager Colon drew up for herself…”This appointment may be terminated unilaterally, at any time by the Town Manager and need not reflect performance- related reasons.”…Also unlike the Manager’s sweetheart contract.”If this Appointment is terminated by unilateral action by the Town Manager, you shall be entitled only to base salary earned through the date of termination”…attached was  the description of the Town Clerk’s duties ” An employee in this class is appointed and directed by the Town Manager in accordance with the Town Charter. Responsibilities include organization, direction, and coordination of a wide variety of municipal activities, and providing assistance and service to Town officials and departments, as well as to the public. The incumbent is a Charter Officer, Secretary too the Corporation, Local Elections Official, and Custodian of Public Records. The Town Clerk has many and diverse duties and responsibilities. Duties include maintaining the Town Charter and Town Code Ordinances; overseeing the distribution of the Town Code. The employee records all Town ordinances and resolutions, attesting thereto and serves as custodian of the Town Seal and official Town records. Incumbent acts as a liaison between advisory boards and the Town Commission and is responsible for Town’s records retention program. Supervises subordinate employees through assignment of tasks and review of completed work for accomplishments of desired objectives. Responsibilities are defined by legal requirements although the employee works with considerable independence within these parameters.” …”Training and Experience Considerable professional level administrative experience, including reasonable related supervisory experience; graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s degree.” and finally “Special Certifications ..Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation is desirable or the ability to achieve certification within three (3) years of appointment to position…According to the September 2007 Town Topics …”White worked for Tamarac for more than 8 years before serving as the Town’s Chief Deputy Clerk from April 2005 through June 2006″… In the Town Manager’s review it was stated that Town Clerk White has not yet completed her certification to be a Town Clerk and TM Colon recommends she does……This past year Town Clerk White was given an assistant Town Clerk and is no longer sitting on the dais doing the minutes…In this past year Town Clerk White no longer takes the public records requests…Depending on who you are in town…the PRR go to Asst. Town Clerk Nikki Smith…PIO Steve D’Olivera or if you are especially close to the Town Manager such as Commissioners Silverstone, and Clottey or Vice Mayor McIntee and BTSTimes Editor Marc Furth your PRR goes through the Town Manager’s executive assistant!… It has taken months for the minutes to finally be up to date …a major problem with the previous administration’s Town Clerk…The Muni-Codes are still not on with the last one being codified in March, 24 2009  ord. 2009-17 (the recently failed ordinances for referendum were 32-34) … As we now face the municipal elections we find that the Town Clerk has not supplied the up to date form for no party affiliation…She cannot provide the voluntary ethics forms listed on the Town of LBTS Candidate Checklist and has been less than helpful in trying to remedy the situation to those who have already registered as candidates…

Assistant Town Manager John Olinzock has had a few “titles”… In the March 2007 Town Topics on page 2 was the announcement of his hiring…”Special Projects Coordinator John Olinzock “… “Olinzock, as the Town’s Project’s Coordinator, oversees capital improvement projects, grant projects, safety issues and the Citizen Contact Center. He will also be the Town liaison for the Broward County roadway projects and the Florida Department of Transportation. Olinzock started in January after working two years for the City of Tamarac as its projects manager. Prior to that he worked for the City of Key West for five years”… On May 19, 2007 he received an “Offer of Employment (Promotion)” … It went like this “Dear John Olinzock: I am pleased to offer you a promotion to the position of Assistant To The Town Manager for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The job description for the position is attached as Exhibit “A”, and you agree to provide the Town with the services included in that job description. By accepting this position you are representing to the Town that you have reviewed the job description for the position and that you possess the expertise and experience to perform the services to be provided by you pursuant to the terms of this appointment.”…He was also hired as an “At Will” employee at a salary of $65,884.52 full health benefits after 31 days same accrued 3.08 vacation/ 3.70 sick days as Town Clerk White and can be unilaterally terminated by the Town Manager at any time  again it need not reflect performance -related reasons…and he only leaves with base salary earned through date of termination…”Characteristics of the Class…Under the direction of the Town Manager, the assistant to the Town Manager position is a managerial employee who is responsible for assisting in the management of Town operations, and to serve as the Town Manager in the absence of the Town Manager. This position preforms a variety of administrative projects as assigned by the Town Manager.”… “Training and Experience …Possess Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Public Administration or related field; Master’s degree preferred; supplemented by two(2) years previous experience and/ field training that includes municipal administration; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience which provides the requisite knowledge, skill, and abilities for this position. Must possess a Florida’s driver license.” …It was signed on May 30, 2007…so according to the beginning of the offer John Olinzock  represented that he possessed the expertise and the experience required…On July 2, 2008 he received another “Offer of Employment (Promotion)”…stating “Dear John Olinzock; I am pleased to offer you a promotion to the position of Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. ” same description as his prior promotion that job detail was attached and his acceptance represents that he possesses the expertise and experience…still he was to be an “At Will” employee…at a salary of $75,154.22 …same accrued sick/ vacation as before….termination the same …by the Town Manager and still only entitled to base salary earned through the date of termination. The “Characteristics of the Class” for the new position differed from the Assistant to…”Under limited supervision, assists Town Manager in daily city operations, administration, and activities in accordance with policies determined by the Town, to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the Town. Reviews work of staff for completeness and accuracy. Reports to the Town Manager.” No mention of “to serve as the Town Manager in the absence of the Town Manager.” any longer…… “Training and Experience…Must possess a Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, accounting, or liberal arts. Requires five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in administration with ten (10) years experience preferred. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with department officials, other employees, and the general public. Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely, both oral and in writing.”… For the promotion from Asst. TO …to Asst. Town Manager what is no longer in the experience required …”Possess Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Public Administration or related field; Master’s degree preferred”…Hmmm…but he does get approximately a $10,000 bump up in pay!… Assistant Town Manager Olinzock has been working out of the Development Office for some time now…He was put in there when the Town Manager was having trouble with the former Development Director and remained to oversee the Development office as Code Officer Jeff Bowman was elevated into that position…. It is often Olinzock who answers for the Development Dept…..relegating Bowman to a subordinate role… Mr Olinzock has come many times to the podium and been less than candid …The most recent episode was his disingenuous and less than truthful comments about the Townwide survey that was definitely the Wilton Manors survey with a few minor additions….( prev. post)…as well as copping an attitude toward certain dais members he sees as adversaries of the current administration… So the question still is, what education and experience did Asst. Olinzock possess …and why are the requirements less to be promoted to  full-fledged Asst. TM than they were for Asst. TO?…

In the Town Topics in 2007 … there is some insight to the early hires…of new Town Manager Colon..

In May …

“LBTS hires new Town Clerk
Tina Angelone, an adjunct
professor at Broward Community
College with considerable administrative
experience, was hired as the
new Town Clerk. Angelone started
April 9th.
Prior to working for the Town,
Angelone, who holds a Master’s
Degree in English from Florida
Atlantic University, worked as a
performing arts center department
head for a public school in Palm
Beach County. She was also part
of a team of four administrators who
headed up a steering committee for
the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools (SACS),
overseeing work assignments
delegated to more than 30 people.
Angelone has transcribed and
summarized minutes for the Town
of Davie on a part-time basis.
Additionally, she has been a liaison
for various boards and assisted in
writing grant proposals. Angelone is
familiar with charter review, statutory
mandates and the placement of
notices for public forums.
She attended her first Town
Commission meeting on April 10th.
“I will perform my administrative
duties for the Town to the best of my
ability,” Angelone said.”

BC- It is said the new Town Clerk did not get along with the new Town Manager…and soon she was gone and TM Colon brought back June White… A look at the minutes while Tina was in charge in 2007…says it all!…

In the June Town Topics …

Town hires zoning
and code supervisor

The Town has hired Tatiana
Solovieva as its new Zoning and
Code Compliance Supervisor.
She began working here April 15.
Between October 2004 and April
2006, Solovieva was employed North
Lauderdale as a Community
Development Manager. Between
February 2000 and October 2004,
she worked for Margate as an
Associate Planner for the Department
of Environmental and
Engineering Services, where she
was completely involved in the City’s
planning process.
Originally a Russian Citizen, she
received her Master’s degree in
engineering management with a
specialization in land use management
from Moscow’s Institute of
Land Utilization Engineering in
1984. Solovieva moved to the United
States in 1997 and became a U.S.
Citizen in 2002.
She has completed Master’s
degree level courses in Urban
Planning, Statistics, Planning
Information System and Organization
Issues in GIS, Budgeting and
Communication for Public Managers.
She also completed English classes
as a non-degree student at the
University of Hawaii and Florida
Atlantic University. ”

BC- Tatiana was terminated before Development Director Rabinowitz and was the reason John Olinzock (we hear) was placed in the development office…

In the September 2007 Town Topics …

“Martin Sherwood is the Town’s
new Director of Finance and
Budget. He has 25 years experience
as a Certified Public Accountant
and Certified Government
Finance Officer.
He previously worked for
Aventura, Lauderdale Lakes and
Broward County, where he was in
charge of a $100 million operating
and capital budget. ”

BC- No idea what happened to him or how long he stayed….

In the Oct 2007 Town Topics…

“Town hires new
department head
The Town hired a new department
head in September.
Frank Rabinowitz is the Town’s
new Development Services
Director. His employment record
includes six years with the City of
Plantation, where he served as the
Plan Review Manager and designated
Assistant Building Official.
Rabinowitz also worked as a
Building Inspector in Code Enforcement
with the City of Fort
Lauderdale.
He also worked as a Structural
Plans Examiner and Inspector with
Deerfield Beach/Lighthouse
Point.
Rabinowitz began working for the
Town on Sept. 17.”

BC- Director Rabinowitz we were told resigned … before he was terminated…”At Will”…

There are no other announcements in Town Topics from October 2007 to present of new employees…and the “hiring” practices after these were all done “in-house”… elevating those who were under-qualified for the positions  and doing it without publishing in the Sentinel or online (prev. posts)…

As we approach the next municipal election in March…..we are left with the more words spoken by Town Manager Colon at her April 24, 2007 …”Acting Town Manger Colon stated that she was tired of sitting second fiddle to everyone.” …

And with that she began to play “solo” …stringing us along with her $250,000 contract…that guaranteed new Town Manager Esther Colon could do anything and act anyway she pleased…. knowing full well the only way she was no longer the “headliner” would be on her own handwritten terms…plunk!..

more to come….

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