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Here’s The Scoop … Resolution 2010-XX Provides A Life Ring For Taxpayers … …

April 28, 2010 by Barbara

A QUICK RESCUE …

Dear Readers … The Resolution passed last night for new Interim Town Manager Connie Hoffman was a quick savings for the taxpayers of LBTS and should put to rest those ongoing diatribes coming from the disingenuous or the truly uninformed who are acting as if the former Town Manager’s pay-out amount including severance was some sudden unknown surprise…This writer posted it long ago and often, as did By The Sea Future Editor Mark Brown… The only surprise was how it was enacted and how the former Interim Town Manager (Peter Principal employee JohnO according to Clottey) chose to ignore the Commission and the Town Attys. attempts to make sure the compensation was accurate…….The other big surprise was the 1988 Personnel Policy Manual that was kept at bay by the former Town Manager and perhaps her predecessor…It was  just another one of Colon’s inept acts, in this writer’s opinion…It was her responsibility to update it and the Purchasing Manual once she took the top position… Quite something, that she could get on top of what would hit the taxpayers in their pocketbooks picking which codes to update.. and raising fees…but the manual that would have capped her pay-out and perhaps would only have provided her a percentage of accrued and unused leave..not 100% ….stayed far away from the sunshine!…

The question as the inquiry is done is how it all comes out in the wash… Did she and her predecessor get too much? …Is there any recourse to recover the hundreds of thousands they received? … If nothing is done will some past managerial employees  prepare to come back armed with attys. to collect the same big bucks they too accrued ?… The contract for Colon is somewhat confusing …Under 10.0 Vacation, Holiday, Sick, Disability etc… it has the following…

“10.1 Except as provided herein, TOWN MANAGER shall receive the same vacation, holiday, sick leave, dental , health, disability, hospitalization and life insurance benefits as are granted to other non-union employees of the TOWN, without cap.”

And then it diverts with the following…

“10.2 TOWN MANAGER shall receive an fifteen (15) vacation days added to the current bank of vacation days upon commencement of employment. Thereafter she shall accumulate vacation leave as provided under the rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the TOWN, Including pay-out for unused vacation leave on termination.”

10.3 TOWN MANAGER shall be credited with ten (10) sick leave days added to her bank of sick leave upon commencement of employment. Thereafter he shall accumulate sick leave provided under the rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the TOWN, including pay-out for unused sick leave on termination. ”

Was there some difference due to non-union vs. union employee…and which category did Colon/Baldwin fall under?….

According to the information this writer has from the previous two Manager’s Baldwin and Horton (prev. posts)…Bob Baldwin assumed the same contract as Horton when he was voted on to become Interim Town Manager at a Special Meeting on August 23, 1995 (which by the way shows no public comment)… A subsequent update from Baldwin on Dec. 28, 2001 states he was “appointed  as the Interim Town Manager under the same terms as the previous Town Manager” (Horton) …”At that time, it was agreed that my tenure was on a week- to- week basis, therefore, obviating the need for the severance provision or notice requirements in the contract.” “Subsequently, the Commission requested I drop the use of the word “Interim” on the title. Additionally, the Commission has made changes to the Manager’s pay and benefits. The week-to-week basis of my appointment is unchanged. I continue to serve at out mutual desire.” …In a  June 14 2006 Memorandum Baldwin again spoke of his employment  agreement stating the week-to-week basis stating it only required 5 days notice to resign ..no severance pay provision and the agreed upon up to 10 weeks unpaid time to perform consulting assignments … I have not obtained the above mentioned changes of salary benefits stated in the 2001 “Town Manager Reminder”…

The former Manager Horton’s contract (prev. post) includes page 2 “Section 4 Termination and Severance Pay” in which it states “In the event the Employee is terminated by the Commission before expiration of the aforesaid term of employment (Agreement was July 11, 1994 …term expired Sept. 30, 1996) and during such time under that Employee is willing and able to perform his/her duties under this agreement, then in that event Employer agrees to pay Employee a lump sum cash payment equal to four (4) months aggregate salary, benefits, and deferred compensation. Employee shall be compensated for all earned sic leave, vacation, holiday, compensatory time, and other accrued benefits to date. In the event the Employee is terminated for cause or for conviction, then in that event, Employer shall have no obligation to pay the aggregate severance sum designated in the above paragraph.” …Page 4 ” Section 14 Vacation, Sick, and Military Leave” states …”A. As an inducement to Employee to become Town Manger, Employee shall be credited with fifteen (15) days vacation leave and ten (10) days of sick leave. Thereafter, Employee shall accrue and have credited to his/her personal account, vacation  and sick leave at the same rate as other general employees of the Employer.”

BC- So it seems that the payout for vacation and sick leave before Baldwin and Colon was to be at the same percentage and cap as other Town Employees…unless their is documentation found that states otherwise…It seems highly unlikely due to the fact that Horton was terminated with cause according to the Aug. 2001 meeting stating Horton was suspended with pay as they chose to replace him with Baldwin… What needs to be found is Baldwin’s agreement and the changes made by the Commission to his benefits made as he states on Dec. 28,2001 to see why he was given an agreement to not comply with the 1988 Personnel Policy Manual… and walked away with $150,000+ in accrued and unused sick and vacation leave hours … (Colon received close to $100,000)…

The Interim Agreement voted on in a Resolution last night for Interim Town Manager Hoffman…

“1. You shall receive a salary at the bi-weekly rate of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), which shall be payable in installments at the same time as other employees of the Town are paid. For bi-weekly periods of time in which you work less than 80 hours, you shall be compensated on a pro rata basis for the number of business days that you work in that period. The Town shall provide for all customary and appropriate withholding and contributions in accordance with applicable laws.

2. Your performance may be reviewed by the Town Commission periodically, and you may be entitled to receive wage adjustments at the sole discretion of the Town Commission.

3. You shall be provided with a Town cell phone with unlimited calls, internet and data service plan by the Town; alternatively, you will receive a cell phone allowance of $150 per month.

4.You will accrue sick leave at the accrual rate of 3.70 hours per each two weeks worked. The use of such leave shall be in accordance with the Town’s Personnel Policy Manual dated October 1, 1988. We agree that sick leave is to be used in event that you are sick, but that you will not have the right to a payout for unused sick leave in the event of your separation from Town employment.

5. You will not accrue vacation leave. No car expenses will be reimbursed, except for mileage reimbursement at the current IRS rate for Town-related business activities outside of the Town.

6. You will be eligible to receive health, vision and dental insurance benefits in the manner provided all other Town management employees. Please note that there is a waiting period of 31 days or a full month before health insurance coverage begins.

7. In the event that your Town employment ceases for any reason, you will be entitled only to the following:

a. Your base salary through the date of separation from the Town; and

b. Reimbursement for as-yet unreimbursed expenses under paragraph 3 and 5.

8. You agree to submit to a drug and background check within two (2) weeks of beginning work on April 26, 2010, and understand that if significant issues arise from these checks, your employment may be terminated. The results of this check will be received and communicated to the Commission by the Town Attorney.

9. Except as otherwise provide herein, the Town’s Personnel Policy Manual dated October 1, 1988 shall not be applicable to your employment.

It concluded that if Ms. Hoffman wished to be considered at a later time to serve a Town Manager and was selected neither she or the Town are bound by the terms of this offer agreement. They would negotiate a completely new agreement.

BC- so as it stands on April 28, 2010…the new Commission in the hiring of Ms. Hoffman for the Interim Town Manager position have already saved the taxpayers and have adhered to the “long in the tooth” Personnel Policy Manual…for what appears to be the first time in a very long time…after that manual was found and finally dusted off!…

more to come….

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