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Here’s The Scoop … EXHALE! ….

April 24, 2010 by Barbara

IT’S A 3- PRONG SITUATION …

Dear Readers … Everybody take a deep breath and exhale…The situation with the termination of the Town Manager is a 3- prong situation… It entails her termination and her compensation… compensation and payouts in the future ….along with the handling of that payout by the new Interim Town Manager and staff …

PRONG #1-In April 2007 Town Manager Bob Baldwin resigned…He did not have a severance package…but he did get paid $150,989.06 (prev. post in 2009)…How is that possible…because Bob Baldwin  received accrued and unused vacation/sick hours…

LBTS TOWN MANAGER BOB BALDWIN … 2007

480 SCK /1,154.57 VAC Gross $120,962.06

Total 10 week compensation HOL $30,027.00

Direct Deposit Total $150,989.06

………………………

TOWN MANAGER ESTHER COLON ..2010

Severance $168,041.90

2 Days withholding $1,234.94

Amt. for all accrued and unused hours  537.41 (hrs)VAC  $41,479.25

Amt. for all accrued and unused hours 729.35 SCK  (hrs) $56,293.88

Amt. for all accrued compensatory time accrued prior to appt. as Town Manager  377.52  COMP(hrs) $29,138.36

Total $296,188.33

Taxes debited

Fed Inc. Tax $85,519.70

SS-EE $3,334.52

SS-ER $3,334.52

Medicare -EE $4,134.28

Medicare -ER $4,134.28

Total taxes debited $100,457.30

ADP Direct Deposit $176,371.47

Total amt. debited $276,828.77

……………………..

Ok…so you can all see we knew that former Town Manager was going to walk away with her $160,000+ years severance … a point well covered and uncovered (first by this writer and posted on this site )…The rest of her payout was the accrued and unused big bucks that would have been due to her no matter if she had been terminated or she chose to resign…. just as it was for her predecessor Bob Baldwin!…

PRONG #2 …That being said the real problem for this Town..going forth is how do we stop such payments of this kind for the next Town Manager…along with the pensions…that will most likely give 50-something Esther Colon an additional $2 million in expected lifetime of receiving such monies?…

This writer as well as other well informed taxpayers know the “perks” such as the accrued/unused time and pensions are what is going to take municipalities down going forth…

PRONG #3- The actions of the newly appointed Town Manager John Olinzock and his staff prior to the termination …immediately after the termination and in the days following the termination…in the handling of the payout …and the interaction or lack thereof with the Town Attorneys and four Commissioners who were actively trying to stop the payment of the check  and get answers while they were seeking advise from the Town Atty. throughout!..

Mayor Minnet, Vice Mayor Dodd, Comm. Sasser and Comm. Vincent were on top of the situation and were in constant contact with the Atty. and Interim Town Manager Olinzock…The Commissioners were ignored by JohnO and or given the same type of responses  and non- responses as described in the Town Atty. e-mail posted prior on Apr. 23, 2010…The Town Atty. getting no reply from the Interim Town Manager or his staff followed up that e-mail with a Public Records Request!…How absurd is that?… Soon after the payout was sent to them…after the direct deposit was distributed to Colon… Soon after the Town Atty. e-mail was received by the Mayor, she called for the Town Manager to lock down Town Hall over the weekend…We hear she asked the Town Atty. and the Town Atty. said she did not have the authority to do it on her own..she was required to go through JohnO…She called him and then was left to wait for a response as well…When he did respond he told her IT people were coming in to take care of the servers…That was agreed upon to allow them in, but no employees …until the payout was received by the Mayor and she saw the numbers and the dates stating this payout period was week 16 and it ended on the 20th…indicating prior work had to be done on the payout…perhaps with the aid of the former Town Manager herself? … The Mayor quickly called Interim Town Manager and directed him to cancel the IT contractors and lock down the building from all employees and contractors from that time 6:30 to 8 am Monday morning… This will keep anything on the computers in town intact …and safe from any intentional or unintentional IT work that would have been done!…

The meeting for Monday will address the actions of the Interim Town Manager and his staff…and the proper or improper procedures that occurred from the time of Colon’s termination ..In this writer’s opinion there will be insubordination charges made against JohnO ….He along with members of staff must face the music still while required investigation into who, what, when and where the payout was done is active…

Then,  we have 8 candidates for the Interim Town Manager position that have been requested to come to the meeting for a decision to be made to hire one of them to replace JohnO who should be terminated from employment in this town…He will still have to face the music for his actions no doubt once the investigation is active…. 8 resumes in 2 days…WOW!…

The search for a long term Town Manager will begin…and from the looks of it…Vice Mayor Dodd was correct…you can put an RFP out for Town Manager …it is not “unusual” at all!….Those numbers should be staggering…again showing how poorly former Town Manager Esther Colon served this town over the last 3 years…

So in conclusion…Readers…please note….while the amount of the gross payout is staggering …taking away the severance…and once the payout documentation has been verified and/or reconciled…this payout has not left us in dire straits and it is anything but unprecedented…it is in fact, the status quo for municipal government employment agreements…The question now as stated above …will it continue to be so in LBTS?..

Also, please know that Mayor Minnet, Vice Mayor Dodd, Commissioner Sasser and Commissioner Vincent are the same people elected March 9th and as such they are doing their due diligence and working hard to see that the Town is moving forward while taking care of  the very big mess they inherited! …

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Too Busy To Answer To Town Attorneys? … Special Meeting Moved To 8AM Monday Morning ! ….

April 23, 2010 by Barbara

JOHNO INTERIM TOWN MANAGER …

Dear Readers …. The previous post stated the Special Meeting to discuss Town Business Matters would be at 4 pm …Well…. that changed right after the Mayor saw the Town Attorney’s e-mail …It is now at 8am on Monday morning in Jarvis Hall…and it will be combined with the 5 pm meeting for an interim Town Manager to replace JohnO…JohnO himself and other staff members will also be addressed by a very concerned commission over his action since being appointed 3 short days ago!.. The Mayor has also requested that no employees are to enter Town Hall from 6pm today until 8 am on Monday morning when the meeting takes place …We are told the still non functioning speakers in Jarvis Hall will be working for full transparency to be available to those who cannot be in attendance live…

The Attorney e-mail to the Interim Town Manager (it is a public record)…and once readers read it there is no doubt as to why this meeting was moved up and why Town Hall needs to be restricted to employees…

THE E-MAIL  ….

“Dear John:

As the Town Attorney for the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida, I hearby request that you provide the backup documentation to confirm that the amount of money paid out to satisfy the severance clause in the contract of former Town Manager, Esther Colon, is correct.

As you knew, at Tuesday evening’s Special Meeting, the Town Commission directed me to work with you and your staff to assure that matters associated with Ms. Colon’s termination is properly handled. As you also know, my partner, Brett Schneider, and I have asked you and/or your staff for the written backup documentation concerning Ms. Colon’s severance payout on several occassions since the meeting.

In particular, Brett called Kathy O’Brien midday Wednesday to discuss the status of the transition and of the payout, and was advised that the payout had already been accomplished. Amongst other things. Brett requested documentation of the severance. We promptly received the other documentation requested, regarding the exchange and return of property between the Town and Ms. Colon. However, we have not received the documentation of the severance payout.

When we did not receive the requested documentation from Kathy, Brett and I both contacted you Thursday morning to again request that documentation. In response to Brett’s request, you advised him you were very busy and did not know when you would have the time to provide the documentation. You also stated that, unless you were being accused of having acted criminally in connection with the issuance of Ms. Colon’s severance payment, you did not think it necessary to provide the backup documentation.

Having still not received the requested documentation this morning, Brett called you again to request the backup documentation. In response, you again advised Brett that you and staff were extremely busy, and you would try to provide us with the requested documentation when you had the chance.

You have assured me that the payout was properly calculated, and that you personally authorized and checked the validity of the payout documentation on Wednesday morning. I am not suggesting that the payout was necessarily improper. However, I cannot perform the task which the Commission has assigned me- verifying that it was handled properly- without the cooperation of you and your staff.

For example, Ms. Colon’s employment agreement states she “shall accumulate sick leave as provided under the rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the Town, including pay-out for unused sick leave upon termination.” We have orally been advised of the number of hours of sick time paid out, but not the calculation of that number to reflect the amount due under the Town’s rules and regulations. We have also not been advised of the net dollar value of any of the components to the payout, or of the total amount of the payout.

John, it is imperative that you provide us with the backup documentation concerning Ms. Colon’s severance payout at your earliest convenience; so that we can do what the Commission has directed us to do.

Please call me if you have any question. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Very, Truly yours, Susan L.. Trevarthen”

………………..

In this writer’s opinion…JohnO needs to be terminated …effective immediately…and he should win the “prize” for the worst ascent into the number 1 Administrative spot in the history of the Town… How in the world could he state he “personally authorized and checked the validity of the payout documentation on Wednesday morning.”…and not immediately make it available to the Town Atty. and the Commissioners before it was released today!… Anyone who thinks this is any different than what occurred on a daily basis within the Colon led administration…should stop drinking the Kool-Aid ….There are groups to ensure a fast and speedy recovery…UOT for example…and for those few stragglers that were thinking about going to the CIC meeting Sunday…head north …as fast as you can!…

more to come…..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Did She Or Didn’t She Get The Green Today?…

April 23, 2010 by Barbara

POCKETBOOK  FULL OF CASH OR THE CHECK’S IN THE MAIL?…

Dear Readers…Today is the day former Town Manager did or did not get her full compensation… The previous posts contain the scenario that unfolded according to many as soon as the 4-1 vote to terminate came down and the hall was emptied until the next meeting a 6:30…

VM Dodd  and Comm. Vincent and we believe Comm. Sasser and Mayor Minnet  wanted the payment stopped until the reconciliation was provided to them…

Also as previously posted VM Dodd called JohnO and asked him to call Atty. Trevarthen to verify he could stop the payment without 5 commissioners calling a special meeting as he obstinately stated in a prior conversation to the VM…

Last night VM Dodd sent an e-mail to the Town Atty. to inquire if that call was received and the status of the former Town Manager’s payout…As of this afternoon a little past noon.. we do not know what JohnO did…or did not do… …Did he release the payment or did he stop it as was requested most likely from 4 of the 5 commissioners?…

Again, the issue is not paying the former Town Manager what she is entitled to under the terms of her contract…but the verification of what she was entitled to…when those numbers were researched and tabulated…so that it was correct…The red flag went up after the Town Atty. found that it was a “Done Deal”…and the interim Town Manager went practically postal in his incorrect stance to thwart any accounting (such as a copy of what he presented Human Resources Manager Kathy O’Brien )… to be turned over to the commissioners … to answer for his “highly unusual” action taken which ewe hear “made the Town Attys jaws drop”… when they heard what he had done…and as far as we know now his refusal to stop payment on the disbursement of this $250,000+ check to his former boss!…

We now know the Town Atty.  sent a letter today to JohnO to cover what transpired since Wed. and to state his lack of response and his incredulous replies to the Atty. that he and staff were too busy to assist the Town Attys in a full accounting!… The Town Attys. have put in writing that they were and are precluded from doing their job as directed by the commission due to JohnO …. YIKES!…

We also there will be a Special Meeting on Monday April 26, 2010 at 4 pm in Jarvis Hall to discuss Town Business Matters …prior to the 5 pm Special Meeting to choose an interim Town Manager to replace JohnO…and hopefully to terminate JohnO before he is replaced…effective immediately!…

Updates to come…if and when we hear if Esther Colon got her $250,000+ “Green” today courtesy of her pal JohnO!…

more to come…

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … What Did You Do After Town Manager Colon Was Terminated? …

April 22, 2010 by Barbara

JOHNO WENT AFTER HOURS INTO TOWN HALL TO CUT A CHECK TO HIS NEWLY TERMINATED BOSS ?…

Dear Readers… In the previous post this writer posted that a check was written and it was a “Done Deal” for terminated Town Manager Colon less than 24 hours after she was canned!..

Today, we hear the newly appointed interim to the interim Town Manager John Olinzock went into Town Hall after the Special Meeting and began or continued work on the payout to his new former boss …( How could they possibly have all the numbers in place and verified right after the Special Meeting?)…The question is why?… Why would the newly elevated Asst. Town Manager make such a choice?…He was literally standing at the podium in front of the  commission asking what his duties would be…wanting to know his job description and listening as some points were made from the commission and the Town Atty. not to act in any substantive manner that might be misconstrued…WOW!… Did he have a lapse of judgment?…A momentary case of amnesia?…. Or did he just decide to go for it and stick it to his bosses …having other plans in place after the proverbial you know what hit the fan in response to his action…unless he was really brain damaged or brainwashed and thought his nighttime visit would go unnoticed and he would get a pass…No such luck!…

Piecing together various accounts…it appears that JohnO went in after the meeting as stated above…and then quickly presented the Kathy O’Brien, the Town’s Human Resources Manager …(and a very close ally and pal to Colon)…. what was the final amount of the “golden payout” to Colon the following morning (Wed. 421/10)…It appears that the Town Attorney’s checked in to assist in the process …only to be told in so many words…the “deed” was a “Done Deal”……The Town Atty. was apparently disturbed by this most unusual action taken by JohnO and proceeded to contact the commission on his exploits…The commission we hear …at least the majority of the commission we assume reacted much as the Town Atty. …this writer and the many who read about it today…with utter disbelief!… When called upon by various commissioners for the Town Atty. to proceed to inquire about the specifics…not only the act itself but the numbers involved and what they were based on …The astounding reply we hear, from the interim Town ManagerJohnO …who by the way is already listed as such on the Town website …was even more so after what it is said he did…He is said to have replied to the Town Atty. he would not answer their questions directly unless directed by the 5 commissioners and unless he was being charged criminally!…HUH?…The word is the chagrined and speechless Town Atty. passed on the remarks …The commissioners must have really been spinning after hearing JohnO…And I thought he was bad when he addressed the MPSC!… We have heard that JohnO spoke to a few commissioners ..and he did admit to the above…He repeated what the TAtty. said… was obstinate about his position and that of the requirement for 5 commissioners to call a special meeting and direct him to do what they were asking for through the TAtty…. We are told he finally admitted the check was not cut after all…and waffled on the payroll scenario we also heard that  the payout just happened to fall within the payroll date… When pressed about the dates and when the money was distributed he finally owned up to the actual date being tomorrow …It is said he was asked to stop the payment of the payoff until it had been reconciled and presented to the commission…and again he said it was only by direction of the commission… Vice Mayor Dodd called the Town Atty. and was informed that was not so..He called JohnO and said he was misinformed and needed to call the Town Atty. …Olinzock said he would…At this point in time we do not know if that call was made….The interim Town Manager chose to act to release the funds $250,000 + …and VM Dodd said he could also stop the funds from being released Friday until a proper reconciliation was done and presented to the commission.. We hear he was not alone in wanting the payment stopped for this purpose only…Not to keep the former Town Manager from receiving what she was entitled to (and in most taxpayer’s opinions not entitled to…the long held secret one year severance) but to make sure she was walking away with the amount that was due …and there were no discrepancies made… Right now from all accounts that will not happen…that is unless after talking to VM Dodd at the close of business today,  JohnO  suddenly got nervous about his executive decision!…

Who was with JohnO in Town Hall that night?…Was the former Town Manager inside Town Hall with Town Clerk White and 2 other employees as Colon incorrectly stated was “per her contract”?… This writer previously posted that it would be interesting to see what the department heads and hires of Colon would do after she was gone…If today was any indication…the next Town Manager should be busy cleaning house! … Could the latest scuttlebutt have a scintilla of truth…that Colon already has another Town Manager position lined up and she is taking JohnO with her?…YIKES!…If so, who else would join this exodus?…

There has been talk of a Special Meeting to be posted and held at 4:30 pm Monday April 26th before the 5 pm Special Meeting to choose an interim Town Manager to discuss Town Business matters…and it seems that the above interim Town Manager  situation “matters” most!…

JohnO as the interim Town Manager now serves at the pleasure of the commission and he can be terminated buy this commission…for his less than “pleasurable” short stint as the Town’s Chief Administrator…After Mon. night he will be relegated back to Asst. Town Manager and that decision would no longer be theirs to make and handed over to the new interim Town Manager or the new Town Manager….It is this writer’s opinion JohnO should be terminated for his actions on Tuesday …those after the meeting in Town Hall….Those at the MPSC and most especially those done today in the aftermath (thus far)….of the termination of Town Manager Esther Colon and the installation of interim Town Manager John Olinzock !..

more to come…..

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Check Please …

April 22, 2010 by Barbara

DONE DEAL?….

Dear Readers … When ..Where …Who…and How are the questions being asked 24 hours after the termination of Town Manager Esther Colon …a 4-1 decision made the evening before by the Town Commission… We hear a check was already cut to the Town Manager for her full compensation per her contract upon her termination…Readers …especially “Avid Readers” know this was a large part of the reason for her demise … the way the contract was drawn up..(it was the 2nd contract version that we know of…the first asking for a 5 year severance if terminated)…and the how it was approved with at least 2 former commissioners adamant about never seeing the contract on May 22, 2007…voting for it under the guise represented for well over 2 years by the Town Manager herself with a large assist from her pals Silverstone/McIntee who either knew and lied or also were left in the dark …unable to own up to her “slight of hand”….When it came time that the Manager could no longer assert that her contract was the same as her predecessor Bob Baldwin in any way shape or form  literally…she did her “as you can recall” routine and fell back on its approval from 5 commissioners and it being drawn up by the former Town Attorney…Thar former Town Attorney we hear was in Jarvis Hall for the termination of Town Manager Colon…That former Town Attorney was the one who turned down her initial 5 year request and asked her to run by the 5 commissioners what she was presenting in her revised contract after the 5 year one was a no go…We believe she never did that…at least with 2 of the 5…and the Town Attorney who signed her 1 year severance with the 2 pensions and other benefits signed on the dotted line on the last page “as to form”…and remained mute about the content on the dais as the vote was taken…A copy of that contract was first requested from this writer a few years back…after hearing the 2 commissioners state it was not in their backup I made another request for it …and received it with an agenda cover page.. Recently I requested the contract a 3rd time after statements were made on the dais by administration and the Town Clerk that the date stamp of showing backup was valid was on the back of the items and did not appear in copies requested …I asked for the back of the page to prove it had been included May 22, 2007…The response I received they did not do it at that time… Why was the former Town Attorney in the audience Tuesday night?…Guess unless someone privy wants to fill me in…we will never know…if he was curious…asked to be there by TM Colon or there to defend his own actions…

By the end of the 45 minutes it was known and verified that TM Colon would indeed walk away with her severance and all other compensation spelled out in her 2007 agreement…She made sure to make a “point of personal privilege” to get this on the record …and it was verified… What happened before the meeting …in the hours…days…weeks …or perhaps months…as well as within the hours after is what is now being questioned!…Let me clarify …the questions now is not honoring her contract…but again, it is one of transparency and the process followed within out Town government…

We have been told that a check was cut the very next day to Esther Colon for the full compensation by the Town…paid by payroll… How’s that even possible in such a short span of time?…The new Interim Town Manager Olinzock was told in no uncertain terms when he stood at the podium to accept the short pre-interim to the interim Town Manager position…not to make a substantive changes ..such as hiring and firing and we would presume signing off on a check this large without giving the heads up to his new bosses…the 5 commissioners and allowing them to see the breakdown of the payment being made…It’s not the severance …that amount was known …approx. $160,000+ …it is the unpaid leave for the past 10 + years and other such monies that would be included …or not!…The other question is was this what was done previously for the former Town Manager…We are told it was not…a next day payout…That was the $150,000+ that the former TM and former Comm.Silverstone tried to pass off as proof he had the same contract…that is until then-Comm. Dodd asked for a breakdown to find it was unpaid leave (sick/vacation) and unpaid hours..no severance…OOPS!…. This is another big “housecleaning” item for this new commission to address to get to the bottom of this…make sure the former TM was correctly compensated and to put into place … In any case either we have a proper procedure in place for this situation that includes a “reconciliation” of dispersed funds due to an outgoing Administrator are distributed to the commission prior to  cutting the check…and  Acting Interim Town Manager Olinzock blew it right out of the gate in his temporary top position…or we need one ASAP!…

Speaking of Acting Interim Town Manager Olinzock…while the above looks like grounds for his demise as well…at some point …In this writer’s opinion he blew it  45 minutes after being newly  elevated while watching the MPSC meeting …however brief it was for those of us no longer to hear it  close to the start…(blown out 10 year old speakers…was the cause we were informed)… In that time before the speakers went south…JohnO who should have slinked out the door after the infamous “Harry” from PBS&J (Harry was the responder on the e-mails back and forth with JohnO found during questioning of PBS&J and any relationship to the Town…prev. post)…stated to the new MPSC (minus a no show …with Clueless Clottey’s MPSC appointee, former Comm. candidate Marjorie Evans,)…he thought they would have been far along on the A1A project by this point in time!…JohnO did everything but keep the bridge up over the intercoastal to keep the committee out of the process…The only reason for any interaction this evening was due to the insistence of Comm. Sasser… FDOT was there as well and between the two and a short exchange the flow information cast a pall over what we were told prior to this meeting from former TM Colon and JohnO himself…The numbers…We were originally told this was a matching grant project at a cost approx. $600,000 each…The other night we were told $800,000 for the state …$300,000 for the Town…At this meeting FDOT said it was a $650,000 project with the state paying 2/3 and the Town 1/3!…WOW!…JohnO at the previous commission told the commission maybe he could get us some more signalization…FDOT was quick to state signalization would not be reimbursable! …Harry’s response when asked what kind of ideas he had for the project was no better…and further give this writer pause as to why we are doing this at all…Harry said our lights are good… are signals (not covered anyhow) are upgraded…and much is precluded due to the road itself…(tell me something we don’t know)…so he is talking trees, canopy…landscaping…I say he is talking out of both sides of his mouth…and stretching to find a way to come up with something…I was told after the sound went of the MPSC are going to walk that stretch to see what can be done..and not tear up what the condos have already done at great expense…This seems to me to be just as ridiculous as the idea that the El Mar Drive Project is shovel ready and meets the criteria of pedestrian friendly …and  jobs producing …phooey!…

It’s too bad ..if it’s too late to stop participating in the A1A project…and as for the El Mar Drive project …we were told after the sound was only in the hall…the MPSC were planning on starting over on a whole new plan for he whole of El Mar Drive… An “Avid Reader” suggested and this writer concurs…this new committee is also to revise the 2005 Master Plan this year…perhaps now that all are supposed have received a copy of it…they can take a look at El Mar Drive…the concept for the whole of El Mar Drive and work from that…Much has already been implemented… just keep it 2 lanes…

Just a quick one on our new pre- Interim Town Manager Olinzock… a look back…from Town Topics in 2007…

“TOWN HIRES TWO NEW TOWN EMPLOYEES”

“SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR JOHN OLINZOCK”

“Olinzock , as the Town’s special projects coordinator, oversees capital improvement projects, grant projects,safety issues and the Citizen Contact Center. He will also be the Town liaison for Broward County roadway projects and 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.”…

BC- First he was a special projects manager …and according to his job description he should know a hell of alot more than he seems to be able to bring to the table 3 years and 2 job promotions later ..in this writer’s opinion!

On May 19, 2007 JohnO was offered and took a “promotion” to Assistant to the Town Manager  from Esther Colon for a salary of $65,884.52 plus benefits…as an “at will” employee…ON July 2, 2008 JohnO was given another “promotion” and accepted it to become Assistant Town Manager  at a salary of $75,154.22 plus benefits…again as an “at will” employee …neither included any severance….

BC- It would be this writer’s opinion that the next Town Manager make sure to use that “at will” status …and terminate JohnO ASAP!…

The aftermath of the termination of Town Manager Colon has been relatively quiet…a few hold-outs from the CIC made some attempts we hear after the deed was done by asking a few commissioners  to espouse “cause” for her dismissal…We hear the “Newbie” had no takers to her “bait” and neither did another guy who is no stranger to trying to do a “gotcha”…It was disingenuous and just more of the dirty tactics that caused their side and their candidates such a landslide loss…that these 2 would ask for cause is a joke!…

One “Avid Reader” like my “Casey At Bat”….and asked to remain anonymous when giving the ok to print another way to look at the termination….

……………………..
“THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAD”
Ding Dong! The Witch is gone. Which old Witch? The Town’s Ruling Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is gone.
Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is gone. She’s gone where the evil go,
Her severance pay worth the show. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and let ring the bells out.

Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them now and at dawn know,
The Wicked Witch is gone!
Mayor
As Mayor of LBTS City, In the Land of the Free, I congratulate you all most regally.
Commissioner
But we’ve got to verify it legally, to see
Mayor
To see?
Commissioner
If she
Mayor
If she?
Commissioner
Is morally, ethic’lly
Vice Mayor
Spiritually, physically
Town Employees
Positively, absolutely
Citizens
Undeniably and reliably Gone,

Vice Mayor
As Vice Mayor I must aver, We’re finally got rid of her.
And she’s not only merely gone, she’s really most sincerely gone.

Mayor
Let joyous news be spread now and dawn, The wicked Old Town Witch at last is gone!

Ding Dong the Evil Witch is gone!

Ding Dong! The Witch is gone. Which old Witch? The Town’s Ruling Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is gone.

…………………..

Thanks…Avid Reader…anyone else…send em’ in…

The Sentinel did a follow-up online to the termination …interviewed were the Mayor…and Clueless Clottey…showing her “Clueless” moniker is here to stay…. for the remainder of her 1st and last term….
…………….
SENTINEL W/COMMENTS ….
“LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA

Town Manager Esther Colon was fired late Tuesday night with a 4-1 vote.

“I think that this was a foolish time to fire her,” Commissioner Birute Clottey said Wednesday. She cast the lone vote in support of Colon.

BC- The foolishness was all commentary from Clottey herself…

Commissioners gave no explanation Tuesday night for the dismissal.

BC- There was no need the voters knew the myriad of reasons…No cause was required for her dismissal..and after the TM said she would appear with her own counsel the commission was doing their due diligence by not giving cause that could open the door to the veiled (or so it appeared) threat of a suit against the Town…..Seems the Sentinel is sorely lacking in being up on LBTS politics!…

But on Wednesday, Mayor Roseann Minnet said, “We fired her because the town is going in a new direction, and she wasn’t a part of that direction. We have a new commission and she served at the pleasure of the dais. We’re seeking unity, bringing the town together, working cohesively and respecting each other.”

BC- Nice quote …sums it up perfectly!

Assistant Town Manager John Olinzock was appointed interim town manager, though commissioners said a different interim manager may be chosen to take his place. The town is accepting resumes until close of business Friday, and commissioners will meet Monday to discuss the position.

The town will soon begin budget planning and is negotiating with the Broward Sheriff’s Office over its $3 million police services contract that expires in September 2011. Colon is a former Sheriff’s Office executive.

“We needed her until August, and now it will be tough,” Clottey said. “She was a tough negotiator … and knew the system and how to get things done for us. We are now at a distinct disadvantage. I think this will result in higher taxes for our taxpayers.”

BC- Clueless….is maddening…Colon according to sources was no “insider” in the BSO…especially the post-Jenne BSO…She was no friend of Sheriff Lamberti and when Clottey said on the dais Esther Colon even called Sheriff Lamberti by his first name…the response quickly came to this writer that was due to Esther Colon refusing to show him the proper respect by calling him Sheriff!… As far as Esther being the only one that could negotiate with BSO …If she was really the “insider” that Clottey claimed she was…that would have been cause for concern…and perhaps a conflict …This negotiation without the acid tongued TM who refused to attend a Town Manager conference with BSO should be a plus … Threats of higher taxes…Clottey herself has long moaned about the taxes going up due to the economy…and as for Esther Colon’s record of keeping out taxes low…we could have lowered the millage as this writer and then-Comm. Dodd asked for and Clottey voted against…along with former Comm. Silverstone who then used a lower millage as a campaign promise!… Clottey should know no one is irreplaceable!

Colon’s departure was immediate. When the meeting ended, she turned in her cell phone and the keys to town hall and her municipal car, Town Spokesman Steve d’Oliveira said.

BC- One weird remark from the TM on the dais Tuesday was to state per her contract the Town Clerk and 2 employees would watch her as she cleared her personal items…Nowhere in her contract does it state such a procedure…OOPS!…Seems though a few employees “helped” walk with a very big check…before the ink on her termination was even dry!….

She worked for a decade for the town. Before she left, Colon thanked the residents who supported her.

BC- We hear there was no clapping in Jarvis Hall after she made her brief comments of thanks…the “supporters” numbered 6!….

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/lauderdale-by-the-sea/fl-lauderdale-by-the-sea-town-manager-fir20100421,0,4112683.story

………………………

Next week will be a busy one…Monday is a 5 pm meeting for a new Interim Town Manager…and we hear resumes are coming in…Capital Improvement Workshop afterward…Did JohnO gleen anything to present?…Tues. Reg Commission Meeting 7 pm ….with perhaps the new Interim TM on the dais?…Wed. the newly placed Round Table..#3 which until the new commission is all caught up will meet the 2nd and 4th Weds. at 7 pm in Jarvis Hall….

More to come…….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop …There’s JOY In “Lauderdale-By-The-Sea” Tonight .. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Town Manager Esther Colon Has Been Terminated! ….

April 20, 2010 by Barbara

THE SUN SETS ON TOWN MANAGER COLON ‘S DAYS IN LBTS … APRIL 20, 2010 AT 5:45 PM …

Dear Readers…allow for a little twist…a play on “Casey Comes To Bat”…He struck out that day…and today FORMER Town Manager Esther Colon did exactly that…with a 4-1 vote by the Commission…(Clueless voted no)…to terminate her contract effective immediately … and let the Town move on!… It was time to rip the band-aid off and let the healing begin…and within 45 minutes the newly elected commission began that process…After she was terminated…her most important point of privilege question was to make sure she would get her big bucks…She will!…The Commission appointed Asst. Town Manager JohnO to be interim to the interim…He accepted…He too can apply to the interim job…He was directed not to do any sudden employment changes (hiring/firing)….while he is temporarily in ……Hmmm….This should be interesting…to see if he and his fellow Town employees were really so loyal  …so happy under the Colon “regime”?… On Mon. April 26th at 5 pm in Jarvis Hall the commission will again meet for a decision on the interim Town Manager to be in place as the search for the right Town Manager is in process to get it done right this time around…. It was “poetic justice” of sorts with the first candidate for the interim TM job being put forth by VM Dodd..being none other than BSO Colonel Werder…the BSO spokesperson who came to the hall to speak for former Chief Scott Gooding ….A point well made and take by those watching as the newly terminated Town Manager could only sit mute ….Yep, there is JOY in LBTS as the sun sets on April 20, 2010!….

HERE GOES….

The outlook was brilliant for the Lauderdale- By- The- Sea Five this day;
The score stood four to one, with but one meeting more in play,
And when the UOT sent an e-mail out first, and the CIC did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the “6 supporters” of this TM “Dame.”

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only the new majority could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even her severance money, now, with the four at the bat.

But Silverstone preceded Vincent, as did also McIntee with Scot,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was but a blot; (on LBTS)
So upon that strengthening multitude grinning voters sat waiting for the boot,
For there seemed but no doubt of Colon getting her contracted loot.

But Mayor Minnet made an opening statement, to the wonderment of all,
And Stuart Dodd , the Vice Mayor, made a motion that kept their eye on the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the constituents saw what would occur,
There was Commissioner Sasser making at second and Commissioner Vincent a-bout to concur.

Then from their landslide constituents and more there rose an acknowledged look;
It rumbled through the aisles, it was time to close this chapter in the book;
It rocked upon the beach and recoiled upon the town,
For Colon, much less than a mighty town manager, was advancing to go down.

There was ease in the majority’s manner as they stepped into their places;
There was pride in the majority’s choices and a slight smile on commission faces.
And when, responding to the appreciation, they could be seen to be straightening their notes,
No longer could strangers in this crowd  of 50 + doubt ’twas this new majority who had the required votes.

Attentive eyes were on Dodd as he said the contract would be adhered to;
The overwhelming numbers for change understood and kept from saying boo.
Then while the Clueless Commissioner Clottey took a swipe at the majority vote,
Was it defiance gleamed in Colon’s eye, or a sneer perhaps remembering a boat? (remark that never happened)…

And now the button pushing sound came hurtling through the air,
And Colon sat at the end of the dais a-watching with her haughty grandeur stare.
Close by the sturdy commissioners sat back as the hall crowd was more than ready to put this all to bed-
The votes were placed for replacing Colon. “4 to 1  ” this writer said.

From the seats, at home and in the hall, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“It’s finally over!” The Manager is no longer!” whispered someone on the hall;
As they’d a- terminated her contract themselves had this Commission not been on the ball.

With a smile of Christian charity Town’s people refrained clapping;
The Mayor had no need to still the lopsided audience; She and the Commission saw no overlapping;
The Vice Mayor, 2 new Commissioners were aligned with the Mayor, once more;
But this time Colon could no longer ignore it, and this writer said, “this should even the score!”

“It’s about time!” cried the seated voters, and echo answered right;
But one scornful look from Colon and the audience could have said it was a fright.
They saw her face grow stern and cold, they saw her muscles strain,
And they finally knew that Colon wouldn’t be seen in that hall again.

The sneer was soon gone from Colon’s upper  lip, her teeth no longer clenched in their usual state;
She expounded with her usual vigor the dollars attached to her fate.
And now that the commission holds all the cards, it’s now her time to go,
And now the air inside Jarvis is breathable again with the force of this commission’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is much joy in Lauderdale-By- The- Sea — mighty Colon has struck out.

4 CHEERS TO THE 4 COMMISSIONERS WHO VOTED AND GOT IT RIGHT!….

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … TOWN MANAGER COLON WILL BE “COUNTING ” HER “BEANS” TOMORROW NIGHT

April 19, 2010 by Barbara

AND SHE WASN’T WORTH A HILL OF ANY OF THEM  ……

Dear Readers… In the lead-up to tomorrow night’s special meeting…there is the previous post (scoops, scroll down) on this site…and the Sentinel …as well as opposing local LBTS-PAC organizations the CIC (biggest loser)…UOT (biggest winner)…Former Comm. Jim Silverstone (biggest loser) weighed in as well……(see below) …….

The Commissioners had their discussion at the Round Table meeting on Friday….and now it is time to act…With time constraints in place due to a regularly scheduled meeting of the Master Plan Steering Committee at 6:30pm  …this Special Meeting should be short and certainly most certainly sweet for those voters that made it clear in March …it is time for Town Manager Esther Colon to go…The pleasure will be served to all of us with a vote by this commission that assures us she no longer serves at their pleasure!…

Sentinel…4/19/10..
“Town Manager Esther Colon may be looking for a job after the commission meets Tuesday to discuss her contract.

Colon is known as an able budget manager. But she faced anger from residents after she fired popular Broward Sheriff’s Chief Scott Gooding last summer.

BC- that was perhaps the biggest wrath for Gooding’s dismissal…BUT… pick a post most any post and this was just one tip of the iceberg for all the blunders and bad actions we saw in the almost 3 year term of outgoing Town Manager Esther Colon…in this writer’s opinion…which was shared by a landslide number of voters in 2010!…

“I’m proud to be a bean counter,” Colon said at a recent town meeting. When she was promoted to town manager in 2007 after being finance director, Colon’s annual salary was $146,743.

The town did not release her current salary and Colon did not respond to a request for comment.

BC- $160 thou +…..

Her contract says she serves at the pleasure of the commission. It says if she is terminated, Colon is entitled to a year of severance pay and compensation for unused vacation and sick leave.”

BC-as Finance Director and Town Manager / 2 pensions…. and in her original contract she wanted 5 years severance …

………………………
CIC DIRECTOR BOB ROBERTS …E-MAIL …To CIC Members 4/19/10…
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:22:52 -0400
From: Bob Roberts

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

There will be a Special Meeting of the LBTS Town Commission at 5:00pm on
Tuesday, April 20th with a single agenda item: “Discussion or Action
regarding the Town Manager’s contract”.

This came about as a result of a “Roundtable” meeting last Friday
evening where Dodd introduced a Discussion Item “2c. *Discussion and or
action regarding an RFP for a new Town Manager*.” Video of this lengthy
meeting is available on the LBTS Web Site. There was discussion as to
the motive behind the item; was it to fire the Town Manager, or perhaps
to renegotiate the manager’s contract. It was finally agreed that there
should be a special Commission meeting to discuss the matter and come to
a prompt conclusion. Thus the Tuesday evening Special Meeting.

A strong show of support for our excellent Town Manager Esther Colon at
the Tuesday evening meeting could help convince Commissioners Sasser and
Vincent that they should not follow Dodd’s apparently personal vendetta
against our award winning Town Manager. If you possibly can make it,
PLEASE ATTEND.

Bob Roberts, CIC Chair
………………
BOB ROBERTS… NOTE TO CIC  …AFTER THE MARCH ELECTION …
“The March 2010 election was a different story. The opposition “Old Guard” supporters managed to adopt the same positions advocated by the CIC and the candidates it endorsed, and to convince a majority of the voters that the CIC was the cause of the dissention in LBTS. All three of the well qualified CIC endorsed candidates lost to less qualified candidates selected and endorsed by the “Unite our Town” (UOT) organization. In hindsight the CIC was not sufficiently forceful in getting the word out and encouraging the residents to vote. ”
………………..

UOT PRESIDENT BOB FLEISHMAN ….E-MAIL to UOT members ….4/!9/10
Town Meeting, Tuesday 4/20/10
Monday, April 19, 2010 6:58 PM
From:
“Bob Fleishman”
To:
[email protected]
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM
Place: Jarvis Hall

Dear Supporters:

Before the Master Planning and Steering Committee meeting at 6:30 PM, the Dais is having a Special Meeting for discussion/and or action on the Contract of Town Manager Esther Colon. This will be a very important meeting and we should be there as a group to support our Commissioners, Vice-Mayor and Mayor. The meeting is short, and will not to interfere with your dinner.

See you at 5:00 PM tomorrow afternoon.

Bob Fleishman,
Chairperson for Unite Our Town
………………………..
BOB FLEISHMAN…. NOTE TO UOT …AFTER MARCH ELECTION …
“Dear Supporters:

As the song goes, “It’s only just begun”. It is because of every last one of you, that we have truly succeeded to Unite Our Town.

Whether you contributed, whether you came and gave ideas at our meetings, whether you stood at the podium continually exercising “Freedom of Speech”, whether you held or attended Fundraisers, whether you created and sent out invitations, whether you set up tents, made calls, held signs or spread the word, whether you are our By the Sea Future newspaper, our petite Blogger or simply one who paid attention – – – – you have succeeded to catapult a truly dedicated Mayor (Roseann Minnet) and two Men (Commissioner Scot Sasser & Commissioner Christopher Vincent) into office. They’re now part of our Families and need us to continue to help them represent us, as we know they can and will.

Your Truly Humble Chairperson,
Bob Fleishman”
……………………
FORMER COMM. JIM SILVERSTONE …SENTINEL ONLINE 4/19/10 …
“Former Commissioner Jim Silverstone, who was defeated in the March 9 election, said of Colon, “She wasn’t perfect. But her strong points were incredible.”

Silverstone credited Colon for the state of the town’s finances and for not having to raise property taxes for the past two years.

“She had a better fiscal background and work ethic of any official I’ve ever seen,” Silverstone said. The town has $1.6 million debt in its parking fund but is otherwise debt free. “Our tax rate is low and our services are as good as they’ve ever been.”

But personality conflicts are something else, Silverstone said, especially after two new commissioners, Chris Vincent and Scot Sasser, were elected in March. They campaigned as allies of Mayor Roseann Minnet and Vice Mayor Stuart Dodd, and their addition altered the political composition on the dais.

“I think it’s not uncommon for a new commission to come in and want someone new,” Silverstone said. “She seems to have conflicts with some commission members and you need to have the right chemistry. At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to work together or you won’t get anything done.”

Silverstone said it would be a major advantage for the town to have Colon, a former Broward Sheriff’s Office executive, at the negotiating table as talks begin with BSO over its $3 million police services contract that expires in September 2011.”


http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/lauderdale-by-the-sea/fl-lauderdale-by-the-sea-city-manager-20100419,0,7052724.story

…………………
FORMER COMM. JIM SILVERSTONE …NOTE TO CIC ….AFTER THE MARCH ELECTION …
“All of us can take pride in the above accomplishments, as we all were involved in one way or another. It is now time to support our new commission and to stay informed. An important fact is we had almost a 40% voter turn out. The average in Broward County was only 9%. We care and it showed.”
…………………..

ONE LAST BLUNDER ON THE WAY OUT…. The Town website has the Special Meeting for tomorrow night at 5 pm…as a “Discussion” only meeting…HUH?…We hear that was discovered and fixed today…It is “Discussion /and or Action”…and that action will be to terminate Town Manager Colon….we believe…unless the Commission is presented with a resignation letter from her as they sit down on the dais  tomorrow night in Jarvis Hall …

Readers can read about the outcome following the meeting…and after the MPSC meeting that meets at 6:30 in Jarvis as well with PBS&J and possibly FDOT along with the new members of the committee…also open to the public …on Comcast Ch. 78/ online Town website … http://lbts.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

The By The Sea Future newspaper will be out this coming Friday, April 23, 2010…with more coverage of these two important meetings above … read all about it!….

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … Welcome To World Little Girl ….

April 18, 2010 by Barbara

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY!….

APRIL 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm  CHICAGO TIME…. A LITTLE GRAND- BLOGGER ARRIVED!…

Dear Readers….Much has changed in 27 years…as I watched my daughter deliver her new daughter 2 days before her own 27th birthday…Hats off to epidurals!…. It was an experience I will cherish forever…absolutely incredible…almost too much to put into words…

This little girl is a beauty, a real keeper… …with long eyelashes like her mom…along with a great set of lungs ….There was an instant connection when I held her in my arms…that confirmed to this writer…. I made the right choice to come back to Chicago to assist in her care so her mom can continue on and finish her PhD….

I am on cloud nine with her arrival and knowing that daughter and granddaughter are are both healthy …happy  and safe together tonight with my son -in-law!..

more to come….

Post Division

Here’s The Scoop … LBTS April 16th 2010 Round Table/ April 20, 2010 Special Meeting … Does Hallmark Make A Card For “Happy Termination”?…

April 18, 2010 by Barbara

APRIL 20, 2010…. THE SECOND FIDDLE CASE WILL BE CLOSED ….

“Acting Town Manger Colon stated that she was tired of sitting second fiddle to everyone. She said that either she’s the Town Manager or she’s going back to Finance.”…April 24, 2007 ….

.

Dear Readers … Does Hallmark make a card to congratulate someone on their termination?…If not they should and we should send one to Town Manager Esther Colon…After all, if this writer is correct after watching the April 16, 2010 Round Table where the Town Attorney advised the Commission they needed to make a decision to either renegotiate the Town Manager’s contract or part ways due to her contract containing “no cause” is required to terminate the contract  (although in this writer’s opinion you could pick a day that ends with “Y” and find cause)… this Commission will give Town Manager her “marching orders”…and her “2nd fiddle ” case will be closed  for good!… Any doubts on their minds on which scenario offered up by Town Atty. Trevarthen surely disintegrated with the comments and third person remarks and declarations made yet again by Colon herself who showed up unexpectedly at the last minute to join them after she had claimed prior she had a doctor’s appointment that could she could not miss…Guess she could after all…Town Manager Colon knew this item was on the Round Table when she made her remark prior due to receiving the agenda item from Vice Mayor Dodd on Mon. March 29th first thing in the morning…or whenever the IT service was fixed that day ..as it was one when the system was down… including the 18 minute first attempt at the Round Table that morning (prev. post)…

Item 2c. was the item put on to discuss an RFP for a new Town Manager by Vice Mayor Dodd… and he put it on to discuss as was the agreed upon method of  anything needing lengthy discussion per the organizational meeting by this new commission… VM Dodd started the discussion…”We as a commission have inherited this from the previous elected representatives. I also feel let down by the previous Town attorney who knew he would probably be collateral damage when the election came around.” …He said correctly that the previous commission to his term were all falling over themselves to elect Esther Colon the to the position of Town manager….going on to state …” The result is that we as a commission are faced with the problem of putting the situation in order. Any official should have a realistic contract that has performance clauses, terms and conditions of employment, review dates as well as realistic compensation for early termination. I do not feel anyone should be rewarded with a full year’s salary after only two years in the job and no-one should have a contract that does not require some level of time parameters where a newly elected commission can terminate the manager without incurring ridiculous penalties. I put this on the agenda to start the process to correct the contract mistakes from the previous commission and seek the town attorney’s help. We find ourselves with several problems as to how to proceed.”…He asked for input from the other Commissioners and stated he had 4 questions as well…Commissioner Sasser wanted to the Vice Mayor to explain his “motivation” and without missing a beat Vice Mayor Dodd repeated and said it was the lack of the proper contract, the compensation never going  out to bid and that should be normal procedure…Comm. Sasser this “onerous contract” needed to be addressed ..He went on to ask the question that has been on many peoples minds, especially this writer who has had a copy of this contract for quite some time (prev. posts)… if our current Town Attorneys had any conflict in advising the commission with any input prior to taking the job when the Town Manager was hired or since… Atty. Trevarthen replied to what the Town law firm’s role was..to represent the Town …work closely with the Town and advise the Town not the Town Manager…She said they were not employed by the Town at the time of the Town Manager’s contract and there was no conflict …This writer still is not sure if any input was done by the firm prior to …based on this response…I was also taken aback to see on my computer that later during the break the Town Manager was in what appeared to be deep discussion with the Town Atty. at the table and later learned from a resident in the hall the Town Manager was overheard speaking about the item being “harassment”…a word used first by Comm. Clottey on the item and then by the manager herself…We hear she added that she was “harassed” by this blog…Hmmm….I do feel if this is accurate …especially after the Town Atty response to Comm. Sasser the Town Atty. should have walked away of stopped the discussion with the Town Manager who had commented that she would appear and speak with her own counsel at any further  meetings after this one… The Tow Atty went on to discuss the RFP as put on by VM Dodd and said she found it unusual and went on to explain most other municipalities use the RFP process to find the companies who provide “headhunters” to assist in finding the Town Managers…(Pompano beach used a company a few years back that cost roughly $20,000 ….[prev. post]….not the $100,000 price tag thrown out by Comm. Clottey at this meeting …Ms. Trevarthen also made it clear at this point in the discussion that the commission needed to decide if it was to continue with this manager and not…to replace her or was it the contract the commission was “unhappy with” …She stated it was a valid contract …needs to be honored…and they can terminate or renegotiate it…Comm. Sasser asked more pointed questions  and Atty. Trevarthen responded that there could be changes made to a contract or if advised the firm could solicit candidates to select and search the right “fit” for the Town… Comm. Sasser covering all the bases wanted to make sure we were not in any jeopardy going down this path …Trevarthen answered if the intent was to move on…move on …and if it was contract change the manager could accept it or not…After some more back and forth with Comm. Sasser it was Comm. Vincent’s turn and he said he had the duty to review this contract as he had for all contracts …He said in his review he zoned in on the lack of a term included as is the case for most contracts …3 years seemed to be in line…and the clause for the payout…He added the Town Manager could apply again…The Atty. did not feel comfortable being “asked to speculate”..and went on to agree it is normal to have a term…and again it was not “normal” to have an RFP for finding the Town Manager…she added this contract predated the services their firm offered the Town and it would be them who would draw up the Town Manager contract if the commission goes for a new contract ….either with this Town Manager or a new one…Comm. Clottey said she was “a little uneasy” …and it was she who was the first commissioner to say “fired”…She stated you don’t put out an RFP while the person is sitting there for their position…(Really?..Can you say Scott Gooding/Alex Stevenson etc…)…Clottey spoke of her experience with hired executives and then through out her gloom and doom scenarios about the cost being $100,000 for the headhunter ..(may be some in that price range…but certainly  not applicable for this search)….She then went on to say this was an attempt to try and get Colon to resign…and that is could be pursued by the Town Manager as “harassment”…and the Town could incur legal fees if there was a judgment to the Town…Whoa…Give me a break…Discussion is not harassment…the Town Atty. read the portion of the Town Manager’s contract that states no cause required and what she is entitled to…If fired she gets one years severance..2 pensions…and left over compensation for accrued unused sick/vacation time as Town Manager and Finance Director…Clottey clueless as ever asked who paid the legal fees if the manager sued…The Town Atty. said the Town could be on the hook for them if the Town Manager was successful…But how could she be?… Her contract as read said the commission could terminate for no cause!… It is up to this Town Manager what she wants on her resume …that she was terminated or that she resigned…both come with a “cost”…to her…as well as to the Town…But this was the contract she wanted…and coveted for the past almost 3 years (..it was not the first contract she wanted though…more on that below)…. Comm. Sasser tried to tie it all together once again with repeating the directions available to the commission to go forward…The Mayor said this was not personal …it was an inherited contract …the commission has a fiduciary responsibility…and a decision to make…Vice Mayor Dodd hot down Comm. Clottey and informed her that it was his opinion that Town Manager could only sue if her contract was reneged on…that this item was put on to be in the sunshine and be transparent…He asked the Town Atty. if the contract was “watertight”…in the background the Town Manager could be heard to say “Jesus”…The Atty. still answered what was seen in most contracts and spoke of cause and performance clauses not in this one and again said it was a contract accepted by 5 commissioners and the Town Manager …if asked though and desired the Town law firm would go “down that path” and tear it apart and review it…On an informational level Trevarthen said there was “no clear easy way to not pay”…the formal analysis was to respect the contract…In other words if you terminate Colon you have to pay the severance…period!…Comm. Vincent stated the contract did not contain any renegotiation clause …Trevarthen said “every contract can always be renegotiated regardless of a “pre-arranged date”.. It’s a “principal of law”..Comm. Vincent again asked about not having a term and strangely in this writer’s opinion Atty. Trevarthen stated that a no term contract could give you more “flexibility” than a 3 year term…HUH?…If the clause is still contained that the manager serves at the “pleasure of the commission”…why would that make it less flexible?…Hmmmm….The Mayor spoke up about getting consensus of how the commission wanted to move forward…renegotiate…terminate or status quo…The Mayor followed up with a  call a special meeting after the Atty. said the consensus seemed to be the desire to move on…The Town Manager was asked if she had any comment and this was when she said she would do so when there was a regular meeting through legal counsel…For some reason afterward …the Town Manger felt the need to thank Comms. Clottey, Sasser and Vincent before throwing out the “harassment at best” statement and saying this was “disrespectful”!…She said she was “put on the spot” …”and it’s not the first time”…To this writer she threw down the gauntlet that was not only take by many as a some sort of legal threat..but to go forward and make many statements…accusations and attempts to bait the commission…and especially Vice Mayor Dodd into firing her at this Round Table…Something many watching inside and outside the hall were surely wanting as well!…This new  commission though is not made up of the “hot headed” ilk she was used to in the previous 4 years…and they took the advice of Town counsel…to move it on to the proper forum …a special meeting called for Tuesday April 20, 2010 in Jarvis Hall to make that call!…Clottey though made an attempt to fan the fires (any CIC left to comply?)…reiterating the Town Manager being fired will cost us…Yep…thanks in big part to the Town Manager and the CIC backed former commissioners…Clottey was again called out…this time by the Mayor and Clottey …ever the “eggshell walker” backed down to agree with the Mayor it was not “personal”…and all “understood that”….

Throughout the meeting as the commission moved on to the other items contained in the 3 page agenda the Town Manager mightily tried to throw stones to get a rise out of  our elected officials…as she spoke of herself in the 3rd person stating she will not go to scanning memos as long as she is in charge…unsuccessfully throwing the Town Atty. under the bus by stating the Town Attys had indeed reviewed the El Mar Drive contract with Ocampo (asked about by Comm. Sasser)…only to have Atty. Trevarthen throw it back at her in saying there was no requirement of atty. review and a look at the Ocampo contract ..(prev. post)…signed by Asst. Olinzock (how many other questionable contracts are signed by the Asst. TM?)…does not contain the firm’s initials or signature…OOPS!… Town Manager blew it again on the CCNA when that too was put back in the Town Atty’s lap to look into by VM Dodd…(prev. post)…and again when the Town Manager instead of following the direction of the majority of the commission to honor the budgeted funds allotted and voted on to the Chamber …She was double “hammered” by Comm. Vincent who was relentless in his questioning her sudden lack of “recall” on a contract the year prior ..(Hmmmm…perhaps she wanted a redo on her thanking him earlier?)…and by the Mayor who called it like it was on the deplorable way the Manager dealt unilaterally with  the Chamber over the past few years!…Whiplash for sure!…

Summing it all up….after the meeting on the 16th…there can be no doubt that this Town Manager …unless she resigns prior to the meeting or before the commissioner motion and vote…will be terminated… again any hesitation…had to be wiped away from her most recent antics at the Round Table meeting itself…Esther Colon again reiterated she was not going to change and she was not going to do anything being asked for by this new commission to accommodate them in keeping their promises to the overwhelming number of voters who brought them to this dais on March 9th, 2010!… It is a given that with no such resignation…Town Manager Esther Colon will be terminated on April 20, 2010 and will leave service of the the Town of LBTS with that on her resume…but with $$$$ in her pocketbook that offer her instant retirement…

It is this writer’s opinion that at the meeting on April 20, 2010…due to the time constraints of the MPSC coming to the hall at 6:30 with the PBS&J/FDOT said to be in attendance and the new committee meeting for the first time…there should be no public comment…no Town Manager comment…and no cause given for her termination…It is not required as stated by the contract and through the Town Atty’s advice…. Her termination should be effective immediately…and unless her “loyal” Asst. JohnO follows her…(despite the fact that as an “at will” employee and as such he receives no such “golden egg” upon his departure)…the commission will need to decide if they put him in charge or find an interim while the search goes forth for a new Town Manager with a transparent contract…with a salary commensurate with a town this size… and an employee who will move the Town forth under the direction of this new commission under the charter of a commission-manager form of government… It will also tell the taxpayers and the commission once and for all if Town Manager Colon’s “hires” for department head positions were correct or substandard…and perhaps who among them were loyalists…or keeping a record for just this day of termination!…

Last but not least, to all those (whomever they will be?)..who might want to step up to the podium to decry this Town Manger’s contract and her being one of many managers who have a year severance in their contract…This writer has obtained the first contract then-Finance Director-Acting Town Manager Esther Colon wanted …and it was for a 5 year severance!….That contract also included in it a term…and the requirement that Colon belong to the ICMA … http://icma.org/main/sc.asp?t=0 ….It is said the previous Town Atty. said no way to the 5 year severance being asked for……and the contract appears to have been returned to Colon for a more acceptable “in-line” contract to be drawn up…Somehow though…even though she was supposed to contact and give a “heads-up” to that sitting commission…(according to the comments contained on the contract pages)…a few former commissioners say she did not…They are still adamant that they never saw either contract prior to voting her in to the position on May 22, 2007 on purely the say- so that the content included was the same as Baldwin’s agreement ….coming from the Town Manager herself on the dais…Also, there is nothing in the first on that says to take out the ICMA requirement of the contract!… So any sympathy should be held in check for sure… now that this cat is out of the bag…

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … She’s In No Rush ….

April 18, 2010 by Barbara

WATCHING AND WAITING …. WAITING …WAITING ….

Dear Readers … Baby watch has become baby watch and wait… wait …wait…The BCbythesea granddaughter is in no rush…and we are approaching 36 hours… Quick return home from hospital and back in a matter of hours to see just when this youngin’ wants to enter this world …and claim what day as hers!…

Baby’s good…Mom is really tired…and Nana is running on adrenaline fumes…Dad and Poppa are trying to be sympathetic and empathetic ….. although it was cruel and unusual punishment to have “Father of the Bride part 2” on the TV with both leading ladies playing pregnant women going into labor…getting to the hospital..with contractions 5 minutes apart…and a few serious dramatic pushes before their babies are in their arms eyes wide open and Gerber baby fresh!…Ah, if only real life was like “reel” life!….

So if time allows… before the call to rush back…. more to come on last Fri/next Tues…and the Town Manager position…etc… or a further delay while this writer’s priorities are in place…

check back soon ……

Post Division
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