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Here’s The Scoop … “Mrs.” Colon …. Represented ….

LADY JUSTICE ….NO SLANT ALLOWED …..

Dear Readers ….in recent days I have been asked about the letter from Former Town Manager Esther Colon via her attorney to our Int. Town Manager…which is a public record …and to further explain my take on it …after making a few comments in a prev. post (Scene & Heard ..scoops cat.)… I have seen the letter and will post excerpts as well as comments based on my opinion and my research over the past 2 1/2 years…

As previously posted (scoops cat.- check it to compare points made) the Interim Town Manager sent a letter to Ms. Colon on May 28, 2010 after a 4 week inquiry into Colon’s  payout directed by the full Commission as a result of the disturbing unilateral action taken by Colon’s former Asst. TM John Olinzock in making that huge payout while disregarding ongoing attempts from both the Town Attys. and the full Commission to stop and let the TAttys. verify the payments were correct… After Int. TM Hoffmann along with a hired consultant and the Town Attys. concurred there was a $69,308 overpayment per the agreement made with Colon… In the letter Int. TM Hoffmann spelled out the areas of the overpayments …and statements made from former Colon “galpal” HR/RISK Mgr Kathy O’Brien who repeatedly admitted she either mistakenly erred (? ) or did not comprehend either the Commission’s direction …and/or the Employment agreement and/or Personnel Policy Manual when calculating Ms. Colon’s final payout…. (per the Report made by Int. TM Hoffman-prev. post)….What was not included in the letter or the presentation was if Ms. Colon had any input into her own benefits and compensation tally before she was dismissed on April 20, 2010 no longer “serving at the pleasure of the Commission” … The former TM was given until June 7, 2010 at 5 pm to respond …We found out on June 8, 2010 (prev. post -scoops/LBTS Agendas/Meetings cats.) Colon had an attorney contact the Town late on Friday June 4th…and a response came in the form a letter to Int. TM Hoffmann on June 8th… along with numerous public records requests for items we are being told have nothing to do with the overpayments ….

The letter from the firm stated in the first paragraph the firm “is privileged to represent Mrs. Esther Colon” and that they are “in receipt of the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s (“Town”) letter of May 28,2010, directed to Mrs. Colon and requesting return of certain amounts paid to Mrs. Colon as part of her contract severance.”…

BC- “Mrs.”Colon…rather strange to refer to a professional woman as “Mrs.” … in this writer’s opinion…

“We are continuing to perform our due diligence needed to respond to the issues raised in the letter.”..They went on to note the time it took the Town (1 mo.) to complete the report …reviewing records and backup etc…and stated “Neither we, nor our client, have yet accessed all records and backup material, and and we have not yet conducted any interviews of the Town’s employees, consultants or elected officials in this matter.”…They asked for more time …..The Town Atty. stated this on the dais June 8th….They asked to review the records at “your first opportunity.”…

BC- Pretty funny stuff …when you figure the former TM had years to review records…and speak to her employees up to April 20, 2010… We heard some “anonymous” requests for Public Records were coming in leading up to the June 7th date…with it being assumed they were coming from the former TM herself…especially when the “anonymous” requester, it is said, instructed where a certain item could be found in the TM’s Exec. Asst.’s desk drawer!……Upon hearing PRRs were being made anonymously…this writer checked it out and sure enough PRRs can be asked for anonymously..who knew?…

The letter went on…”Although we have not reached any final conclusion, we believe it would benefit the Town to hear some of out preliminary thoughts. The following paragraphs summarize some of the issues based on the information contained in your May 20, 2009 [sic] report payments to Mrs. Colon (hereafter the “Report”)

BC- we can only surmise that the letter written by Colon’s leftover handpicked staff made an error in the year 2009 ……”Sic is a Latin word meaning “thus”, “so”, “as such”, or “in such a manner”. It is used when writing quoted material to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation or meaning in the quote has been reproduced verbatim from the original and is not a transcription error. It is normally placed within the quoted material, in square brackets and often italicized—[sic]. Alternatively it can appear after the quote in parentheses (round brackets)—(sic).”

“As you are aware, Mrs Colon was an exemplary employee of the Town for nearly ten years where she served as Director of Finance and thereafter assumed the permanent role of Town Manager in May of 2007. Mrs. Colon served the Commission and the citizens of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea with distinction and honor. During her tenure as Director of Finance and as Town Manager, including several stints as Interim Town Manager, she was never disciplined or reprimanded. In March 2009, prior to her dismissal in April 2010, Mrs. Colon was given a unanimous vote of confidence by the Commission. In October of 2009, Mrs. Colon was evaluated and received a meets or exceeds expectation from all responding Commissions, save one.”

BC- Where to begin.. Readers..any red flags seen with “As you are aware”?…Hmmm. “As you will recall” comes to mind?… Exemplary in who’s opinion?…Not in the writer’s or approx. 65%of the LBTS voters who knew a vote for the slate of Mayor Minnet/Scot Sasser and Chris Vincent would be  a vote to make a change in the Town’s administration …”Mrs.” Colon knew that as well and again, in this writer’s opinion, did everything she could to help the opposing candidates running to keep her in her position …The reason there were no votes to reprimand or discipline, in my opinion were because of the supportive CIC -majority on the Commission…The March 2009 “unanimous vote of confidence”..(prev. post LBTS Agendas/Meetings cat.) was a “sham” after an orchestrated CIC “parade” of speakers …who towed the “party” line on “Mrs.” Colon …This writer hopes this serves as a reminder to all new and returning Comms. every vote counts …and they must be on the record with their true votes or it could come back to bite them … The Oct. 2009 Performance Review was also a “sham” (prev. posts-scoops & LBTS Agenda/Meetings cat.) that the former TM fought against despite it being in her Employment Agreement… and the “save one” should be “save two”…both Mayor Minnet and then-Comm Dodd did not give her good marks…

“As you are aware, the Commission failed to state a performance-based reason for Mrs. Colon’s termination. Indeed, the termination was unilateral, and without cause. To an objective observer, the timing and circumstances are suspicious and suggest the termination was retaliatory. Therefore, the Town has an interest in permitting our client immediate access to all its notes, public records and documents, and allowing us to conduct interviews with its attorney, elected officials and current and former Town staff, such as a full and fair investigation of this matter is performed. It is with regret that Mrs. Colon has found it necessary to retain legal counsel. Unfortunately, the Town’s actions have left her with no alternative.”

BC- The Town according to Colon’s contract and Colon herself as she stated on the dais throughout the contentious past 2 years did not need to have cause…(prev. posts) ….no longer “serving at the pleasure of the Commission” was enough … under the former TM Employment Agreement 5.1 “Unilateral termination shall be in writing following a vote by the Town Commission and need not reflect performance related reasons.”… As far as being “suspect”… “retaliatory”…see above comments …it was a “given” with the vote of the people… Just as it has been in many other such elections…including the prior one in 2008 of her supporters who briefly had the majority…The only difference her predecessors resigned before they could be terminated….(prev. posts)…

The letter went on to describe the “abbreviated Minutes” of the April 20, 2010 Special Meeting of the Town Commission.”…

BC- also amusing when you go back to see the complaints concerning the Town’s minutes and “Mrs.” Colon’s defense of the Town Clerk and non-action in improving the minutes (much improved after her termination-prev. posts)…

It states “Two and one-half minutes into the Special Meeting, a motion was made to terminate Mrs. Colon. Her termination followed with virtually no discussion.”

BC- The Atty.makes no mention of the Round Table discussion that preceded the Special Meeting on April 16, 2010 (prev. post)… This writer can only surmise the Comm. was advised to not speak in length on the dais…as any discussion could surely be used in any litigation arising… such as this if it goes that route…

The paragraph went on to state the lack of backup!…The agenda package did not her contract, employment record, staff reports “which would enable our client, or any interested member of the public, to discern what was being proposed as action in connection with the item.”

BC- Oh my!….Who was responsible for the backup?…The former TM and her staff!… Lack of backup…welcome to LBTS under “Mrs.” Colon!…  The contract was provided in previous backup including online…This “Interested member of the public ” had to wait and wait for the”Mrs.”  Colon’s contract to see if there was a Performance Review (and from there found the big differences in the Colon agreement vs. the Baldwin one…beyond the “10 weeks unpaid leave”….(prev. posts)… So, the concern for “any interested member of the public”  on her last day employed by the Town…strikes this writer as disingenuous or uninformed …..at best…. By the way….The TM Contract was provided to the Comm. via a memo on April 19, 2010 “Attached is the Town Manager’s Contract as requested. Thank you. Town Clerk June White”…

“The April 20, 2010 Minutes reflect the termination was effected in accordance with the Agreement. Specifically, at the April 20, 2010 Commission Special Meeting, Mrs. Colon asked for confirmation, which was received from the Town Attorney, that the termination was made pursuant to Section 5 and all of its sub-sections of the agreement.”

BC- As previously posted Sec. 5.0 is the “Rights and Obligations Upon Unilateral Termination by Town” … It includes the subsections that cover 5.1.1-“365 days of severance pay, less customary withholding+/ 5.1.2 -“reimbursement for as-yet unreimbursed expenses pursuant to this contract/ 5.1.3- “AN amount for all accrued and unused vacation leave”/5.1.4- “An amount for accrued and unused sick leave/5.1.5-“AN amount for compensatory time accrued prior to appointment as Town Manager.”..

It continues .. stating after Colon was terminated HR/Risk Mgr Kathy O’Brien completed the payroll/ status change notice form ..it included the “one year- salary”/537.401 hrs OF accrued vacation time/729.35 hrs OF accrued sick leave/377.53 hrs. FOR compensatory time “per attached contract 5.0″…”The Payroll/Status Change Notice was approved and signed by John Olinzock, Interim Town Manager.Mrs. Colon’s earning statement from the Town’s payroll contractor shows thew same vacation time, sick time and compensation time reflected on the Payroll/Status Change Notice. These time figures were accrued and available to the Town and its counsel for the entire three years of Mrs. Colon’s tenure.”

BC- The question is not that the pay amount sent out by Olinzock/O’Brien matched the Town’s payroll contractor…The question was if the amount sent out by the O’s (Olinzock/O’Brien) was too much according to the agreement… What is still to be debated is the 5.0 “meaning of AN”…As far as it being available to counsel and and the Town for the last 3 years…in this writer’s opinion…”yeah, right!”… Of course…the “Town” was  Mrs. Colon…who would have no need to have access now ..and the Town counsel…was Mrs. Colon’s hand -picked Town counsel…who, again in my opinion would never ever think to look into her compensation or leave while she was still at the helm!…

The next paragraph disputes the Town’s May 28,2010 letter “that certain sums for deferred compensation, vacation leave and sick leave were paid “in error”‘ ….”We submit that the proposed termination of a Town Manager, and the amounts paid to a Manager, are sufficiently important to a Town that every effort to “get it right” would occur prior to payment being made.”

BC- EXACTLY…and that was what was being asked of JohnO/KathyO prior to the payment going out…thus the inquiry!…

“Based only on the information we have to date, the Town’s inquiry was incomplete and its conclusions unsupportable. The Town staff and the Interim Town Manager properly followed the direction of the Commission to pay Mrs. Colon under the terms of the Agreement, Section 5. What is now being described as error is a post-hoc, revisionist characterization stemming from a political unwillingness to honor the terms of the Agreement. The Commission, at the behest of one or more of its members, has directed an investigation, the object being to justify an attempt to recoup as much of the rightful contract amount as possible. We believe the motive is improper and the means flawed. The resulting Report of May 20, 2009 [sic] is conclusory and marred with unsupported assumptions. The equivocation present throughout the Report is indicative of a strained interpretation necessary to reach its predetermined conclusions. “…

BC- WOW!…All 5 members of the Commission directed the Int. TM to make sure the unilateral and uncharacteristically fast disbursement of the payout by Int. TM Olinzock checked out…After an independent consultant…an independent Int. TM and the  Town Atty’s chosen by Colon herself in 2008 determined there was indeed overpayments due to the contract and/or the Personnel Policy Manual on the recommendation of these independent people directed them to seek reimbursement of the funds… ALL 5…including Colon supporter Comm. Clottey…

The letter went on to deal with each item of compensation…

Vacation Leave- They state they did an initial review of the Minutes of the Regular Commission Meetings in April 24, 2007 and May 22, 2007 (prev. posts)…and they use what is stated within on pg. 26 under item G. Disc.and/or action regarding to proceed further on the issue of Town Manager Baldwin’s resignation…It states “Acting Town Manager Colon that she is willing to take the position with the same contract that Robert Baldwin had WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT SHE WILL NOT WORK ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS.”… After that “Mayor Parker moved, seconded by Commissioner Clark, to appoint Esther Colon as Town Manager with the same contract as Robert Baldwin WITH ONE EXCEPTION.”…after that there was a problem with who made what motion and the title of “permanent Town Manager “…which then Town Atty. Cherof stated “there is no such position as permanent Town Manager, only Town Manager ” to then Com. McIntee who made the ridiculous motion…followed by…”EVERYONE WITHDREW THEIR MOTION”…”Commissioner Silverstone motioned , seconded by Vice Mayor Yanni, to appoint Esther Colon as Town Manager starting immediately.”…

BC-The motion did not include the same as Baldwin inclusion…with one exception…In fact the as previously posted “Mrs.” Colon went on to put forth a contract that was very different than Baldwin’s with a 5 year severance …thus even her statement of the one exception falls to the wayside…

At the May 22,2007 Comm. meeting (prev. posts)…the approval was under the Consent Agenda on pg. 19 and the minutes stated “Commissioner Silverstone stated that Esther  took over Robert Baldwin’s old contract, and he was given 10 weeks off a year that was supposed to be unpaid. Town Manager Colon indicated that her contract does not include the 10 weeks. “…more discussion arose over Baldwin’s unpaid leave and Esther not taking it  …”Commissioner McIntee said that Town Manager Colon took the 10 weeks out of the contract without anyone asking her to do it. …She he stated that gave the Commission a very nice gesture without asking for it. She said that she removed other things as well, on her own.”…Commissioner Clark motioned, seconded by Vice Mayor Yanni, to approve the contract. The motion passed 5-0″…

The letter states the pronouncement by McIntee in above May 22, 2007 Minutes as well, using it in the following statement … “Such action was selfless and recognized to inure only to the Taxpayers.”

BC- How so?…When the Taxpayers were left in the dark about the one year severance she added in after her initial request for 5 years severance was turned down by former TAtty. Cherof (prev. post)…

Continuing on..the letter states that therefore using the line from April 24, 2007 “Commissioner Clark, to appoint Esther Colon as Town Manager with the same contract as Robert Baldwin WITH ONE EXCEPTION.” which again was not the motion that was voted on…the one without the “same contract as Robert Baldwin” by Comm. Silverstone…. that Colon gets the 20 days of vacation leave as Baldwin had….They went on to say the payout of 20 vacation days per year “were not hidden or unknown, but expressly agreed. Yet it is nowhere in the report. If necessary, persuasive witness testimony will be secured to support to proposition that these benefits were accurately accrued.”

BC- Again, no way would anyone be getting any info on that while Colon was in charge…in my opinion… Would that testimony be from former Comms. Clark and Yanni?… That would be interesting due to the fact these two former Comms. are adamant they never saw the contract before voting assuming it was the same as Baldwin without the 10 weeks only to be blown away it included a one year severance payout… Prev. posts show that the Town has no way to prove it was in the backup…no dated and stamped copy per Public Records Requests made …and there is precedence with backup not being presented to the Comm. by Colon such as the Audit extension for $200,000+ found and posted by this writer …

The next paragraph deals with the vacation/sick leave as granted to “managerial, non-union employees, without cap”….The Town Attys./ Int. TM /Consultant state there are there is no separate benefits for managerial, non-union employees “…declaring that Colon falls into the non-managerial benefits criteria…Colon and her Attys. disagree and state that because the Commission according to a memo from former TM Baldwin dated Dec 28, 2001 “made changes to by policy to the Manager’s pay and benefits” it applies also to Mrs. Colon…

BC- This is the first point (10 or 20 days vacation leave) that this writer finds the court ( if it gets there) will have to look deeper into..Did the policy pertain to Town Managers going forward or just Bob Baldwin…There is no backup to the memo dated Dec. 28, 2001 …This writer made a PRR after the Int. TM’s Report to see that policy change due to the online archived minutes not going that far back…and will post upon receipt….

The letter continues by making reference to the Phineas E. Horton agreement (prev. post) in 1994 that was the contract Baldwin was to take over when he replaced the terminated Mr. Horton.. The letter states “Mr Horton would accrue vacation land sick leave “at the same rate as other general employees”…. Instead, the Agreement (Colon’s) states different criteria applicable to managers “without cap”.”

BC- The Horton contract has 2 references ..under Sec. 4  pg. 2 “Termination and Severance Pay”….”In the event Employee is terminated by the Commission before expiration of the aforesaid term of employment and during such time 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 also be compensated for ALL earned sick leave, vacation, holiday, compensatory time, and other accrued benefits to date. ” The operative word is “ALL”.. not “AN”…as in Colon’s 2007 agreement (see above)… On pg 4 Sec. 14 “Vacation, Sick, and Military Leave”.. “As an inducement to Employee to become Town Manager, Employee shall be credited with fifteen(15) days vacation leave and ten (10) days of sick leave. Therefore, Employee shall accrue and have credited to his/her personal account , vacation and sick leave a the same rate as other general employees of the Employer.”… The Personnel Policy Manual spells out the days of vacation leave (prev. post) which is tied into length of employment…. One more point …the minutes from the meeting to hire Baldwin Aug 23,1995 “Vice-Mayor Parker moved to ask the Town Attorney to offer the position of Town Manager on an interim basis to Mr Baldwin under the same terms and condition that Horton was receiving.”..(prev. post)…This was verified by Baldwin in 2 memos (2001 + 2006 prev. posts) …putting him under the same Personnel Policy Manual criteria…until those policy changes were made…

Colon’s agreement under 10.1 states “Except as provided herein, TOWN MANAGER shall receive the same vacation, holiday, sick leave, dental, health, disability, hospitalization and life insurance benefits as granted to other managerial non-union employees of the Town, without cap”… 10.2 and 10.3 also state “managerial non-union employees of the Town”…again the court would have to see the policy made for Baldwin and see if it applies to Colon… The other question that needs answers …why would the former TAtty. allow the verbage managerial- non union employees if it did not exist as Colon’s attorneys represent?…The former TAtty. approve the Agreement as to form only…but he was involved in the change of format as well as changes from the 5 yr to a 1yr severance etc… He made no attempt to spell out the differences in the Agreement of colon May 22, 2007 to the Commission…a grave disservice to the Town, in my opinion… This subject of managerial vs non-managerial…and “without cap” which the former Town Atty. changed before the May 22, 2007  per a memo from Colon to him on May 17, 2007 pointing out “I thought we agreed that the sentence would end after word termination because my payout is uncapped as noted on 10.1. I do not want to shorten any sentence(s) without your approval.” further shows that… (prev post)…

Sick Leave-The Attys. for Colon also contend that the Town “again relies upon the assumption that the non-managerial union’s employee Manual is applicable in imposing a 480 hour cap on leave time prior to Mrs. Colon’s assuming  the Town Manger position”…It sticks to the 10.1 “without cap” for accrued benefits … It states “there is no attempt to distinguish prior accrued leave time. In fact the agreement in Paragraph 10.3 recognizes just  the opposite.”……10.3 states Colon  “shall be credited with ten (10) sick leave days added to her bank of sick leave upon commencement of employment”… Colon’s counsel states the Town knew what Colon’s bank of sick leave was and added to it…

BC-The differing view comes with the interpreting what follows “Thereafter he 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 on termination… It depends on whether there is two policies in effect one for managerial employees per the policy in the memo from Baldwin in 2001 ..and even if there is one does it go beyond Baldwin’s employment….Does it only cover the time the employee is a Town Manager…leaving time employed in a prior position…such as a Finance Director (unique to Colon – predecessors Horton/Baldwin came in a Town Managers) … to fall under the Personnel Policy Manual?…

The next paragraph deals with 5.1.4 …the unilateral termination and the accrued and unused sick leave. stating  the 729.35 hours paid to Colon which they contend is “accurate, accrued, unused sick leave. “The Agreement does not state that is is subject to any policy manual and specifically acknowledges that accrued sick leave will be paid.” ….They go on to state …”to impose the 25 percent payout into the agreement wholly without basis and inconsistent with its practice and prior treatment of prior Town Managers who received payout for sick leave without reduction. The Reports attempts to create an ambiguity by inserting an unstated limitation that is contradicted by the Agreement and prior course of conduct.”

BC- Again, Mrs. Colon was the only Town Manger of he 3 who was employed as a non-managerial employee …and the crux of the matter will be interpreting if she could lump all her years (7) under managerial “without cap”….

What follows is Colon’s counsel’s big slam at using the Personnel Policy Manual at all…”It is curious that the Town has chosen to selectively impose certain obligations from its 20 year old Policy Manual, which is not referenced anywhere in the agreement.”

BC- It was my understanding the “rules and regulations” were one and the same with the Personnel Policy Manual when this writer inquired…Managerial employees fell under the same criteria as non-managerial employees…With the response from Colon’s Attys. …its imperative to see the yet to be received policy changes made for Baldwin to see which it is…. one and the same…as I was told ….or a separate “rules and regulations for managerial employees …

It continued…”No other provisions of the Policy manual have been deemed applicable to Mrs. Colon. For instance, the provisions dealing with probationary periods, wage and hour, disciplinary action, grievance, and appeal procedures do not apply to her status as Town Manager as a contract employee; yet one month after her termination, the Town has decided certain limitations in the manual which favor the Town should govern, notwithstanding Mrs. Colon’s Agreement and her distinct category as Manager. If the Town had intended to apply provisions of the Policy Manual, it could have said so.However, if that could not be the intention as the Policy Manual was in existence at the time of the Agreement, and Mrs. colon’s free-standing Agreement expressly references the accrual of a different category of benefits”

BC- This writer still reads the Town’s opinion as there being a distinction…between when Colon was the Finance Director and that portion of her compensation/benefits  would then fall under the Policy Manual caps and percentages …..

On the Deferred Compensation …the Colon “camp” contends the Town is hanging its hat on “severance” meaning “salary”…They contend that is incorrect because “severance” is used in Sec.5-1 whereas “salary” is used elsewhere …They use Black’s Law Dictionary to backup their contention and state “As you are aware, even if ambiguous, any ambiguity will be interpreted against the Town as the drafter of the Agreement.”

They really go off the deep end, in this writer’s opinion, in the second to last paragraph…

“Apparently, for political expedience, Mrs. Colon’s contract terms have been deemed unacceptable by one or more commissioners. This dispute has been initiated at the expense of Mrs. colon’s reputation. There can be little doubt that the Town’s undue reaction to paying Mrs. Colon’s severance has falsely imputed criminal activity on her part. No consideration was given to the fact that all the information regarding Mrs. Colon’s Agreement and benefits were readily available and in possession of the Town for the entirety of the three years of the Mrs. Colon’s tenure. The Town is charged with the knowledge of the provisions of the Contract and its records and cannot support error based on ignorance and an uninformed stack of assumptions. To a professional manager accusation of wrongful conduct is per se defamatory. Mrs Colon has been painted as a nefarious actor engaged in some conspiracy to run off with public funds when, in fact, none of the events leading to this Town-created controversy were in control of Mrs. Colon. She accepted the severance approved after her termination as accurately reflected on all the Town’s records. Now after issuance of a Report glaring in its omissions and incorrect in it’s conclusions. Mrs. colon is called to respond as if she acted improperly. Mrs. Colon has suffered substantial damage to her person and her career as a direct result of participation and incident to integral part of her job duties with the Town. Mrs Colon performed her duties professionally and appropriately, yet has been targeted in her professional and personal life. The Town has engaged in an intentional and reckless campaign to harm Mrs. Colon and destroy her career, knowing that such behavior would result in harm. The Town cannot undue all the harm caused, but it can limit its exposure by ceasing irresponsible statements.”

“Now that you have our preliminary thoughts, we hope that the Town will abandon its unjustified aggression. We would be willing to discuss with the appropriate town representatives any issue raised in the Report or this response, work toward a mutually-acceptable resolution to avoid further, unnecessary expense. Please advise when we can expect to review the backup used to support the Report and conduct interviews with the relevant personnel and commissioners.”

BC- What is left to say… This writer will never understand this former Town Manager … A look at the previously posted letter from the Int. TM (please re-read it) shows nothing that should produce some of the inflammatory responses in this lengthy response letter…in my opinion….The end of the former Town Manager’s term as Town Manager is reflective of the beginning of the former Town Manager’s term… wrought with questions and much needed answers to what the contract actually contains…We know it was not the same as Bob Baldwin’s…We know it contained a one-year severance … when his did not…..We know she was entitled to benefits as a Town Manager… as was Baldwin…We do not know if her 7 years as Finance Director morphed into Town Manager benefits as it appears her “camp” is asserting while then Town’s “camp” disagrees with…We know there was a change in policy for benefits for Bob Baldwin per a Dec. 28, 2001 memo from Baldwin …but did that change include future Managers or just Baldwin….and where is it …..Is it the “Rules and Regulations for other managerial employees of the TOWN”?…. We know there were no personal attacks and no racism aimed at Colon on and off the dais …We know the Town Comm./Town Attys. tried to make sure the payout was correct prior to payout….and we also know there was no time frame or lump sum payment included in the Colon Employment Agreement that would have prevented the Town from waiting and/or structuring the payout in increments…just a loyal obstinate side-kick to the former Town Manager …whose actions precipitated the month delay in getting answers after the fact and the necessity of the letter concerning overpayments found in the Town’s opinion … We know the former Town Manager is still confusing negative and vocal opinions from non-supportive citizens allowed freedom of speech concerning public figures such as Town Managers with Commission statements made during this situation… in this writer’s opinion…

In the end…it all could have played out so differently…If only the former Town Atty. and the former Town Manager spelled out the Employment Agreement on May 22, 2007…and if all 5 former Commissioners could positively state they had the contract in front of them when they voted …. because as stated before…the outcome of the 5-0 vote would have been the same … if all was on the up and up ….and transparent to the taxpayers….in this writer’s opinion…

This June 8th response letter from Colon’s “camp” …in my opinion, should have contained only the salient points of disagreement concerning the Employment Agreement and the last paragraph without the all too familiar charges and rants we have long heard every time we questioned the former Town Manager’s actions coming from her, her hand-picked loyal staff and her supporters over the last 2+ years…

more to come…..

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