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Here’s The Scoop … No More Wool To Pull … Part 3 …

SHAVING AWAY THE LAYERS OF WOOL …. FROM 2007….

WHILE FORMER MANAGER COLON GOT 4 YEARS LESS SEVERANCE THAN SHE WANTED…

SHE DID GET  VACATION/SICK LEAVE WITHOUT CAPS WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HER FRIENDS…

Dear Readers … The 1988 LBTS Personnel Policy Manual is now officially down off the shelf and dusted off …It has been distributed to the Commissioners and hopefully the Interim Town Manager has in her possession the Town Clerk’s copy that it is said contains all of the employees signatures stating they read, understand and will abide by the manual …Previously posted were the comments made at the termination of Interim TM Olinzock /hiring of Int. TM Hoffman by Town Atty. Schneider in response to Comm. Sasser about the policy manual…Mr. Schneider answered  they had found it and it was from 1988 …with a Resolution made in 1991..No updating could be located …and no information on the adherence to it was known…(we hear it was adhered to for some managerial/ full-time employees and not others)…It contained a “cap” for Vacation accrued and unused leave hours of 240 hrs and a cap of 480 hrs. for unused and accrued sick leave with 25% of the hours”…

Many think that the Town Manager was paid too much in her payout …..BUT…. it just may be that for the Former Town Manager those rules and regulations spelled out in the Personnel Policy Manual may not actually apply….. thanks to a little help from her friends …. prior to her  May 22, 2007 Employment Agreement…

The 1988 Personnel Policy Manual (aka rules and regulations) spells out the leave in Section 1 on page 13 ..

“1.1 Annual Leave

Every employee in the Town service holding a permanent status position and having occupied such position for a period of 12 consecutive calendar months shall be allowed annual vacation leave with pay. Such annual leave shall be granted in the manner indicated below.”

Years of Full-Time Service /Leave Days Earned Per Year

1-10/10

11-15/15

16+/20

“Note: These records may appropriately be kept by the Town Clerk, Personnel Director, or other personnel as designated.”

“Up to 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave may be carried forward into the next year. Leave earned in excess of 30 day must be taken by December 31st of the year in which it is earned.”

“Any employee shall be permitted to forgo not more than 50% of his vacation and receive pay in lieu thereof. An employee who is separated from the Town payroll, for any reason, before receiving all of the vacation for which he/she has become eligible prior to the time of his/her employment termination, shall receive, at the time of his/her termination, pay for that portion of his/her vacation due but not received.”

Page 17 Section 1

“1.5- Sick Leave

I. Purpose

It is the policy of The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea to provide reasonable time off with pay, up to the amount of unused sick leave earnings, to employees who are unable to work due to personnel illness or injury. Sick leave with pay is not a right which an employee may demand,  but a privilege granted by the Town.

Rate Of Earnings

All permanent full-time employees shall earn credit for paid sick leave at the rate of one day paid leave per month of continuous service. Beginning the first month of employment as a permanent probationary employee, each employee shall earn sick leave at the rate of eight (8) hours for each month of service. Employees placed on or before the fifteenth of the month will accrue eight (8) eight (8) hours for that month. Employees placed on the payroll after the fifteenth of the month will accrue four (4) hours of sick leave for that month.”

“Maximum Accumulation

This maximum accumulation of sick leave for full-time employees shall be sixty (60) working days. Employees may accrue sick leave and carry it over from one year to the next. Employees may not accrue more than sixty (60) working days of sick leave. When an employee is out of sick leave he/she may use earned annual leave. ….”

Upon leaving the Town employment, in good standing, an employee will be reimbursed for 25% unused accrued sick leave.”

………………..

Esther Colon Employment Agreement…

5.0 Rights and Obligations Upon Unilateral Termination by TOWN

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 or unused sick leave.

5.1.5 an amount for accrued compensatory time accrued prior to appointment as Town Manager

Page 4- 10.0 “Vacation, Holiday, Sick Leave, Disability, Dental, Health, Life Insurance, Retirement, Memberships and Professional/Educational Development”

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

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

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

BC- the agreement is still confusing  and contradictory …In 5.0 it gives her ” AN AMOUNT FOR ALL accrued and unused vacation leave ” then it gives her “AN AMOUNT FOR ACCRUED and unused sick leave and compensatory time prior to her appointment to TM….In 10.0 it gives her “WITHOUT CAP”… and then it seems to imply she is subject to the same “rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the Town, including pay-out for unused vacation/sick leave on termination…. it almost seems like one cancels out the other depending which line is looked at… BUT …according to her payout it looks like the choice was to follow the “ALL” and “WITHOUT CAP” portions…

……………………….

TOWN MANAGER ESTHER COLON .. Payout …April 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  accrued and unused hours 729.35 SCK  (hrs) $56,293.88

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

……………………..

BC-Former Town Manager Colon originally wanted a 5 year severance and seems to have provided an agreement for the former TAtty. to look at…. Portions of the exchanges between the former TM and the former TAtty. /Termination Section /Resignation Section /Other Terms Sections read as follows…

A May 12, 2007 e-mail from the former TAtty. states..

“Here is the re-drafted Employment Agreement. I went with a format that I think is a little cleaner. Since there was some cut and paste from your draft, please check to make sure I didn’t short you on any benefits.

As discussed, I modified the term provision. This term is open ended since the Manager serves at the pleasure of the Commission per the Charter. I made it retro to the meeting they appointed it. I modified the severance pay to one year for the reasons discussed. I think you will find that in line with other Managers in the region.

Let me know what else is needed”

BC-The original version was much different than the one that was voted on May 22, 2007 … That version it appears was the former TAtty’s “re-drafted Employment Agreement” made a “little cleaner”…. Hmmm…..In the margins are some commentary with initials for former TM Bob Baldwin (who gave Colon the “idea” to ask for 5 yrs severance!) TT (Former Town Clerk Tina ?)/EC (Esther Colon) / JAC (former Town Atty.)/BL (?) …pg. 2 “NO WAY! discussed w/ (or w/o?) EC No prec.- met ICMA consent BB gave her idea JAC-I won’t sign off –agrmt public policy”..pg. 7 “TT BB- No way on severance Bad idea…TT EC BL= Would do a better format 1 year Max on severance EC-ok BB suggest that to her- disc. public policy issue-JAC to give her day form/ EC to call Comm & Mayor to nego details and give heads up over weekend”…

The first Agreement….given to the former TAtty…… dated May 15, 2007…

“Section 2 Termination

A. Employee agrees to remain in the exclusive employ of employer until April 25, 2010, and neither to accept employment nor to become employed by any other employer until said termination date, unless said termination date is affected herinafter.

B. In the event written notice is not given by either party to this agreement to the other ninety (90) days prior to the termination date as hereinabove provided, this agreement shall be extended on the same terms and conditions as herein provided, all for an additional period of two years. Said agreement shall continue thereafter for two year periods unless either party hereto gives 90 days written notice to the other party that the party does not wish to extend this agreement for an additional two year term.

C. Nothing in this agreement shall prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with the right of the Commission to terminate the services of Employee at a ny time, subject only to the provisions set forth in Section 4, paragraph A and B of this agreement. Employee acknowledges specifically that Section 67 of the Town Charter provides for termination at the pleasure of the Town Commission without necessity of a stated cause or good cause.

D. Nothing in this agreement shall prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with the right of the Employee to resign at any time from his position with Employer, subject only to the provision set forth in Section 5 of this agreement.

Section 4 Termination and Suspension Pay

A. 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 FULL PAY AND BENEFITS FOR THE REMAINING TERM OF THE FIVE YEAR AGREEMENT. EMPLOYER SHALL ALSO BE COMPENSATED THE BALANCE OF ALL EARNED SICK LEAVE, VACATION, HOLIDAYS, COMPENSATORY TIME, AND OTHER ACCRUED BENEFITS TO DATE.”

B. In the event Employer at any time during the term of this agreement reduces the salary or other financial benefits of the Employee in a greater percentage than an applicable across-the-board reduction for all employees of Employer, or in the event Employer refuses, following written notice, to comply with any other provision benefiting Employee herein, or the Employee resigns following a suggestion, whether formal or informal, by the Commission that he/she resign, then, in the event tot Employee may, at his/her option be deemed “terminated ” at the date of the reduction or such refusal to comply within the meaning and context of the herein severance pay provision set forth in Section 4-A of this agreement.

Section 5 Resignation

In the event Employee voluntarily resigns his/her position with Employer before expiration of the aforesaid term his/her employment, then Employee shall give Employer two (2) months notice in advance, unless the parties agree otherwise. EMPLOYEE SHALL BE COMPENSATED THE BALANCE OF ALL EARNED SICK LEAVE,VACATION, HOLIDAYS, COMPENSATORY TIME, AND OTHER ACCRUED BENEFITS TO DATE.

Section 14 Vacation, Sick and Military Leave

A. As an inducement to Employee to become Town Manager, Employee shall be credited with fifteen (15) vacation leave and ten (10) days of sick leave. Thereafter, Employee shall accrue, and have credited to his/her personal account, vacation and sick leave at the same rate as other general employees of the Employer.

Section 24 Other Terms and Conditions of Employment

A. The Commission, in consultation with the manager, shall fix any other terms and conditions of employment, as it may determine from time to time, relating to the performance of employee, provided such terms and conditions are not inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of the agreement, the Town Charter or any other law.

B. ALL PROVISIONS of the Town Charter, code and REGULATIONS AND RULES OF THE EMPLOYER RELATING TO THE ACCRUAL OF VACATION AND SICK LEAVE, retirement and pension system, contributions, HOLIDAYS, AND OTHER BENEFITS, and working conditions as they now exist or hereafter may be amended, in addition to said benefits enumerated and specifically for the benefit of Employee as herein provided.

………………………..

HERE’S THE “GOTCHA”…FOR FORMER TM COLON …..

From Esther Colon to the former TAtty. …

Thursday May 17th 2007

“Before I give to Tina to include in the agenda package please note pg. 4 (10.2 & 10.3) I thought we agreed that the sentence would end after termination because my payout is uncapped as noted in 10.1”

“I do not want to shorten the sentence(s) without your approval.

Can you change pg. 1 to have the date of May 22, 2007.

Spell check-ie. senior not senor

Thanks.”

BC-Here’s the difference EC was referring to….

pg. 4 10.2 and 10.3 had read on May 17th 2007…”Thereafter he shall accumulate vacation/sick leave as provided under the rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the TOWN, including pay-out for unused vacation/ sick leave on termination BASED ON THE STANDARD FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES OF THE TOWN.

pg. 4 10.2 and 10.3 as they appeared on May 22, 2007…”Thereafter he shall accumulate vacation/sick leave as provided under the rules and regulations for other managerial employees of the TOWN, including pay-out for unused vacation/ sick leave on termination.”

……………………..

BC- It appears that the former Town Manager was given a big assist in her Employment Agreement from the former TAtty, and her predecessor, Bob Baldwin ( who was compensated $120,000+ for his own accrued/unused -sick/vacation leave and $30,000+ compensation for his “unpaid leave” in Lake Worth, according to a July 2009 memo-prev. post )…for her severance…having no cap on her accrued and unused leave …and receiving 2 pensions….The former TAtty. was on the dais May 22, 2007  and remained uncharacteristically quiet on the content of the “cleaner” Employment Agreement being voted on as comments were emphatically made that this agreement was the same as her predecessor Bob Baldwin without the 10 weeks leave!…

Bottom line..  the taxpayers of LBTS had the wool pulled over our eyes!….

Next part 4….

more to come….

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