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Here’s The Scoop … Scene And Heard Around Town …. Big Fish…Big Implosion ….

ANOTHER FISHING EXPEDITION  ……

The former Town Manager is going on a “fishing expedition”! ……. Shades of her pal McIntee…We hear former Town Manager Esther Colon has made public records requests for Commissioners old and new! …The timeline we are told is Feb 1st 2010 to June 4th 2010 …which means …McIntee and Silverstone should be getting a call if they haven’t already… to produce along with the current Commissioners e-mails…texts…and any other electronic communication with persons or entities … from both Town and personal e-mail accounts…She is  requesting anything that states…the words..”Manager”…Esther” “Colon”..and “search For Town Manager”… WOW!…

The Commissioners I am sure have nothing to be concerned about…NO HOOKS WILL COME THEIR WAY…. This writer can only surmise that the former Town Manger and her “camp” believe their was some secret effort to get rid of her …and to prevent her from her payout…

There was no secret effort that this writer is aware of…in fact it anything but a secret…it was an election!… Every voter …Commissioner …Staff member and the Town Manager herself knew …if they voted for the new majority …it meant this Town Manager no longer served at their pleasure…That’s why she fought so hard to and became so political in the process…in this writer’s opinion… In fact on the campaign trail…at the meet and greets …the Town Manager was always at the top of the list…and despite the cost of her one year’s severance…most of the voters …declared it was worth it to pay it…just to get rid of her… What was not known was the additional large payouts from the benefits ….(prev. posts)..

This writer can only speak for myself when I state ….nothing to find between me and any Commissioner …that is not already a public record and known to all…

The cost to get such words from all correspondence in the Town will cost big bucks…and I sure hope the cost is required upfront from the former Town Manager …Commissioners should require the same as VM Dodd did this before with former VM McIntee….(prev. posts) and was never paid for exercise…The State Attys. Office dismissed the case in the end …(prev. post)…

What a waste …again, in my opinion… The real questions that need to be answered once again to answer the question of an overpayment to Colon or not…What did the Commission prior to Dec. 28,2001 pass to make a change to Bob Baldwin’s pay and benefits?…Did it apply only to Baldwin or all Town Manager’s going forth?….How is Esther Colon entitled to receive her 7 years of benefits …as a Finance Director..receiving what other Directors of Departments received per the Personnel Policy Manual…or is there some document that allows her to be paid that 7 years as if she was a Town Manager?…. Lastly is the language and what is states for her severance and if that includes her health benefits or not…PERIOD!…

The rest is posturing and continuing on with what got the former Town Manager in trouble all along… She could have made things so different…if she owned up on May 22, 2007 to what she added into her contract…not just what she took out…She could have just fulfilled her contractual obligation to have an annual Performance Review…She could have stopped any questions concerning her qualifications per the Charter by speedily answering public requests on her watch and turning over her resume to answer the valid question…Instead she did what she is doing now…She made it  personal …. Old habits ….. Time to put that “Popeil” back in your pocket….

……………………………….

THE LBTS- VFD …ANOTHER LEADER GETS “PAPERED” AND SHOWN THE DOOR ….

We hear there was a meeting tonight …no details on the outcome as yet…but the lead up to the ongoing implosion …was said to be casting Chief Perkins aside sooner than the July 1st resignation date given to the Town by the VFD just a few days ago after their monthly board meeting…

We hear the Chief is at odds with members …and may have decided to take a few “swipe” as he prepared to go the way of McIntee…The scuttlebutt has been …yet again another leader in the dept. would be facing some paperwork that would make it impossible for the leader to not comply with the department’s decision…For McIntee it was a complaint filed while he was on that fated cruise that stopped the CIC from having heights return to the 2010 municipal election ballots…For Perkins…it is said..it’s that and maybe more…UGH!…

We are also hearing the dynamics have changed in the department…Tomorrows VFD Roster for May …might reveal if this is the case…If so…does that mean the VFD consists of more Associate out- of- Town members than in-town ones?….

A letter sent to the Chief and Commissioners with serious concerns has gone unanswered from former VFD Battalion Chief Patrick Pointu…… The concern for this writer…is not just the “accident waiting to happen” portion of trucks going too fast ..That’s bad enough…but the greater concern is portion concerning the VFD’s insurance …Are the VFD’s men and women safe on the job?… Could there be trouble with the contract with the Town if the insurance is not correctly in place?… Could the Town be liable if it is not?… With McIntee/Perkins out the door … and a new Town Manager and Commission majority in place…it’s time for action…for this second most important letter (see below/ prev. post 10/16/08 scoops/VFD cats.)… from Pointu to be addressed ASAP!….

“From: Patrick
Sent: Fri 6/4/2010 8:51 PM
To: Perkins Robert; [email protected]
Cc: Scot Sasser; Birute Ann Clottey; Stuart Dodd; Chris Vincent; Roseann Minnet
Subject: VFD Complaint

To Robert Perkins, Fire Chief,

Chief, I have been sending you a few letters and phone calls regarding
some safety issues in your department. You have been ignoring them all
and never ever had the basic courtesy of answering. At one time you even
denied having received some letters despite having given copies to your
staff. I would like to remind you that even if the VFD is a contractor
of the Town, you are providing a government subsidized service and are
subject to public oversight and accountability.

As concerned citizen warnings did not worked, please receive this time
my formal complaint regarding your department.

Today, at around 7:07 pm I have witnessed one of your fire engines
leaving the station Northbound on Bougainvilla drive, using lights and
sirens and traveling at high speed. There were three vehicles at the
stop signs on the corner of Bougainvilla and Washingtonia. The driver of
the apparatus, who by the way was not wearing his seatbelt, crossed the
intersection at a speed that I would estimate far above 35 mph. I know
very well that studies showed that heavier vehicle always seems to
travel faster than they really are. However in this case I had a proper
reference with the others vehicles traveling at the legal speed limit,
and the fire truck was way much faster . A car coming from the West of
Washingtonia started to enter the intersection and hopefully halt in the
middle to let the fire truck fly by as the apparatus wouldn’t have been
able to stop in time. The vehicle in front of the apparatus had just the
time to clear the intersection to avoid the collision.

I was shocked by the total disregard for safety and the lack of proper
defensive driving skills of this driver.

I would request you to disclose the name of the driver and the officer
of this apparatus, their fire and driver qualifications, the date of
their EVOC certification and training provider, recurrent driving
training and any corrective actions that you will ask them to follow to
correct this behavior.

Also I would like you to publicly explain at the next commission meeting
your SOPs regarding driving safety and what are the sanctions for not
following them. If you have trouble remembering it, I’ll suggest that
you watch yourself on tape during previous commission meetings when this
subject was already brought up.

You claimed that many of these behaviors were caused by your former
Deputy Chief. Now that he is not here anymore what is your excuse? Why
the policy decisions that you endorsed in front of the commission are
not followed?

Maybe it is due to your lack of presence and supervision of the
department activities. You claimed being a full time paid Fire Chief.
But you are also claiming being a private investigator and running a
beach concession at the same time. I have received many comments from
citizen who left you voice messages but who you never called back. How
many hours are you spending in the department each week? And what are
your activities while you are at the department? How many fire drills
have you been during the last two years? Let me rephrase that, how many
fire drills have you been in the last two years where you trained
(putting on gear, SCBA, pulling hose, flowing water, …)?

I would like to have a list of your fire qualifications and date of all
formal certifying training that you passed. I would also like to know if
you have met the requirement of 633.35 F.S. within the first year of
your employment as Fire Chief or if you were issued a special
certificate of compliance by the State.

Last but not least, as written in my previous letter, I am concerned
that many of your members may not have a proper pre-employment medical
exam that may void their insurance coverage in case of accident (I am
not talking about health and safety annual medical exam, but
pre-employment that should have happened _before_ being a member). I was
reported that WorkComp already denied a claim for one of your member for
this same reason. Will the department cover the members in this
situation on its own money or will you let these members without any
coverage without even telling them. Should not a volunteer fire
department put the safety and health of their members as a first
priority? Is that not your job as you claimed?

All my comments these last two years were to improve the safety of your
department. I have worked beyond reason to improve this department and I
was proud to be a member and your instructor. Don’t make me ashamed of it.

Patrick Pointu”

………………..

SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 ….Pointu Letter….

“9/30/08…8:17 am…

Dear BOD, officers or members,

You hired me as administrator until September 30st to organize the department during the transition period that is ending today. I am not happy with the result, we’ve gone a long way, but I was expecting much more. Our SOPs are not ready, no written training goals or recurrent training requirement are in place., the required ICS training are not completed by our older members., the mandatory (by our contract and NFPA) medical exam is not in place, our by laws were not updated and the current ones are not followed, purchasing procedures are not enforced, decisions from the business meetings are not applied, etc….

I have dealt with a war zone, I have dealt with terrorism as a victim, as a first responder or as a law enforcement officer. I have managed emergency operations with as many as 1 million people or a budget over 3 million dollars. Even if stressful, these operations were a breeze compare to the last six months because I was working with a supporting team of people.

I am tired of the lack of support and the constant fights with Jerry. I’ve tried to take on myself to let it go by looking on all the good sides of the work he was doing. but everyone has its limit. I can’t deal anymore with Jerry’s threats,intimidations,insults and constant disregard for procedures,by laws and chain of command.

Some of you may remember the threat he’s made to me two months ago when he wanted to “shove his fist in my ass” and “punch me in the face” or the statement that he was ” the one who brought back the department” and if it is not going the way _he_ wanted that he will “in one commission meeting bring back the BSO to replace us.”

You will also remember that Jerry went ballistic when Captain Scot Fowler countermands his order regarding a probationary member wanted to attend the beach rescue class. When I confirmed it and informed the Chief about it, he threatened me and said I had no authority to change his order. (For your information, our by-laws Jerry as a rank of Lieutenant) That’s one of the reasons why Scott resigned despite what Jerry is trying to let you believe.

I will pass on the multiple instances when Jerry accused me of lying about some facts that were not going the way he wanted or even accused me many times of not following proper procedure for the medical equipment.

Yesterday, the Chief asked me to organize the demo of the battery operated extrication tools for our officers to be able to choose the one we will buy. The company traveled 300 miles to come for this demo. Jerry just canceled it, refused to obey my order or the Chief’s order. That’s when I decided to resign.

That’s not the first time that Jerry is making department policy by himself or taking decisions on behalf of the members. He fired members without prior approval from the Chief, he decided to give $5,000 cash to the chamber of commerce, he throw out of a meeting people that were invited to attend by the Chief.

As I said before I can’t deal with it anymore. Members are calling Jerry ‘Chief’ and are all believing that he is indeed in charge because nobody is challenging it. I hope that on the fire scene there will not be any confusion and proper chain of command will prevail.

I have reached a point where I can’t deal with Jerry anymore and this fight is damaging for the department. One of us needs to leave and the department can’t afford losing him.

I am sure Cheryl will do a good job to keep the administrative work. Please help her by filling out properly all the forms, including the ones regarding expenses.

You will have to find a certified instructor for the Fire 1 class. Beau is in town for a few weeks, he can probably fill in until you find someone.

It was an honor to be a member of this department for all these past years. I’m leaving sad but that’s the right thing to do for the sake of the department.

Please stay safe out there,

Patrick Pointu”

For a while now the rumbling has been heard in and outside of the department… No one wants to dismantle the VFD…but someone needs to save the VFD from themselves…

more to come….

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