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Here’s The Scoop … Which Path? ……

MARCH  2010 TWO MEN …TWO PATHS  …

Dear Readers …at the Oct. 12, 2009 Town Manager “almost” Review we had a chance to see 2 candidates for commission in 2010 have the opportunity to discuss the topic at hand…The evaluation of Town Manager Esther Colon..

Commissioner Jim Silverstone- ” Like I normally do I wrote a list of speakers and ah, ah what they had to say. But I’d like to thank George Hunsaker. I think that was a great ending to this ah, this  workshop. He said something very important  a couple of things he said were very wise. And I’d like to thank Mr. Simmons for being here too because I think sometimes wisdom transcends the, the the vision of the town here. I’d like to see that kind of subtle things and people together here. Unfortunately I believe we created an environment here by allowing certain things to happen that has divided the town even further. I’ll get into that tomorrow. It’s not the “porpoise” (his word) of this talk here. But you said something very important Mr. Hunsaker when you said it’s ah, which I agree with you I don’t like people being so critical. They don’t have adequate knowledge and, and that to me is really the core of the issue here. When people come up there and they complain and they have issues and we do listen by the way. I write down notes at  every meeting down here and if you don’t see me looking at you it’s because I’m looking at, look down like we spoke to at the last meeting. So I do pay attention fully. But the wisdom that was transmitted by, by Mr. Hunsaker there I think we all need to listen to was very important and I think that’s the beginning of getting the town back together again. But, if you have any questions. If you’re not getting the response from the administration that’s why we’re here for. And as, I’m not going to repeat myself but I did say earlier that the way, the chain of command here is you the people, we represent you. You elect us . We then direct the Town Manager to perform the day to day operations here which is her responsibility. And I believe she is doing a very good job with doing that. Again, her financial background to me is a huge advantage. At the end of the day it’s really about the numbers, it’s really about your tax money, it’s really about the town, how the town looks. It’s about those intrinsic values that you see our there that I think makes the difference between us and any other town in Broward County or in the United States. When I look out there I see the town workers working. I see the beautification that’s going on. I look at the numbers and I see that we’re, we’re lowering taxes and we’re, we’re making these things work. That’s just, that just happens with a lot of hard work and somebody made a comment earlier that you know, I think it was Mr. Brown about what does the Town Manager do. I have never seen anybody work as hard as she had in a public office. She’s there unbelievable hours. Um, to quote Mr. Thompson again he’s been involved in public service all his life and um, Esther was the hardest working best public servant he has ever witnessed. That comes with a lot of weight with me.”

(BC- Note to Comm. Silverstone…Mr Thompson again authorized this writer to tell you he made that statement about Laura Ward!)

CS- “Ah, to begin Mr Vincent had a question regarding Mr. Gooding I think that’s a lot of people’s opinion a lot of people’s strife that the, the firing  or transferring of Mr., Chief Gooding was a problem. But as Mr. Simmons and I kinda conversed up there about keepin’ the politics out, if you think about it by getting, ah, by transferring Scott Gooding it was probably the worst thing for me politically. So if that doesn’t tell you that nothing was going on here I don’t know what more can be said and I think the new chief is doing a great job the new Lieutenant I think ah, things are happening now. They’re moving in next door and, and it’s definitely progressing I think the way it shoud have been. So that was the decision the Town Manager made and I think she made it outside of politics which I think is the core reason why we have this form of government and that’s a good example of it working. You may not have liked what transpired. I think its for the benefit of the town at the end of the day. Um, and Mrs. Geesey said something about citizens being the boss for us. You elect us you are not the boss of the administration. You are not the boss of the Town Manager or the employees. Um that, that’s not how we work here. Um, if you have a problem with us guess what you don’t elect us. That’s, that’s the way it works and that’s America. Um, the one thing that was mentioned up here which I’ll. I’ll give some time for the Town Manager to address was the pr-payment on the loan and I’m the one that brought that up to get it paid off again. And the reason that was done not to repeat myself again but we can’t make a decision on spending that money for about a year. The Master Plan Steering Committee has to meet to decide what to do. We have to get the permits and it has to be done. That takes a long time. By the time that happened a year would have gone by and the interest that’s occurring on the money and the penalties we’re paying would have cost us a lot more money. It would have been, It’s cheaper at the end of the day to pay it off now. Now you do have a point that maybe some negotiations could have been done. I don’t know the answer to that but knowing Esther I think ah, again she would have done something it, we’ll find out about that. Um, the I’ll save the rest of this. But I pretty  much went over the key points. um, oh just one “udder” thing about insinuating there’s back room deals and permits being issued illegally. I think that was the term used and these are facts (laughing), let’s remind each other here that the ah, the alleyway was you guys the two brothers that own the lot back there agreed to, what we approved to have , have access to your, your parking are there. We agreed to it you said we, talked about it, is that ok with you, you said yes. There’s a couple of things you had to do as far as I know they weren’t done yet but you got permission to do that and why this keeps being brought up again, I don’t understand it. We talked about that it was put on the agenda we approved it with some conditions and that’s the last I’ve heard. So I don’t know where this other information’s coming from but it was approved to go forward. Um, that’s all I have for now”

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Candidate Christopher Vincent….

“Christopher Vincent – Corsair Avenue – Lauderdale By The Sea.

I will limit my comments to a few areas of concern.

Number 1: The firing of Chief Gooding.

Even though Ms. Colon had the authority to fire Chief Gooding she used poor judgment by not informing the commission of her plan prior to taking action even if she didn’t have to. Chief Gooding had not made any decisions that jeopardized the public safety of this town, or behaved unethically. To dismiss him in the manner that she did was unprofessional and an embarrassment to our town. This is not my opinion but a fact based on the number of citizens that filled town hall objecting to her action and in full support of our Chief of Police. This should be noted in her review.

Number 2: Decorum

From what I have witnessed attending these meetings and watching from home, Ms. Colon does not possess the ability to be impartial to certain members sitting on this dais. She addresses them with a tone of contempt and disrespect.

It is the responsibility, duty and right of any member of this commission or citizen of this town to question the action or actions of this Town Manager. When doing so Ms. Colon should welcome the opportunity to respond and should do so without a defensive or condescending tone. This should also be noted in her review.

Number 3: To Review or Not to Review

Certain members of this dais have said on the record that Ms. Colon is doing a super job and in their opinion it is not necessary to perform this review, since it has never been done in the past. In the Town Managers contract it states she is to have a yearly review which is to be completed before the final adoption of the Town’s annual budget.

This is not a choice but a contractual obligation that must be met. As the Town Manager Ms. Colon should have insisted this take place to ensure she was meeting the obligations in her contract and not jeopardizing her contract. She did not. It makes you wonder what other contractual obligations are not being met or simply overlooked. There has been a deliberate intent to delay or skip this review completely. Why? This should also be noted in the review.

In closing I would like to remind the Dais and Town Manager that transparency in government is everything. Once you start working for the politics and not the people you loose all credibility and the trust of the people.”

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Dear Readers… This writer could put in point by point where Comm. Silverstone is way off the mark with his so called facts…but I will do that in other posts…( although I felt obligated to carry out Mr Thompson’s clarification concerning who his praise was for)…The point of the post was for you to see the side- by- side how these two candidates handled their review comments…and to remind all voters…this Town Manager according to  her contract is required to be reviewed yearly……which will require us to sit through the commentary from one of them as our commissioner sitting on the dais again next year…who do you want to listen to?

more to come…

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