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Here’s The Scoop…LBTS Commission Meeting ….#3…Foul Ball…The Town Manager…. Item 16F…

FOUL BALL ………..

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THE HIGHLIGHTS OF ITEM 16F…3/11/09 (3/10/09 meeting)….

Vice Mayor McIntee…spoke that the hall was “completely full” the evening before… ……(it was full but  it was half and half…pro and con…with 19 CIC members signed up to speak)…and that he had received 14 calls of support for Esther earlier in the day (continuation meeting 3/11/09)…He spoke of the support of the Town Manager and the VFD being “side by side”…that it wasn’t “planned” that way…it “morphed” into it… He spoke of the Commission needing to support and respect their staff saying they “can’t be burying them with requests for information that are outrageous”…( such as RFP backup figures…and items that were passed but not carried out…only to start over again from scratch…due to….no backup materials supplied)….” We can’t put this town into a mold where it is spending more time researching old information than it is getting work done for the future”……( again, forget everything that has come before)….He made a motion to “support the Performance of Esther Colon as our Town Manager”…

This writer reserved my time from public comments to speak…due to my belief this was an action taken by the Vice Mayor to stop a performance review from happening…I spoke about how this came about after seeing  2 other towns ( Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach) were asking the same review be done by their Commissions and I wanted to see if we have any such requirement…No one seemed to know if this was in the Manager’s contract so I requested a copy of it from the Town….After obtaining the Manager’s contract it was  indeed included… we also have in this clause for our Commissioners to enact it annually at budget time……I spoke of how it was a 2 way street offering not only a review of the Manager by the Commissioners…but the Commissioners were to be reviewed in turn by the Manager….so all were accountable each year……….. I expressed the view that a “parade” and a vote of confidence should not “usurp” an annual Performance Review” per the contract….That there is definitely a need for “prior history” to be asked for and supplied due to repeatedly finding in the past minutes from previous years so much of what this Commission is addressing has already been done…with some issues voted on….ending up long forgotten or unfinished….I also spoke of the “planned” CIC “parade” put together  and that I felt it was “demeaning” to say she was being “picked on”…because Manager Colon in my opinion is a “strong’ …”independent”… “professional  woman” who “should be treated like every other Town Manager”….that with all her years in government she is fully aware that taking the criticisms and the accolades that are all part of the job…repeating again that a vote of confidence should not supersede what is in her contract …

Commissioner Silverstone …..said the vote of confidence was a “great move to show the Town Manager she does have the support up here” ….The Town Manager who has to deal with newspaper articles and blogs that were “demeaning”…that  “showed a bad light for the Town Manager”….Again in his familiar litany of “Silverstone’s version freedom of speech”… which really means ….freedom of speech with caveats…( you have an opinion…that are not the facts as he thinks they are…keep quiet)…If you can’t understand where Silverstone is coming from…or most of the words he is saying…you are not alone…( Norm Crosby)… Everyday is performance review day for Esther Colon said Silverstone…budget time…award time…audit time…it was a familiar one note theme  seen in the parade of CIC members the CIC produced the night before and from this Commissioner…. the VM and Comm. Clottey… she is a great financial person…and “parades” “God bless them”…public comments are freedom of speech…”I think we’re blessed and I think  we should once in a while acknowledge that.”….

Commissioner Clottey….”Yes, I’m hearing a lot of things that are a little strange for a vote of confidence. What does a vote of confidence have to do with requests for information, the VFD, an annual review, previous Commissions, back up material.”…She went on to explain what a vote of confidence is and that “I don’t know know where some of the people are coming from when you’re making some of the statements you are. Maybe I don’t get get it on this one.”…( Nope …she doesn’t get it)….She said in her private dealings with Esther she has found the Manager to be fair…showing no favoritism…relating a story about an item she (Clottey) had and gave to Nikki ( Asst. Town Clerk)…then let Esther in on what she had done ..not wanting to break the “chain of command”…Esther immediately went to get the paper…located on top of the requests…and “she put it at the bottom of the pile so they had been working on a lot of Commissioner Dodd’s “…”first come, first served”….and she “understood that’s the way things are normally done”…She spoke of being respectful and gave her vote of confidence for Esther Colon concluding with…”An annual review is something entirely different. I think we’re putting too many eggs in one basket.”…

Commissioner Dodd… “I don’t believe this is the the time or place for  pats on the back. We didn’t perform a review of the Town Manager last year as defined in her contract. Why were we as new Commissioners or how were we supposed to have known that we were required to carry out a review is a different matter. Because it wasn’t on an agenda and we weren’t told.”…He spoke of  discussing a format at the “relatively square round table”…( a zinger sent out to McIntee who previously…much to the amusement of the audience pondered out loud on the dais a few times in the evening “why do we call it a round table when it is really rectangular?”)…..He went on to say ” No offense Madam Manager you quite correctly, I am sure review your town staff and I believe it is our duty up here to carry out the review. You have my vote of confidence 100% but I would like a review.”…Comm. Dodd then wanted to “set the record straight “…as “there were allegations out there that I’m the one that’s causing the problem.”…and described what has been previously posted ….an RFP was sent in asking for some backup figures…stating it would be helpful…rather than contact the Comm. the Town Clerk was “in tears”…the work was overwhelming…and an article was published in the BTSTimes by the VM describing the effect of his requests on the Town staff…leaving the Commissioner to go and speak to the Town Manager after the publication…to find the Manager repeating the VM article…Comm. Dodd “thought there would be a file”…and believed that all that resulted from his request could have been avoided with a call to him…..He went onto say that the Town Manager in this conversation was able to answer his request for a figure (the Waste Management Service contract off the top of her head…$1.7 million)…

Vice Mayor McIntee…..”Ah, I was very interested in hearing Miss Cole say that she ah, picked up the ah, Town Manager contract. I knew about that and I had discussions about that with two Town employees that were absolutely distraught over it and  the reason they were distraught over it was not because she had the right to come in and pick  up the Town Manager contract but because she stood outside in front of Town Hall with another Commissioner going page by page. Everybody in Town Hall watched . The inference of the people working in Town Hall whether it’s right or wrong was not positive. It was a sense of “Wow, she’s slapping us in the face” I’m being polite and she went out there and went through the contract and there was another Commissioner with her and they took it as a personal slap and that’s because if I would have gotten the Town Manager contract I would have probably put it in my car and gone home and looked  it over. But I wouldn’t have stood in the parking lot sort of challenging, I don’t know how to put that. They were hurt, they were hurt and that’s one of the problems and we’re trying to solve the problem and everybody knows I support Esther. Everybody knows I support the Town workforce. I’ll fight tooth and nail. When they screw up I’ll jump on them too. That’s the way I do things. But it just isn’t it isn’t one little item it’s the whole package and everybody cries lets bring the together.”

BC- I picked up the contract on Wed. Feb 25, 2009 from Nikki in Town Hall…She was alone at the front desk……and she also made copies of the pavilion plans for me…after that I went into Jarvis Hall for the Commission meeting…and looked over the contract  in my seat to see if there was a performance review. The VM just cannot help making up stories.The “Slap” references  and this statement…” Everybody knows I support the Town workforce. I’ll fight tooth and nail. When they screw up I’ll jump on them too. That’s the way I do things”……. priceless!

VM- ” Went on to speak of the “peace flier” he put out the evening before to Commissioner Dodd…saying he read “somewhere” “no peace, let’s keep the war”…( This writer posted in #1…peace with McIntee was like Israel and Hamas…now you know where he “tried” to read it)…He said this was an “airing of problems reiterated the Parade and the phone calls …said he could get 50-100 people lining up again…and to call it a parade “was not a nice ting to say”…

Comm. Clottey- implored respect on the dais for the Town Manager by referring to her as Madam Manager rather than Esther…

TOWN MANAGER………

TM-” Um, yes Ms. Cole and to the audience I have been doin’ this for 32 years and personally I know I do a good job. To Commissioner Dodd I think I’m reviewed everyday on a performance basis but it is up to this Commission if they have an issue to bring it up.”

BC- This is exactly what Comm. Dodd has done…

TM- went onto speak about the McIntee article in the BTSTimes saying Comm. Dodd was told by her in her office to go to the “source” the VM…

BC-Wouldn’t that be sunshine Madam Manager?….She went on to make this  strange statement…

TM-” You’ve seen me in a court of law and I’ve told you once and I’ll say it again. If we all want to get subpoenaed to say who’s doing what let’s just get it over with.”

BC- HUH?…

TM- ” I have a job to do. I feel in my heart I have strong work ethics. I am a very strong individual. I am doing my job. But at this moment if you would like to call to terminate my contract Commissioner Dodd then let’s get it over with so I can get my life in order and I can get my work done in this town.”

BC- Dear readers…re-read Comm. Dodd’s word…this writer’s words and what is being asked of the Town manager…an annual performance review as stated in her contract….this is the all too familiar “stomping of the foot”…”0-60″…over the top response we have seen before with this Town Manager….leading some to say…there is a difference in being the Finance Director and the Town Manager…as will be seen again as we continue…

TM- ” I have a lot to do in this town. And it’s a constant pressure and constant, you can have have a hundred residents say you like me ,you don’t like me. I’m gonna do a job whether you like me or you don’t like me. But we have a lot of things to do and it takes a lot of time it takes a lot of heart. We’re a great city, we’re financially stable. You don’t have to like me. No one has to like me. I’m gonna do my job anyway. But the criticism is not constructive and when you and I speak, ( addressing Comm. Dodd)..I’m sorry if I’m ignoring every Commissioner, I apologize, but the only that comes into my office says I don’t really  listen to Barbara Cole, Barbara’s blog, well you know what I don’t either. Because if I disagree with you I always told you. But this is gettin’ personal. I’m not gonna make it personal cause I’m gonna come to work. I’m gonna do my job. If I have to stay late I stay late. If I leave early, I leave early but you know I have a life and this job, this town has become my life. And honestly, I told you yesterday and I’ll say it again I don’t think it doesn’t matter what I do or my staff does you (Dodd) are never gonna thank us for doing a good job.

BC- My God…Comm. Dodd has been on the dais thanking staff…and if staff are asked…code enforcement…municipal works…BSO…AMR…they will confirm this…so to publicly insinuate such a juvenile remark because her administrative staff is sub-standard in areas of their work…highly over emotional and unprofessional to say the least…I’m thinking Sally Field…Oscar speech!…

TM- She went on to say she thanks her staff every day…and how they try to help everybody…

BC- this would have been enough to state and would seem the appropriate person to thank her staff ….regularly…

TM-” If we’re not doing enough Commissioner Dodd you need to replace me and get it over with. Let’s go. I am not gonna be unhappy because I leave. We’re all replaceable. My heart is here. If your heart isn’t here with me and everybody else. I don’t know what I can do. I am not a politician. If the Commissioner, Vice Mayor, I’m sorry, wants to parade 100 people like Barbara Cole or anybody else that is the residents that come and that is Vice Mayor McIntee. I am not a politician, I’m here to do my job and I’m asking please let me do my job.I’m sorry if I’ve gotten out of line Mayor.”

BC- The Manager should and could  have said after a few residents came forward…”Thank you for your support, but in the interest of doing the Town’s business…let’s move on”…a point made to this writer from a faithful reader….That would have been not only the correct move professionally but a class act move as well….

BC- I was allowed to come up again to counter the VM and his absurd comments regarding the contract I picked up and my actions afterward…I expressed “It’s a little odd that he’s (VM) talking about how other people felt about what I might have been doing”…I then went on once more to attempt to return to the matter at hand …the performance review…and imploring this was professional…not personal…that just as in other towns outside blogs posted their opinions…for readers to agree or disagree with..(The VM tried to stop my time saying I was off topic but the Mayor allowed for me to finish)….allowed to proceed I again explained that asking for a review as they are in other towns is up to the Commission to honor or not…and that critics and supporters are “the nature of the beast”…when it comes to local government….

The Mayor gave the Town Manager the opportunity to respond…

TM-” I will rise above it”…

BC- again, with this response… the Town Manager was off in left field!…

Comm. Silverstone…jumped in to say it was hypocritical…hypocrisy…pronounced by by Silverstone as “HIGHpocrisy seems to be  running rampant around here”…relating his hard to follow theory on opinions…who has them…who is allowed to have them an who should r should not have them….He said the Town Manager is extremely upset “which happens when somebody does their job of pride and honor feels they’re being questioned without knowing it”…He complained of hearing..” comments all the time, hissing sounds  (wrong side of the room Comm.)…background music (huh?) ..all the time it’s disrespectful, you all know who you are.”…He spoke again about earned respect…tried again to explain opinions…and said of the parades “God bless them”…… “The Town Manager shouldn’t have to  be even questioned like this.”…again with opinions…who’s are harmful who’s are a disservice and how it has to stop…Then he put in a plug for the CIC Town Hall meeting on Sunday saying …”I think that’s the beginning of it”…getting open information….

Comm. Clottey- “To everybody that criticizes the Town Manager let me remind you that we are one of two towns in Broward County that’s in the black.” (again what happened to the debt?)…”The Town Manager is doing something right.”…She went on to talk about people slipping up…human nature…and again stating we are in the black…She said we need to say “thank you” to the Town Manager…speaking of public comments and parades…saying she and her fellow Commissioner campaigned on that…and moved again to take the vote…

Comm Dodd-said he would make this brief and “rise above the present situation”…saying he would meet with the Town Manager in the next few days to try and resolve any difference…wanting to state for the public record…”I have the utmost respect for her ability and the ability of Town staff.”…

VM- “Esther under her breaths when she got done speaking said to herself let them terminate me, I’m not gonna put up with this. Something to that effect. If we lose Esther Colon we should hold all our heads in shame because there is no greater Town Manager in this county.”…He went on say he was glad Comm. Dodd was going in to see her…that peace needed to take place for 60 days….

BUT….

VM-“I will not call a bunch a people a parade”…

BC- definition of a parade….
1pa·rade Listen to the pronunciation of 1parade
Pronunciation:
\pə-ˈrād\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
French, from Middle French, from parer to prepare — more at pare
Date:
circa 1656

1: a pompous show : exhibition2 a: the ceremonial formation of a body of troops before a superior officer b: a place where troops assemble regularly for parade3 a: an informal procession b: a public procession c: a usually lengthy array or succession <a parade of visitors>4 a: a place for strolling b: those who promenade

VM-” …to patronize a woman that’s their right, that’s their right to come up here every single time.”…

BC- IS THE VICE MAYOR THREATENING A PRIVATE CITIZEN?….

VM- “If you want 50 in here next month to pick on you Ms Cole, fine we can do that too.”….

BC- Hamas …yep…

VM-” The bottom line is don’t denigrate these people because they spoke with their heart.”…He spoke that this was the beginning of a “healing process”…including getting along with Comm. Dodd…and that he did all this to stop what had been going on….

BC- He is GOD …after all….according to new CIC Vice- Chair Joe Couriel after all…

VM- ” We’ve got the greatest Town Manager. Let’s look in the mirror and say thank God we got her.”…

BC- RE-READ THAT Readers…the VM said…”Let’s look in the mirror and say thank God we got her.”…That really says it all…When you look in the mirror who do you see?….

Mayor Minnet had the final word before the motion asking for respect from the floor and the dais…thanking the Town Manager for her work and everything she has done…she has done a great job.

VM- I make a motion for vote of confidence for service performance of work Esther Colon has done…2nd by BFF Silverstone…passes 5-0…

BC- All because questions were asked…backup materials were requested….and the Commission was asked to do what is in the Town Manager’s contract…an annual performance review…A dog and pony show…pure politics…pure diversion…pure theater…for a simple required action to be instituted….before the budget…

Dear Readers…No matter who is “paraded” up to the podium…No matter how many or how often…Until and unless the Commission chooses to either vote to not enact that portion of her contract or to amend her contract and remove that portion…it should be done…

For LBTS voters in 2010…If it is voted to again not have a performance review in 2009 or voted to amend her contract…this action by a sitting Commissioner should be included in your decision for casting your next vote for Commissioners in March 2010….

more to come………

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