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Here’s The Scoop…”UNFAIR AND UNJUST”….

THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE WAS SPAT ON BY THE “GANG OF 3″….

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Dear Readers…Where To Begin…with this travesty?….How about with the verbatim words of BSO Chief Scott Gooding on June 23, 2009….

The Mayor asked Chief Gooding if he would like to comment….

Chief Gooding- ” I sure would. Ah, first of all ah, Commissioner Silverstone it can’t be used for anything but training and equipment. It can’t be used for personnel salary, overtime, anything . Ah, ah the original request was to submit what I thought we needed and so we did. Spent a lot of time on these plans, we submitted them. The initial response from the city, Town Manager was she like em, I like em. Ah, where we are is a complete disgrace. Let me say that again, a complete embarrassing disgrace. I don’t even invite my colleagues here because I don’t want them to see my office. And if anybody thinks that’s a bunch of crap come and see my office. You can see I’m very upset about this. Um, Lauderdale By The Sea district office is the laughingstock of all seventeen districts of the Sheriff’s office. You should see Hillsboro Beach is nicer than ours. And they’ve got about twelve people. What I submitted is not my wants,. It’s not Star Wars in the sense, it’s Star Wars, Commissioner Clottey compared to what we have a garbage dump. We have ah, I don’t have to describe anymore. I think you’ve been in there. Ah, and then I keep on hearing about this gym. It’s an office, it’s a room with a treadmill and a stationary bike. If you want to call that a gym, go ahead. Ah, this is what we need. You want to be a professional law enforcement agency at Lauderdale By The Sea that’s what we need. You bought a hotel. You didn’t buy a building that was a previous office building. You didn’t buy, build a police building cause you know it isn’t even close to a police building. Yeah, I’m very upset. That, that you know sure I know it’s a lot of money, but we’re spending forty thousand on the fourth of July. A day event. And as Commissioner McIntee said last year and the year before it was ridiculous. From a professional chief’s position this is what we need. If it was what I wanted I would solicit the Town Manager and be a wolverine at her to build a new police department. But her and I are very much alike on many things, kind of. She doesn’t get what she wants, she gets upset, but I am upset. And I will not, you’ll never get me to change my mind about it. You’ll never get me to change my attitude about it. You know I’ve been here five and a half years. Really you know what we have is a disgrace. Do we need a cell, damn right we need a cell. We make almost three hundred arrests a year. A very, some very bad people. And right now they’re chained to a chair, shackled.It’s dangerous for me, dangerous for my officers,dangerous for visitors. We need a Certified American Correction Association cell. So if we put somebody into it they can’t get out. The Sally Port’s important. Ah, I know Commissioner McIntee understands what that is. Many times prisoners can break away from you. You got a Sally Port they can’t go anywhere. I’m very upset that the Town would not believe that this is needed. And this is not a political issue, this is a law enforcement public safety issue. We need to bring the Town up t o the level that it should be. It hasn’t been from a building structure standpoint from law enforcement. Commissioner you know what I mean, you walk by everyday so do I think the funds should be allocated? Damn right. Do I think they should be coming out of the General Fund, yes I do. I mean ah, when, when Esther called me in she basically said you’re not going to be happy and I’m not”

Town Manager “And we agreed to disagree.”

CG-” Sure I mean you know but in the plans.”

The Mayor asked the Chief not to say damn..he apologized”

CG- ” I’m darn upset. But I think the point was better, but listen, you know me well enough, you know when I believe in something, I’m gonna push for it, just like the equipment we bought, it’s great. But, I think this is an opportunity to get into the level that Lauderdale By The Sea should be in. You know this is ah, we’re very lucky to have extremely low crime rate. But I think we need to update the infrastructure like you are around town. The streets, the lights, the same way for the public safety building. So, I mean you can ask me two months from now, you’ll get the same answer. I believe we need it and I know I’ve relayed this information down to my bosses and the Sheriff and I discussed it. He’s not happy about it and he would like to see the, the building improved. So we’re kinda at a crossroads but you know I would like to see you appropriate the money. It’s your money confiscated by our deputies. You can use for pretty specific things. And I’m sure she’s [Mgr.] told you but it can’t be used, I would love to use it for overtime, but I can’t. I would love to have a fourth sergeant, but I can’t. But, ah I think it’s a very good use of funds. And long after we’re all gone I think the men and women that work out of it will also appreciate and recognize a very professional building. Thanks.”

June 30, 2009…6:30 pm Special Meeting …..Jarvis Hall filled to capacity will outraged residents…in support of Chief Gooding  Many came to speak at the podium and  for the Town Manager to either be directed by the Commission doing the “will of the people” or cognizant of the fact that she works for the people…and those people want her to rescind her request for the Chief to be “reassigned”….

After the 38 speakers spoke…(posts to come)…The case put out by BSO Colonel Edward Werder left little doubt who should be “reassigned”….

Colonel Werder- “Good evening Madam Mayor, Commissioners, Ladies and Gentlemen in the audience, I,m here to kind of express our views in terms of what happened and probably to set the record straight because, because left as it is um, a person has been diminished and a man has been diminished and I believe it’s important to set the record straight. First I’ve had very good relations with Town Manager Colon. We’ve had a number of conversations the end of last year, beginning of this year. Many of these have been about the newly acquired motel that was to be the police facility.I will tell you that she felt free to send me e-mails or make a phone call and I felt the same, so our relationship has been good. My current position the Colonel in charge of the Department of Law Enforcements. All the districts come through my office and I quite honestly the relationship between the Town Manager and Chief Gooding has been exemplary. As a matter of fact I think the Town Manager will agree with me um, often times she would say ” Scott and I are like this” [he held two fingers tightly together] because they had exemplary and extraordinary relationship and I think to some degree that because many of the issues that he has dealt with have precluded her from having to deal with. Some as well he has taken full measure with the law enforcement role he’s fulfilled for you and for us. Section 15.3 of the contract spells out clearly that the Town Manager does have rights with regard to removing a chief. I bring that up because it says if the Town Manager becomes dissatisfied with the performance of the District Commander and Chief the Town Manager will provide notification to the BSO. That was certainly done. It was a relatively short and terse comment and she’s required to do no more.”

The Letter/Fax…

Dear Sheriff Lamberti,

Pursuant to Article XV, Section 15.3 of the police services contract, I am requesting that Chief Scott Gooding be transferred out of the Town of Lauderdale by the Sea, District 13.

Sincerely,

Esther Colon (signed)
Town Manager
Colonel Werder- ” Says thereafter the representatives of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Town Manager will meet to discuss possible remedies of the problems experienced by the Town Manager. I will tell you those protocols were not followed and yet I believe at this moment that the Town Manager would have, could have felt comfortable in calling me if there was an issue in regard to the District Chief because clearly we want to be represented by our finest and we believe that you have thus far. If we could not resolve that issue or it was closed book that is as it is then Chief Gooding would have been reassigned. It subsequently says we adem or agree in good faith in resolving those problems. To date there have been no problems presented to BSO about Chief Gooding’s performance, his under performance or his over performance. Nor any representations that there were personal issues between he and the Town Manager. It says the Town Manager may remove the District Chief at anytime without cause. And my suggestion would be that is in fact the way it was performed. And perhaps this meeting from our standpoint would not have been necessary if it had been done without cause. But it hasn’t. It’s been attributed that Chief Gooding was fiscally irresponsible. And that clearly isn’t the case. And I want to take a few moments to just present a record that would at least support this issue. I brought some documents with me that I will review and one of those issues quite honestly has to do with the police facility. Cause I believe that the issue to which the Town Manager was referring dealt with fiscal irresponsibility. ”

HOLD ON!…

CW- ” In August of 2004 (he meant 2008) the acquisition of the building came up and BSO was asked to take a look at whether or not this issue could be pursued further. Ah, in an e-mail from Dan Revis (sp) who was in charge of facilities at that time.. He listed a number of issues that were of serious enough concern that would suggest the facility could well either be compromised or in fact the cost to rehabilitate or retrofit it would be significant.Understand also that while our current facilities are relatively small they have served the city with its own police department and it served BSO quite nicely for ten years. As a result of a meeting in early January ah, called by the Town Manager we were asked to have somebody review what the facility would need in order to come to terms with it serving well as a police facility. At the time we were told that we would have the equivalent of three motel rooms, it was later expanded to five motel rooms. But it would be needed to be retrofitted and could Mike Cahill (sp) who was in our facilities management could he come out and look and give us some impression of what it would take. What the issues were that prevented us from moving in comfortably an fulfilling our mission with you the city, town, I should say. And so he did that and he created a litany,. I won’t read it to you, but a litany of issues that suggested that a building that was built exclusively as a motel could not be immediately occupied to serve as a public safety facility. That only makes sense that there would be some additional things needed. We subsequently had another meeting with the Town Manager and we discussed the issue and that it looked like based on the ah, number of issues he’s raised , we provided a copy, that it would be a significant cost. However in January the Town manager asked us to go ahead and identify what those costs were and be as clear as you possibly could and we did that. And we presented a cost estimate that suggested that the cost of renovation of this facility as a police facility would be somewhere in the area of $419,000.00 which quite honestly is an extraordinary sum of money. And therefor couldn’t the facility be used for other municipal activities at which time the Town Manager indicated to us ” I have that in LETF” “We can do this” “It’s not going to be a problem” “Can you go ahead? Can you go ahead and prepare some drawings?” We prepared drawings. We came back to the Town Manager on April 16th and we said we have the drawings. There are some that are still in the works. A few came in a week later and therefor if this is something you want to do here is the cost. And we were told “Let me go though it line by line” Which she did. And out of the total amount of money she identified $5000 which we had put in there for plant life an things like that ……She said ” We can provide that” “Let’s take it out of the budget” So we’re now talking about $141,000.00 she said “Can you do some additional drawings?”…The Colonel went on to speak of the limit of their architectural expertise…TM Colon said “No, I really just want to know where do you want your electrical outlets?” “Where do you want your computer outlets and all that kind of stuff.” The Colonel went on to say they did exactly that and brought the drawings back…CW-” At which time when we were leaving her office , we had several meetings in her office. At which time as we walked out o her office she followed us and she says ” I’m leaving with you and I’m going to take these over to the building dept.” “I’ve got the money, no problem” That’s the way we acted.”The Colonel went on to read an e-mail he sent the next day to Sheriff Lamberti informing him of the above including the costs estimates…(written on April 17,2009)

CW- ” So if the issue is attributable to Scott Gooding as far as being fiscally irresponsible , I would say it is unfair and unclear. I would also like to tell you that Scott Gooding is no novice. We didn’t send somebody who doesn’t know how to police. He graduated from  the FBI National Academy, St. Thomas University with his Masters Degree. Michigan State with his Bachelors Degree.He’s been a District Chief here in this community. He’s been a Lt. Executive Officer which is the rank position that Lt. Cedeno now holds. He’s worked as a Detective Sgt., A Road Patrol Sgt. He’s a licensed Calligraphist. He has finished Executive Survival, Policing in the 21st century. The Criminal Justice Executive Leadership program. The Florida Dept. of law Enforcement Executive program. He has in fact been in the Marines and I guess what I’m saying to you is that a career is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it’s not yours. The stigma of saying that a person who has achieved the level of success that he has achieved and worked as hard as he’s worked in this community. To have have his reputation diminished by saying he’s fiscally irresponsible is unfair and quite honestly when I read it I was surprised because we have had a very good relationship in the time we we’ve spent together and quite honestly I don’t know if until this issue came up if a Town Manager and a District Chief had a better relationship then your Town Manager did with Scott. “Scott and I did this” “Scott and I that.” So where this came from I can’t tell you. The Colonel then again spoke of the police facility  and the BSO’s desire to stay put, and again spoke of the Town Manager’s “reassurance of the LETF money and again the shocking statement that Ms. Colon said it was the Commissioners that wanted the BSO out of their current office…(No vote or direction was ever given on this from the Commission!)…The Colonel covering all his bases then spoke of the current budget (2009-2010) and rechecked the Chief’s proposal to the Town…it was an increase of 1.1%…so he surmised that could not be the cause of the Town Manager’s charges…

CW-” But neither of those has merit and secondly whether a police chief’s serves you well and you wish to have him leave for reasons that are your own, that’s fine and if it’s without cause. Scott Gooding has the career that has served him well and I’m sure will serve him well in the future. But to diminish him by saying something negative that is not represented by the facts even past or current is unfair and unjust. Thank you.”

The Mayor then asked the Town Manager if “she would at this time like speak on anything that has been said before this dais does because I believe it’s important. There have been a lot of this direction has been towards your removal of Chief Gooding by you and I would like to know if you would like to address at this time?”

Town Manager Colon-” Sure, I have no problem with that. First of all let me inform you I don’t need direction from any member of this dais to tell me who to hire and to fire. I am not a politician. If that’s the way things were done here in the past. So be it. That’s not the way it’s done now. I will read you my comment. At the June 23rd 2009 Commission meeting I informed you due to the current economic climate it would be irresponsible of me to proceed with the additional for the police department because the projected costs of improvements of 420 thousand dollars exceeded the LETF balance of approximately 284 thousand. Chief Gooding’s leadership skills as a law enforcement officer have never been in doubt. But he had failed to demonstrate a clear understanding of the current state of the economy and his DEMANDS at the June 23rd Commission meeting were fiscally irresponsible. It is in the best interest of this town that all department heads understand and adhere to our efforts to maintain expenditures under control.In doing so it makes it possible for us to maintain a balanced budget and address unanticipated expenses without having to impact our tax base. I did not, I did call Sheriff Al Lamberti. I did leave a message for Sheriff Al Lamberti prior to sending the fax. You’re right we agree to disagree. But no department head that works under my administration will stand in the Commission and DEMAND funds that”

BC- PEOPLE IN THE HALL WERE OUTRAGED!…

TM- ” You can listen to the tape it was on the June 23, 2009 meeting and that’s all I have to say.”

BC- Readers take a look above and by the link below at what the Chief said at the 6/23/09 meeting…NO DEMANDS WERE MADE!

Look at what the Colonel brought to back up the facts!….Just as she has done with the pavilion and the Audit…the Town Manager made assertions that were not true about the Commissioners  direction and/or approval…and more decisions on a Capital Improvement project unilaterally…

The will of the people was ignored…spat on by the “Gang of 3” and the Town Manager…She must be removed and they must be voted out…next March!

The Round Table for the Town Manager Review was canceled which means the Manager could be in breech of her contract 2 years in a row….and don’t forget the illegal fire assessment paid to the VFD from October to June…but don’t hold your breath that she will be held accountable …pun intended!

It’s time to decide who really needs to needs to be reassigned and it is not BSO Police Chief Scott Gooding!…

more to come…

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