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Here’s The Scoop …. “Hereby Terminated” ain’t No po-tay-toe or po-tah-toe … It Means Fired …

November 2, 2009 by Barbara

EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 …

Dear Readers…The Mc-Furth”Gang” on the commission has been fond of saying the former Fire Marshal was not terminated, he was offered an hourly position….  saying he was too expensive at 100,000 dollars a year…with Commissioner Clottey so crass in stating we cant’ pay somebody for “twiddling his thumbs” in an office on two separate occasions  (Please voters…the next candidates you elect …make sure they possess some grace and tact…as for Clueless, Callous Clottey, maybe she will be quiet for the remainder of her one and only term, if she does not step down early)…. Well, this writer spoke to the former Fire Marshall some time back and also made a public records request to get the real story…

Fire Marshal Alex Stevenson received an “Offer of Employment” letter….

‘Sept. 2, 2008

Dear Alex Stevenson:

I am pleased to offer you an appointment to the position of Fire Marshall of the Town of Lauderdale By The Sea. The job description for this position is attached as Exhibit “A” and you agree to provide the Town with the services included in that job description. You must certified by the Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals.

By accepting this position you are representing to the Town that you reviewed the job description for the position and that you possess the expertise and experience to perform the services to be provided by you pursuant to the terms of this appointment.’

‘You shall receive an annual salary of $75,000 payable at the same intervals as the Town’s other employees are paid.”..He also received after 31 days Health Insurance …and the accrued hours for sick/holiday hours per pay period.

BC- Note-Not $100,000 as Clottey/McIntee et al keep throwing out…

As previously posted the Fire Marshall was hired “at will” which allowed for the Town Manager to unilaterally terminate him at any time and need not reflect performance-related reasons….also the “at will” employment assured that the Fire Marshall “shall be entitled to base salary earned through the date of termination.”…

The date effective date of employment was Oct. 1, 2008 and it was signed by Esther Colon 9/2/08 and Alex Stevenson 9/5/08

Attached in the PRR were the Town of LBTS Job Description for Fire Marshall which included the following…

‘Characteristics of the Class

This is responsible administrative, supervisory and technical work of considerable difficulty in reviewing the work of the Town’s Fire and Building Departments. An employee in this class serves as an officer with responsibility for all fire investigations, management and supervision of the fire/life safety aspects of plans examination, and field inspections of buildings and properties for the enforcement of applicable National, State, and Local Building, Fire/Life Safety Codes, and Town’s Code of Ordinances.

An incumbent conducts research, analyzes and evaluates research material and presents recommendations for changes in legal provisions governing Fire/Life Safety practices and procedures and recommends changes in applicable policies and procedures. The incumbent is also responsible for gathering information, preparing and presenting complex technical reports, and records relating to fire/life safety, fire investigations, fire and other emergency incident reports, records of commercial property, and other pertinent records. The incumbent makes recommendations to the Fire Chief and the Chief Building Official over a staff of professional and clerical employees, and is required to exercise considerable independent judgment in determining procedures and practices of the Fire Prevention Bureau. Work is evaluated by a superior officer (Fire Chief & Chief Building Official) through reviews of reports, and records, through direct observations, and by review of results achieved.’…This was followed with ‘Examples of Essential Functions’…which was essentially the same as above…and again draws this writer’s attention to … “conducts research, analyzes and evaluates research material and presents recommendations for changes in legal provisions governing Fire/Life Safety practices and procedures and recommends changes in applicable policies and procedures.”…This raises lots of red flags for the real underlying reason for Mr. Stevenson’s dismissal and the now questionable  observance …”is required to exercise considerable independent judgment in determining procedures and practices of the Fire Prevention Bureau.”…now that the VFD Fire Inspector ( Mr. Paine’s primary paid position) is also the “on call” LBTS Fire Marshal…How can there be “independent judgment” regarding the VFD while under McIntee?…. Another function ‘Confers with attorney,public officials, architects, engineers, fire marshals, builders, contractors, building officials, and property owners on matters concerning Fire/Life Safety and Building Codes, Town’s Code of Ordinances, fire suppression systems, inspections and fire prevention methods and practices, and exercises independent judgment in rendering final decisions’…Again, Mr. Paine the new Fire Marshal  is also the full-time VFD Fire Inspector…so how much independent judgment can he provide under McIntee ….and there is no recourse for recipient with any conflict due to the dual roles held by Mr. Paine….The rest of the description explained the ‘Knowledge, Abilities and Skills…as well as education requirements…

Mr Stevenson was evaluated three times with the same evaluation used for Asst. TM Olinzock/Town Clerk White (prev. post)… He was reviewed by the Director of Development Jeff Bowman both times…a little odd since according to the above Job Description he was required to be reviewed by the Fire Chief or the Chief Building Official (Broward County)…in his first evaluation on 11/2/08 he received 9 Good/ 2 Very Good ratings ….with comments – “Alex shows good work quality/Alex has provided all information requested within a reasonable time frame/ Alex has shown that he is knowledgeable and up on current laws/ Alex can be relied upon to complete tasks and assignments/ Alex is competent to work independently and has shown such/ Alex does provide input and ideas/ Alex is self motivated and takes the initiative to complete assignments and assume additional duties when necessary/ Alex adheres ro policies/ Alex works well with all staff and public/ Alex shows good judgment…signed by Bowman and Stevenson….The 2nd review was on 2/10/09 and Alex received 6 Good/ 4 Very Good and 1 not marked (adherence to policy) ratings…..with one comment- Alex has proven to be a competent employee…..The 3rd review was 3/23/09 and Alex received 8 Good/ 3 Very Good ratings…with one comment Attended Broward County Inspections Seminar on 3/12/09…

On August 28, 2009 the Fire Marshall received the following letter from the Town Manager…

RE: Fire Marshal Position (Alex Stevenson)

‘Dear Alex,

As per previous conversations with the Director of Development Services there continues to be a significant decrease in plan and document review, permitting and redevelopment in Town and the need for a thirty hour Fire Marshall on a weekly basis is not justified therefore, the Fire Marshall position will be an on-call hourly position which you may be able to occupy if you desire.

As Town Manager, I hereby inform you that your appointment as a thirty hour Fire Marshall in (as written) hereby terminated, effective September 14, 2009. This action is taken in accordance with the terms of your appointment letter of September 02, 2008, which provides that you are an at will employee of the Town. As an at will employee, your appointment can be terminated by unilateral action. This letter constitutes that unilateral action.

Please return your office keys and any other property, including but not limited to manuals in your possession on or prior to your last date of employment.

Thank you for your service to the Town,

Very Truly Yours,

Esther Colon Town Manager

Attachment Cobra Notice CC: HR File/ Robert Perkins, Fire Chief/ Jeff Bowman, Director of Municipal Services”

BC- Note-OOPS!… Jeff Bowman is Director of Development…not Municipal Services!…

As stated above I have spoken to Mr Stevenson as did Mark Brown in a BTSFuture article as he prepared to leave the Town …Mr Stevenson said the hourly position was never mentioned again in his last days…. He knew the position was going to the VFD Fire Inspector….Mr Stevenson voiced eerily similar concerns about the VFD under the current McIntee led leadership as described in the letter sent by outgoing VFD Battalion Chief Patrick Pointu (prev. posts) one year earlier… It reflects the McIntee led abysmal ISO training scores received this past year and should make all voters realize that if the VFD members themselves (many are unsatisfied with the current leadership) do not vote McIntee out as Deputy Chief in December  and get some other training …. the March 2010  vote to remove McIntee from the commission is the only way to ensure we get the VFD we were promised at the last municipal election with the same membership..(VFD is not an election issue)….and a new non- McIntee led leadership…with some sort of oversight…

We know once again from the above PRR this Town Manager uses questionable reasons for “unilaterally terminating” contracted employees of the Town… We also know she cannot oversee the VFD with McIntee in charge…and that point was inadvertently driven home by none other than her “protector” and joined at the hip co-conspirator (of bad leadership and payback) Vice Mayor McIntee himself at the October 20, 2009 commission meeting when his BFF Jimmy -boy Silverstone made a friendly amendment to Comm. Dodd’s motion that the Town Manager should evaluate herself ..Silverstone wanted the manager to evaluate the commissioners…Vice Mayor McIntee jumped all over the idea saying the manager “works for us” and the “negative evaluation” could be a problem…OOPS!… The Town Manager cannot oversee the VFD because 2 of her “bosses” are both commissioners and VFD so, according to McIntee it could have a negative impact on her position!… YIKES!…

Once again, we find that half-truths have been perpetuated by the Mc-Furth”Gang” who did not bother to do their due diligence….and blindly allowed the Town Manager to lead them by the nose…to disparage a man and his position….with no absolutely regard and absolutely no regret for the roles they played…

more to come….

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