Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Government Structure In North Bay Village

Some comments I have received about the City Manager:

"[The CM]... needs to stay out of the Police business, let the Chief handle that. Yes, while it is true that the City Manager has power/authority over the entire Police Department, he should not be exercising it, that is what the Chief should be doing."

and from LEOAFFAIRS.COM:

"First, get a City Manager in here that wants to MANAGE THE CITY NOT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. Let the Chief run the Police Department without interference from the Manager."

(Separate note: I urge you to read the full post at the LEOAFFAIRS by "It wasn't me on 03/08/10 15:29:35" for a layout of the reasoning. I disagree with the CM part but this is a well laid out argument and one that I hope to address in future postings)

This is the core of the current argument about the City Manager. The City Manager should not involve himself in the Police Department.

That's wrong.

North Bay Village has a "council-manager" form of government, as do almost all municipalities and counties in Florida. This type of government puts all the administrative and executive power under the city manager while the council (commission) retains the political power.

The Commission hires and fires the City Manager. In turn the City Manager runs the city, each department including the police. This means that by charter, law and custom, the police department is the CM's responsibility. If the CM neglects the police, he is derelict.

Now, the government structure is not what the argument is about. The argument is about the decisions the City Manager has made as regards the PD.

The most controversial is a disagreement between the Chief and the CM over the right course of disciplinary action against several police members. This is like any other organization. The boss has the right to step in.

Now since the CM is a different kind of boss, the citizens have the right to question the decision, but insisting that the City Manager not deal with the police is counter to our form of government. If that needs to change, there are processes.

Rumors are flying that the CM and the City Attorney are at risk tonight.

We have enough trouble right now and we need the steady hand as our revenues decline even further. Let the CM do his job. There is a proposal tonight on the agenda to deal with the police. Don't let's make a short sighted move to appease a few and let the city down.

Kevin Vericker

3 comments:

  1. To Kevin: I first have to tell you that I like it when you say may comments are well thought out, ect. Some of them you post and some of them you don't and I understand why. I have been in and around NBV for a long time, as has my entire family, and I know what is going on there from all sides, that is why I make the arguments or comments that I do, some of which you agree and some of which you don't. I pride myself on my years of education and experience in local government in and around South Florida, however, I still choose to remain anonomous because of the retaliation issues one specific LT. has and I know this personally, so I do not want retaliation from him or from his "group" Let me address a few things. First, I have seen many a City Managers come and go from NBV, as well as, many Police Chief's come and go. This year will be no different from any other, except for the poor economy and lack of tax dollars which is a big issue, don't get me wrong. Like I said before, I have heard great things about Matthew Schwarts from other individuals that worked with him in Miami Beach. BUT at this point in time, he has choosen to align himself with that same certain LT. that I mentioned in regards to the retaliation. He has put that LT. in charge of Code Enforcement and Red Light Running making over $80,000 a year give or take plus FRS High Risk Benefit which costs alot to the tax payers. This same LT. has no experience in Code Enforcement and right now, just recently obtained one level on certification so clearly he has no business being a Supervisor of Code Enforcement with no experience and very little Code Enforcement education. Second, that LT. convinced Matthew to make Offc. Cruz the Code Enforcement Officer or doing the Code Duties as that LT. says when Cruz has no experience in Code Enforcement and may not even have one level of certification in that field yet, maybe he does but, I question that and his salary is around $60,000.00 plus high risk FRS. So why is Matthew having the city spend upwards of $140,000.00 plus high risk FRS on a position that can be done for approx. 40,000.00 for a fully certified (in all levels) of Code Enforcement Officer with actual experience in this field, he is doing it because that LT. he aligns himself with convinced him to do this to "save a job" that is wrong, that is too much money to be spent on Code Enforcement and as you see, the Code Enforcement in NBV is seriously lacking! And then Matthew tells the Chief to cut his budget when he is basically forcing the Chief to spend $140,000.00 out of the police salary to justify Code Enforcement or save a job.

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  2. Then you also gave Matthews email and phone number and encouraged people to call or contact him that he is always "open" I beg to differ, I have tried that and all he does is repeat or parrot back to that LT. what is said. So justify $140,000.00 being spent for Code Enforcement out of Police Budget paid for by our taxes? Second, and even more importantly, the Code Enforcement position is civil "Exempt" per the NBV Charter it means it is a civil not sworn position, no union affiliation, so why then is Matthew Schwarts violation the Charter of NBV I believe Chapter 31 or 33 states the expemt issue of Code Enforcement and having a Sworn Officers with union affiliations doing these duties? Third, Matthew made a comment in the New Times that he was quoted as saying that "When it comes to Code Enforcement of Elected Officials you have to be more stringent." That falls under Selective Enforcement, you cannot hold one person to a higher standard then the next for any reason! Just because a certain violator is the Mayor, he has to be treated like any other citizen under Code Enforcement Statute 162, that is the law! If someone want to hold him to a higher standard,then I suggest that person not make that statement in public as the City Manager did in that article in February 23 or 25th,2010. That is WRONG! Someone needs to change things in City Hall and fast!

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  3. Next issue, the Chief. Yes, it is true that the City Manager has the power over the police department. However, it is in his best interest or her best interest, NOT TO EXERCISE this POWER, this is nothing but an ego trip on the part of a City Manager, he/she needs to step back and let the Chief be the Chief, and it may come about that we have a decent Chief, but no one knows this since the City Manager and his buddy the LT. have been calling all the shots. Yes, the Charter needs to be changed or at least, re-worded. I know of another City that like NBV the Mayor (there is no Manager there) has the power over the Police Department, but he chooses to NOT EXERCISE this POWER and everything runs very well there. If there is a disciplinary issue, they have the department heads from other departments or the City Clerk listen and they make a RECOMMENDATION to the Chief, then the Chief can use this RECOMMENDATION or make his own DECISION, its not well, I am the Mayor or I am the City Manager and I say this and if you don't do this Mr. Chief, I will have you fired or removed from your position. The Chief needs to be a Chief and his decisions have to be fair to all but he has to be allowed to make decisions and this is just not happening in NBV. The City Manager needs to be IMPARTIAL to the Chief and to the union and be fair to all and he is not he listens to one LT. one, who has a vendetta and retaliates against others, clearly. Anyway, go back and re-read this if you desire, but Matthew Schwartz is not all that and he is making alot of mistakes and we can do without him. Go back and re-read this if you choose, and realize that $140,000.00 for Code Enforcement/Red Light Video Watching, is EXCESSIVE AND UNWARRANTED and is A WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS! But the City Manager chooses that certain LT. to align himself with and is keeping him and his groupie Cruz employed at everyone's expense and they are also causing union issues because those two do not and will not recognize the fact that the union in here now is the FOP and that bothers them and they just cause discord and discontent to whoever will listen to them and its hurting the whole City as a whole, not just the Police Department.

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