Friday, June 11, 2010

Foolishness

Here's a multiple choice quiz for the end of the school year. Which of the following presents a serious risk to the future of North Bay Village?

1.) A projected 26% decline in property tax revenue?
2.) The failure to cut the $350,000 from the police budget?
3.) The current over budget spending by the PD and city manager?
4.) The lack of a strategy to get federal, state and county funds?
5.) All of the above?

None of the above if you are former Vice Mayor Rey Trujillo.

Here is the recap of the former Vice Mayor's Commissioner's Report.

Mr. Trujillo wants new grass with the trees because the current grass makes him sad.

Mr. Trujillo explained that last month's meeting was canceled because he wanted to reschedule it but some people didn't and the other dates weren't good for some people and so on and etc.

Mr. Trujillo was very, very upset because he wanted to spend money to bring Deede Weithorn in to fix the budget and it hadn't happened really quickly. never mind that he took last month off.

So what's the solution? Per Trujillo, the city should fire Joe Geller, our city attorney. I didn't catch all Mr. Trujillo's reasoning as a former commissioner sitting behind me kept shouting over the people on the dais.

Screening out the noise, the commissioners finally managed to tease out what Trujillo's point was. The resolution instructs the acting City Manager to enter into discussions with Joe Geller to see if Geller would fire himself and not charge a lot of money to do it.

Commissioner Rodriguez summed it up nicely when he stated to Rey Trujillo "What you are asking is to once again give someone money to go away."

Current Vice Mayor George Kane tried to get to whatever the resolution was by saying, "I'll support it if we don't get rid of him until October." which only makes sense if, well, it doesn't make sense.

A vote was taken and it was agreed 3-2 that interim city manager Bob Pushkin should ask the city attorney for advice on the right way to fire himself.

This would be comic if it wasn't for the fact that while the city is running out of money, Rey Trujillo once again adds to the deficit and the crazy reputation of North Bay Village politics.

Then later in the evening, the commission decided that Matt Schwartz needs to be brought back at full salary and benefits to be a consultant and leaving in place the interim City Manager at $55 per hour. Now on the surface that would seem like a bad deal.

If the commission had not fired Matt Schwartz for doing his job, we would have no need of an interim city manager and would not be driving up the cost by having two people doing that job.

But since it's North Bay Village, the first stop on the express train to Crazy Town we need to go a little deeper than just the surface.

Since one interim city manager is not enough, NBV has now added a consultant to the city manager. Randy Hilliard will be managing non police related issues.

We have three people doing the job of one. Not enough since it turns out that among the three city managers we are now paying, nobody can do the budget. It's not that big a budget by the way but the answer is hire someone else.

Deede Weithorn is being proposed as a "budget consultant". Now, Ms. Weithorn has an excellent and well earned reputation in civic matters, in budgeting, and deep experience. But she doesn't and won't do it for free.

North Bay Village now has four people being paid for the job of one city manager.

And we're heading towards broke.

I complained last month about the commission taking the month off. We'd probably be better off they just took the rest of the year off.

Separate note: The North Bay Village Police Athletic League had a problem. The school was planning to charge for use of the facilities and they don't have the money. They brought the problem to former Vice Mayor Rey Trujillo who offered to rent them space in the Grandview. He didn't quite get that the problem was the PAL have no money. After all, North Bay Village has no money and he keeps spending that.

Oscar Alfonso was able to get the space restored at Treasure Island School for $0.

Kevin Vericker
June 11, 2010

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