Thursday, July 15, 2010

More on the Trujillo Tax For North Bay Village

Former Vice Mayor Rey Trujillo has sent a request for an emergency commission meeting to be held on July 19 with one agenda item - dismissing the city attorney. This is something of an obsession with the former Vice Mayor.

His stated reason from the June commission meeting was that the city attorney was slow to act in reviewing the proposed contract with Deede Weithorn to provide budget consulting to North Bay Village. Whether that's true or not has not been backed up by Mr. Trujillo, but the fact remains that the reason we needed outside help was the former Vice Mayor's successful firing of the city manager, and the commission itself could not organize a meeting in May.

I am not going to argue here about whether or not NBV should retain Joe Geller, who has already provided his resignation, but my concern is over the ongoing costs of these personal battles.

At a time when North Bay Village is going broke, Trujillo is failing to consider the cost of firing the city attorney.

Let's look at the hard costs.

The cost of the meeting itself.

The cost of engaging outside counsel to ensure that the proposed firing is done correctly.

The cost of retaining new counsel to help the city through this difficult period.

The cost of additional duplicative legal work to complete the in progress transactions.

Don't think there are any big legal costs coming up? Think again.

1.) At Trujillo's insistence, we are now in negotiations for a new police chief. That contract has to be carefully framed so that we do not find ourselves in the same position of providing golden parachutes for city executives who resign.

2.) There are several lawsuits against the city in progress that could result in non reimbursable settlements. Geller has deep knowledge of these.

3.) The dismissal itself is likely to be challenged. The grounds are at best flimsy.

The cost of firing anyone, particularly abruptly and without cause, is through the roof.

Trujillo apparently never learned this and other cost truths before, but he needs to stop wasting our time and money.

What will happen now is that a second commissioner must also request the meeting and three commissioners need to be present for a quorum. No doubt there will be a second but there may not be three commissioners. I hope our commissioners decide not to waste our time and money on this.

Here's the email.

From: Yvonne Hamilton
Subject: FW: Special Emergency commission meeting
To: "oscar alfonso" , "George Kane" , "FRANK RODRIGUEZ"
Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 5:44 PM


I am requesting an emergency commission meeting for Monday July 19 to finalize the City Attorney situation. I also would like to set the dates for the budget workshop for July and August and the appointment to the P & Z Board. Please check with others Commissioners and the City Manager to see if they need to address any other subject that we did not addressed at the last night Commission Meeting. If the City Attorney is not available for the meeting make sure that we have a substitute attorney present. Please do whatever is needed to have a proper official meeting.

Rey Trujillo
City of North Bay Village

Kevin Vericker
July 15, 2010

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