May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier
Note: Earlier today when I first posted this online, in a blog post titled "Rancor at Hallandale Beach Police & Fire Pension Board meeting on Monday afternoon lasts long after the meeting ends," I referred incorrectly to the meeting that took place. It was, in fact, a Hallandale Beach Police labor negotiation, not a meeting of the Hallandale Beach Police & Fire Pension Board. Reps of and members of the HB Fire/Rescue Dept. were NOT present. The post has been changed to more accurately represent what was what.
At a labor negotiation meeting held on Monday afternoon at HB City Hall, rank-and-file members of the city's Police corps who attended were full of rancor long after the (incoming) City Manager, Renee C. Crichton, and City Attorney V. Lynn Whitfield gave their union reps two pages from the city's consultant's report -not even a complete copy- the upshot of which is that there will be no longer be Defined Benefits programs here, and that all members will have to become enrolled in a 401(k).
You can believe, as I do, that the public policy change is not only warranted but long overdue for HB's long-suffering taxpayers, yet still be very troubled, even dumb-founded, that the city's approach still found a way to make that change in such a ham-handed fashion that un-necessarily antagonizes city employees.
(That this small city already has TOO MANY police officers, who do far too little as far as many are concerned, is a subject for another time, even while it is a view that most well-informed people I know here firmly believe, based on their own years of personal experience of seeing what is going on here.)
That's per that 2001 HB City Commission vote I wrote about here recently, which was approved by, among others, Dotty Ross and Bill Julian, the latter of whom is now trying desperately to get back on the dais this Fall after being deservedly booted in 2010 for his many years of bad judgment, incompetency and questionable fidelity to rules, ethics and hard work.
Julian is, in the minds of many of this city's most well-informed citizens, pure poison.
That 2001 pension change was done at the urging of then-City Manager R.J. Intindola, which as I wrote last month, is why Intindola is getting an extra $96k a year above what he actually earned. http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/csaba-kulin-exposes-multi-million.html
There were about a dozen HB Police and Firemen still sitting around the room after the official part of the meeting concluded with the handing of the two pages, and many were not only still upset but openly complaining about not only how the whole thing played-out, but at the demands of the HB public.
Here's some free advice: City police should think twice about bitching aloud about actually being expected to do their job when they are in a public building where taxpayers are present. Just saying...
I really don't care how you did things when you were 'on the job' in California, this is a small city with more than its fair share of cops with bad attitudes and personalities, many of whom specialize in vocalizing their sense of entitlement and irritating people just for the hell of it. right now, it's a very average Police Dept., nothing special, and it's time that some of its members wake-up to the new financial reality that after a new Police Chief is hired -AFTER a clear attempt is made to look nationally for someone who sees the opportunities here- some cuts and prescient, and long-overdue re-organization will be required.
Eventually, though, more than an hour after the meeting broke-up earlier than many had expected, all of the people in the room had to get out because of a meeting between the city's staff and the reps/lobbyists from The Beachwalk project, inc. former HB Development Services Director Richard Cannone.
Cannone's involvement in this poorly thought-out Beachwalk deal, so soon after he left the city's employ, causes many people here to get severe heartburn, due to his less-than-exemplary way of disseminating public information to the taxpayers who paid his salary.
Many, including me, wish the City of Hallandale Beach already had an existing revolving-door ethics policy that prevented former elected officials and Dept./agency heads from lobbying the city for 18 months-to- two years after leaving, unless they are speaking as volunteers for genuine non-profits legally-registered with the IRS.
And so it goes...