Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Deerfield Beach City Managers Suggest A New Option to Stave Off Lay-offs and Privatization

Well, ya'll remember the following post to this blog:

Hanson & Klopp, a Lose/Lose Combination for Deerfield Beach and it's Employees

So as a result of those two pieces of work...I was advised that City Management was in an uproar and that I should contact them to get all the facts.

Well, to this I said, "I got all this information from the newspapers, the internet, and the City's own what additional facts did I need." 

Suffice it to say, I got down off my high horse and contacted the City and set-up a meeting with Hanson, City Manager.

Now,  I had low expectations from the start about this meeting, but I figured that I would give it a chance anyway, what could it hurt.  

I got dressed and made sure to put on my "white and black DC's"(those are shoes if you didn't know)  Just basically because they make me feel pretty, oh so pretty and witty and ...well you know.

Anyway, I arrived a few minutes early, that way no one could accuse me of being on CP time and I can get a feel for what the people do up here.

I was welcomed by several individuals who I did have to disturb because they were diligently working, so I do feel good about that because they were working and not just sitting around gossiping.  So, thank you ladies for that!

Hanson and Klopp came out from theirespective offices and lead me to a conference room.  The first impression I got was "boy I really hope this is not a waste of time".  It would later prove to be a very valuable and informative encounter.  

I will not go into to many details, but what I took from that meeting was this:

*I was being divisive and the city didn't need that

Well, I will tell you readers like I told Good Ol' Hanson and Klopp, "The reality is the city is divided.  It was divided before I was born, before this blog was started and it will remain divided until changes are made and each district is supported, funded, and respected equally by the City."  I told them look at the state of the City, there have been major changes to the beach, to the Federal Hwy area, Powerline area, Dixie Hwy area, but District for the most part has remained the same since I was a little kid.  I am not a kid anymore, so as I grew why did my part of the city not grow???  Our brother and sister districts saw major improvements and growth, while we got the crumbs of financing that were left over.  Which is shocking since our D2 population diversified and increased.

*Klopp and Hanson had thick skins and could take criticism.
*He and Klopp are making less than other individuals in their positions.
*His department got a 57% budget increase because they took over several other departments , like Purchasing, and since more work more assistants were needed.
*Amanda is more than a "glorified secretary" and she has an MBA and deserves her salary because she does more than getting coffee and making copies. 

*The CRA is audited (internally) annually. 

Big Whoop! I wish the IRS would allow me to audit myself, oh did I say that out loud, oops!

BTW, this was about the only information that passed from Klopps lips as he sat there the entire meeting w/ an intent look on his face, now what that intent was I have no clue. I can only speculate and in the interest of being more conscience of what I write.  I will leave it at that.

Now, the biggest and most important piece of information that I gleemed from this meeting was the fact that Burgess Hanson himself advised me "as contractual employees" he and Klopp "do not have to take a pay cut" but they will because that is fair.  I was happy to hear that management would be leading by example especially since they are asking the general employees to pay back the merit raises they received last year, take a 5% pay cut, and pay an additional 10% for their insurance.

So, in the spirit of trimming the fat...wouldn't it make since if all managerial staff, clerks, attorneys, whoever...take a pay cut.  I bet the City Commission could make something like that a reality.  They are always looking for ways to save the city money that do not affect the residents.  This would be it.  The revenue saved if the highest paid individuals (namely management and their subordinates) could be used focemetery beautification (both cemeteries look a HOT MESS), beautification in the "most blighted" part of the city (namely District 2), heck you know what, that money could be used to re-hire some of those laid off employees or even be used to keep the "individuals that can least afford it" from taking a pay cut.  

Those high paid individuals could take an 8.5% paycut and pay an additional 11% of the City's premium cost for their insurance  (Can someone in Management crunch the numbers and get back to me, thanx).  

Now, since I have not done the math I can not speak to the actual benefits of this option, but in theory this is looking good.  Maybe, I will bring it up at the Commission Meeting and see what Klopp and Hanson have to say.  It is basically their idea! 

Maybe once they locate the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial reports they can begin working on these numbers.  

Now, my gears are grinding...There are basically 7 highly paid and highly qualified "Assistants" working in City Management and why is this report taking so long to appear?????  Maybe, all of those assistants aren't really necessary and they are actually hindering the process.  It's time for the entire City to work together for the betterment of all, not just a select few.  Let's grow our entire City, not just a few select spots.

I personally do not believe that this can be done while under the leadership of individuals who would see one part of the community forced out on the street, the other part pandering for scraps to save the beach, and another section trying to make our cemeteries/roadways/parks look respectable, all while paying themselves a hefty chunk of our City's budget.

My Perspective is submitted for your approval...

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