"These are extremely challenging economic times, and this was not an easy decision to recommend," interim City Manager Burgess Hanson said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, financial constraints resulting from the loss of property values and the continued decline in the Florida and U.S. economies required changes in our operations of city departments." City of Deerfield Beach City Manager, Burgess Hanson (July 31, 2010)
This is a quote from Deerfield Beach City Manager, Burgess Hanson, last year on July 30, 2010 when he suddenly and unexpectedly laid-off 106+ non-uniformed employees and then promptly became unavailable to be reached by phone and left City Hall. At this time the City was stating that we were in a financial hole and this was the way to try and plug it. Which would have been fine, but the City promptly begin recruiting and hiring management and upper management personnel (this includes some assistants to assistants) with starting salaries between $80,000- $105,000.
Then almost one year later, the City again came to the table stating it was in a financial hole due to the loss of property values and a struggling economy and it proposed and then imposed a 10% Utility Tax on the residents and businesses of the City, even though residents, major businesses (i.e. Publix), and some smaller businesses protested and complained about this. Asking that they put this decision to a vote by the people, and not make it as a "management decision" as Burgess Hanson and Bill Ganz requested. Especially since over 8,500 residents and registered voters of District 2 were without representation in the discussion to impose the tax. (Please note: Thanks to U.S. Senator, Bill Nelson, the U.S. Department of Justice is still reviewing this case to determine if the Constitutional rights of the District 2 residents were violated by the City of Deerfield Beach.) Well, the City insisted that they know what this City and it`s residents need better than the residents, that is why they were elected. So they ignored the residents and imposed the utility tax, which will go into affect October 1, 2011.
Now while all this was going on the City was asking for concessions from it`s non-uniformed employee union that see those affected employees taking a 5% pay cut, paying back 5% merit raises that they received in 2010, as well as increasing their insurance contributions by 10%, stating that this sacrifice would prevent further layoffs. I don`t think it needs to be said that many of the non-uniformed employees are the lowest paid and have the worse benefits, if any, at the City of Deerfield Beach. Even the City Commissioners and Mayor make more and have better benefits than many of the part-time non-uniformed employees. The part-time employees who service our parks and maintain our City may not have a pension plan or health benefits, but at least the 5 part-time individuals that "vote" on City matters do, but I digress. So, after several strong-armed negotiations and after repeatedly telling the employees if this deal wasn't signed, sealed, and delivered there would be layoffs, the City, received the concessions from the non-employee union that it wanted. (Please note: The City received concessions from other employees, but because many of the non-uniformed employees are the least paid these concessions affect them more adversely.)
The City of Deerfield Beach is asking its residents, its businesses, and its non-uniformed employees to make a great financial sacrifice in this time when our economy is set for a double-dip recession, so the City can basically build parks in District 3 and 4, while spending all the grant money intended for use by low/moderate income individuals and families on road repair in District 2. (It should be mentioned that the 2010 Census shows that Deerfield Beach District 2 has the highest concentration of low/moderate income individuals and families.)
That brings me to the point of this post.
I recently heard a rumor that the City just issued promotions, complete with pay raises, to certain management personnel.
Am I the only one that thinks this is:
1. Disrespectful to the residents, businesses, and employees that the City is forcing to make sacrifices for the shared benefit of the City?
2. Why is the City's management and upper management having it's pockets padded, while the rest of us are asked to suffer!
3. Where is the financial restraint on behalf of the City? Where is the sacrifice from the City of Deerfield Beach Mayor, Commissioners, Upper Management, and Management?
If Burgess Hanson and the City Commission truly believe that our City is operating under financial constraints, why is that not reflected in its recruiting, hiring, and departmental practices for management and upper management, as well as its capital project expenditures. Why should the residents, businesses, and employees be the only one made to suffer. If "we" have to survive with less, why is the City trying to thrive with more.
That more is more spending and more taking...
Why is it that the Mayor, Commissioners, and Management are not "Paying their Fair Share"?
After summarizing just a couple of events in recent CODB history, I think it would be safe to say that the City of Deerfield Beach's City Manager is the Anti-Robin Hood, robbing from the City's lower and middle classes while giving to the Management Class. So, I guess that would make the Mayor and Commissioners his Merry Band of Thieves.
Have you noticed a change in the level of services you receive from the City? They have fired the employees that service the residents and businesses and are overworking the ones that survived, all the while hiring paying more the employees that devise the plans to screw the residents, businesses, and employees.
Now, that ain't fair!!!