Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Click here for 1/4 City Commission Meeting agenda and packet:

A couple of things lift off the agenda and grab my attention.  The first is the continuing "catch up" of past meeting minutes.  There amount to thirteen sets of them and they are all dated prior to the last election.  Sunshine Law states that minutes should be approved in a reasonable amount of time.

The next thing that piques my interest is the formal adoption of the Mayor's and City Commissioner's salaries (New Business, Item A).  Apparently this has been done in the past when the budget was passed and did not merit a separate process.  The need to do this is needed to "ensure compliance with the City Charter."  This even though the City Commission picks and chooses when it will follow the City Charter and when it doesn't - like not filling the required Internal Auditor position.  So why the special need here?  Is this an excuse to bring it forward so that someone can suggest an increase in compensation?  We'll have to wait and see what happens tonight.

Here is the first page of the accompanying ordinance.  Check the highlighted sections.
The next item concerns "re-branding of the city" courtesy of Vice-Mulvehill (New Business, Item C).  Going through the back-up material, this is about appointing a task force to accomplish this task.  This task force is essentially a volunteer board.  What is unusual here is that we have a Commissioner attempting to appoint certain individuals by decree, with the presumed agreement of the other elected officials.  If we are taking measures to adhere to the City Charter with Commission salaries, we are going against the following provision of Chapter 2 of the City's Code of Ordinances:
Sec. 2-12. - Terms of office and selection of members of city boards.
The term of office of each person who serves on any city board, commission, authority, council, agency or panel who is appointed by the city commission shall end on July 31 of the year in which such members term expires.
Beginning in April of each year, the city shall provide to the public notice of vacancies of board members whose terms expire during the year, so that residents may apply for the vacant positions. Applications for boards may be filed at any time up to ten (10) days before the interview meeting with the city commission.
In June of each year, the city commission shall conduct an interview meeting with prospective applicants to city boards and shall select the boardmembers at the meeting, based upon the commission members ranking of the applicants. In the event that vacancies to city boards occur at other times of the year, the city commission may determine to hold interview meetings with applicants at other times of the year and select replacement members in accordance with the procedures contained in this section.
Upon the adoption of this section, for members of city boards whose terms end in a month other than July, the terms shall be extended until the following July, as provided in paragraph (a).
(Ord. No. 2002-20, § 1, 7-16-02)
There are also requirements that Board members be residents of Lake Worth and, if not, they are given preference over non-residents.  I don't believe all people mentioned in the back-up material are residents of Lake Worth.  While the establishment of the task force may be a good idea, I'm not sure it adheres to City Code.  Also, the other material referenced in the memo was already identified by the city's former lobbyist/consultant Donna Brosemer.  This doesn't represent original research on the part of our Vice-Mayor.

Also, the danger with this is that it could become another set of propaganda to be hauled out come election time that serves to minimize the city's many dire situations and problems while attempting to convince people that Lake Worth is that "shining city by the sea."  The better effort would be to address the real problems rather than sugar-coat them.

More updated information is available regarding the proposed individuals to be appointed is in the revised back-up.  Look at the last item on the agenda for the up-to-date information.

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