Monday, March 23, 2015

From Kevin Thompson at the Post: "Can we talk? In Greenacres, contact between staff, council prohibited"

Surprising political activity in the City of Greenacres, our neighbor to the west. They have a very strict policy on how/when council members can talk to staff members and vice versa. Some want the policy changed; from the article:
     The policy [Greenacres City Council policy No. 14] states that any council member who wants to talk city business with a staff employee must do so through the city manager and that staff members can’t talk to a city council member regarding city business without first getting consent from the city manager.
     The policy is under attack from two council members — Judy Dugo and Jonathan Pearce — who want to see it abolished.
     “It has an intimidating effect on employees and the council,” Dugo said. “I’m not undermining the city manager (by talking city business with a staff employee). We have seven department heads, and I think I should be able to ask them a question or share something. I’m a little frustrated.”
     At Monday’s council meeting, Dugo asked for the policy to be placed on the April 20 meeting as a discussion item.
     Pearce said the city uses the policy as a “weapon” to keep council members and staff workers in line.
     “They want to keep everything hush-hush so no one can talk to each other,” Pearce said.
The article by Kevin Thompson gives examples of how other city's handle this situation, Royal Palm Beach and Boynton Beach. It's a very good read and encourage those interested in policy to read the article.