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Monday, 15 June 2015 10:24

Rupe: Palm Bay revives good ole boy network

Written by  Maureen Rupe

Posted June 15, 2015

Palm Bay’s Revival of the Good Ole Boy Network

By Maureen Rupe
President, Partnership for a Sustainable Future

It was definitely concerning when I read the June 8, 2015 Florida Today story by Rick Neale titled “Leadership exodus strikes Palm Bay City Hall.”  Six Key employees resigned from Palm Bay, one terminated and the Police Chief retired. 

Now friends of the New City Manager are in these positions. 

Whoa! The positions are City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Police Chief, City Clerk, Parks and Recreation Director, Business Development Administrator, Bayfront Community Redevelopment Agency Administrator, Housing and Neighborhood Development Service Specialist.

Those not fired were pretty much forced to resign. 172 years of experience gone in a few short months.

The Public Works Director is a ninth position which is on administrative leave and is to be replaced. This has all happened after Tres Holton and Jeff Bailey were elected to City Council seats in November making a majority with Deputy Mayor Harry Santiago.

This new majority is definitely changing and seems to be getting rid of anyone associated with the past. The City Council ignored the executive search firm they hired to find a City Manager replacement, and hired an individual with no government experience. Then fired the City Clerk before hiring Dave Isnardi as Deputy City Manager. Isnardi is the former Chief of Staff to Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson, and former vice chairman of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee.

The icing on this cozy cake is Dave Isnardi’s former boss, Brevard County District 5 Commissioner Andy Anderson has been hired in a newly created position as Palm Bay’s Economic Development Administrator. This really bothers me as it will affect every citizen in Brevard County. Anderson now has 2 so called “Part Time” Jobs. Whether or not it’s called “Part Time,” being County Commissioner presently is, or at least should be a “full time” job. In a May 16th Florida Today Story by Dave Berman and Wayne Price, titled “Brevard County Commissioner Anderson takes Palm Bay Job,” former Palm Bay Mayor stated "I think it will raise questions among the residents of District 5," Mazziotti said. "He needs to do his job as commissioner. These are both full-time jobs." When the job was called part time years ago, the county was half the size in population, and didn’t have the problems that require research to determine how to move forward.

In Florida Today, the Brevard County Attorney Scott Knox said it was fine as long as Anderson doesn’t vote when there’s a conflict of interest. How can there not be conflicts of interest on most issues? This is the largest city in Brevard County in both size and population. How does this not lead to an advantage given to Palm Bay over all other Brevard County cities on just about any issue? What happens with all these conflicts of interest? If he declares the conflict, and I’m sure someone needs to watch every issue, which leaves four commissioners on a large number of decisions. If there’s a tie, the vote is void, or the discussion has to go back for reconsideration, with a Commission having to vote possibly a way he or she is not happy with. Bad for Brevard, and probably not for Palm Bay. Palm Bay will have privileged information no other city will know. Is that fair?

What prevents Palm Bay from competing with the county, so the city gets the business instead of the county? Or Palm Bay competing with north Brevard with extra incentives to attract a business? Had Anderson been hired as a city janitor, there would not be a problem. But how can anyone fail to see the conflict of interest when the job being the Palm Bay’s Economic Administrator?

The only one on the Palm Bay City Council that is trustworthy and with common sense is Council Member Michelle Paccione. I know her and I have heard her on a number of issues and she’s honest and doesn’t have a hidden agenda.

Tres Holton, one of the new City Council members making the new majority is not new to politics, but had never been elected before November 2014. The Florida Today article stated “Holton has defended the City Hall reorganization. During a council meeting, he said "naysayers, defeatists and slanderers" criticized Juan Ponce de León's voyage to Florida, the Gemini and Mercury astronauts, and the political campaigns of inexperienced candidates Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

Holton displayed a tic-tac-toe puzzle on a sheet of paper.

"Got to think outside the box. This is the way things have been done here for a long, long time. It's time to start doing something different. We are explorers. We are pioneers. And I'm actually excited about this new renaissance," Holton said.”

Tres, I knew you when you were twenty and you are still spouting the same rubbish as then. Grow up, open your eyes, people are relying on you.

Leadership exodus strikes Palm Bay City Hall

Brevard County Commissioner Anderson takes Palm Bay job


Last modified on Monday, 15 June 2015 11:05
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