[ PRINT ]

Are City Commissioners Expecting To Much?


 A few years ago I attended a Mayor/Commission work shop and heard Commissioner Materio state a resident approached her with a question, and as her commissioner she expected an answer.
Materio couldn’t answer her because she didn’t have the answer, but assured the resident she would get back to her as soon as she had one.
Commissioner Materio went to the department manager and asked the question. Know what she was told?
The manager’s/supervisors had a directive they were not to respond to commissioners questions, but instead refer them to the City Administrator.
At the time the City Administrator was Jeff Green.
Needless to say Materio was frustrated by Mayor Muoio response.
Now this is my opinion. Control, absolute control by the mayor’s office.
A manager may unwittingly divulge something the city didn’t want out to the public.
Send them to the City Administrator and responses will be given without  saying a damn thing.
That was then, this is now.
James mentioned how busy City Administrator Johnson was and I believe it. She has to keep an eye on the future and clean up the mistakes from the last 8 months. There are 5 Assistant City Managers can’t they answer a question? Suggestion: Loosen your grip, James.
At the City Commission meeting on 11/4/2019 Commissioners Neering and Peduzzi were equally frustrated because apparently they were told to direct their questions from residents to Tiffany David, the Mayor’s designated director of the city’s new “Neighborhoods First Initiative”.

Ms. David is to be James liaison between himself and the neighborhoods.

So how will that work out? It wont. Why? History tells us why.
Ms. David, who worked tirelessly on James election campaign was hired as a Director at a starting salary of $95,000.00/year. Dedicated city employees on the job for 25+ years don’t come close to her salary, but what little they earn they deserve.
If you attend or watch Commission meetings you know who Carl Flick is. If you don’t he is the President of the Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association, and they are damn lucky to have him. This is a guy who pays attention to his neighborhood and residents. He is outspoken at commission meetings and has for years complained about the flooding on North Flagler Drive. When he speaks he respectfully reminds the dais that flooding has continued for 40 years on sections of North Flagler. 2020 will be a new year and hopefully the city will move forward with the plans to correct the problem or the only difference will be when he speaks next he can honestly say resident’s have been living with the flooding for 41 years. I offer that little bit of information for one reason.
The Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association invited Ms. David to visit and see for herself the problems they are having and also the problems that will happen in the future if the city moves forward with their asinine plans to convert the Broadway Corridor from 4 lanes to two.  
Ms. David had put them off for months with one excuse after another.
Finally she made an appearance with Assistant Director Armando Fana who according to Mr. Flick, Mr. Fana paid attention to everything that was said, asked the right questions, and was a true professional.
Ms. David on the other hand appeared not to be able to focus, and spent too much time on her phone. Not respectful. I would take it as what you have to say isn’t important enough for me to listen or pay attention.
The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) held a meeting last Saturday and the city invitees included James, Deputy Chief Morris, Jose Tagle and Tiffany David.
I spoke with Carl Flick for an update and he said all the speakers did an excellent job and James was outstanding telling the neighborhood the city’s plans for North Flagler and other North End needs. James was pressed for time and introduced Ms. David and told a crowd of 80 people she would introduce herself and answer questions they may have.
Well 15 minutes after James left, so did Ms. David. Mr. Flick immediately texted her and asked her not to leave, she was the next speaker. She didn’t respond.
A follow up “thank you” e-mail sent to James also noted Ms. David’s early departure. Ms. David’s response the following Monday was the President of NCON, Catherine Ward, told her she didn’t have to stay. Untrue. 80 people were waiting for Ms. David to speak since she was now the liaison between them and the city. They finally had a direct link to city hall.
James could do a hell of a lot better as far as liaisons go. Residents need someone they can trust, and know they are being heard and that is not Ms. David.
City Commissioners should be able to ask a simple question of a City Administrator. So no, they are not expecting to much and I can’t see Ms. David as a help to them.