Esther Coulson has, in my opinion, been nothing short of superlative in her interaction with citizens, and her service to our community. Thank you Esther.
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To the Cutler Bay Town Council,
You hired the Town Clerk to run an independent office, answering only to the Town Council as a whole. You have terminated her because she would not surrender control of her office to the Town Manager and because she resisted conflicting and improper direction from individual council members. You have terminated her because she was executing the duties and responsibilities that you charged her with.
I have heard that “fiscal responsibility” was the reason. Hog wash. The severance pay alone will cost the taxpayers more than the $4000 that resulted from the alleged mistake. And, if I was terminated for faithfully performing my duties, I would sue. And I would win. How many tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in attorney costs will result? And, how many 100s of thousands of taxpayer dollars will a settlement cost? How much will an experienced interim clerk cost? And for that matter, what decent and competent clerk would want to come to work for a Town that is hostile to, then terminates clerks, one after another, for faithfully performing their duties?
No, “fiscal responsibility” is nothing more than a lame excuse for a hatchet job. A hatchet job strategically orchestrated by the Town Manager manipulating the egos and prejudice of a few councilmembers to serve his personal agenda. The result? Councilmembers working for the Town manager rather than for the benefit of the citizens who elected the Council to represent them.
Cutler Bay has a dysfunctional government.
You have perpetrated an enormous disservice to the citizens of Cutler Bay. Elections are imminent. The Town Clerk serves as our municipal supervisor of elections, and Esther has performed this duty admirably. By gutting the Town Clerk’s office you not only have eliminated the citizens’ only independent source of public information during this election cycle, but also hindered and obstructed efficient functioning of our municipal elections. And in case you need reminding, elections are the foundation of our form of government.
You could have fixed this situation. All it would take is a motion, a second, and a vote to rescind the resolution asking for the clerk’s resignation. But you did not.
This situation is just one symptom of our dysfunctional government. Until the root cause of dysfunction is eliminated, it will continue to fester and corrupt our Town. The root cause is the Town Manager. You asked the wrong person to resign. Cutler Bay needs a better Town Manager.