Friends and Neighbors,

 In a 3-1 vote, the Cutler Bay Town Council today terminated the Town Clerk. For background see the attached Article. The article is also available online:

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.

To voice your opinion, Reply All to this e-mail. recipients include the Council and local newspapers.

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.

Steve Zarzecki

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8 Comments on "Friends and Neighbors,"

  1. It is with great sadness to learn that the years of work and the dreams of so many to have a local government untarnished by political games and power plays was for naught.
    Nancy McCue

  2. As a Cutler Bay voter and taxpayer I call serious “shenanigans” on the Council representatives who voted to oust Ms. Coulson. Also, with regard to the Town Manager, I have heard troubling criticisms regarding his overpaid utility to the Town. It has been alleged that Mr. Alexander is more interested in keeping an iron grip on the operations of the Town than doing what is best for its citizens. Ms. Loyzelle and Ms. Bell appear to be Mr. Alexander’s cronies. Ms. Coulson is yet another victim of a dysfunctional management team. Stop the jockeying for power and do the Town’s business in a professional, dispassionate way! My feedback is that the mayor, vice major and town clerk are superb and that the remainder of the appointed and elected team are very seriously in need of replacement.
    I thank Steve Zarzecki for providing the kind of vital information regarding the Town of Cutler Bay that is not available from other sources via the Internet. What can residents now do to rectify what certainly appears to be a very serious problem?

    Clay Stemple
    18683 SW 94 Ct.
    Cutler Bay

  3. Once again our incompetent, self-serving Cutler Bay Town Council has shown that they are not leaders but merely puppets. Whether it is this issue or some other issue—such as selective, vindictive and malicious code enforcement—this elected council has shown it's arrogance and utter disregard of and towards the betterment of Cutler Bay and it's residents. I can't wait until the next elections to vote all of them out and elect some leaders with integrity and a backbone.

    Mark S. Wisby
    The Cove
    Cutler Bay, Fl.

  4. I am a Cutler Bay Citizen not conversant with the players who finds this firing disturbing and meriting expeditious review and corrective action. It smells. The citizenry can ill afford to lose a working person who is looking out for the public interest. I encourage Esther to fight and the citizens to rally around her. The question should arise in the minds of the taxpayers. What underhanded motives and desires underly this unjust firing by the town council and those for whom the town council acts as running dogs.

    Mark Glasser
    Cutler Bay

  5. I completely agree. The town manager has been nothing but problems!

    Carie L
    Cutler Bay Resident

  6. Liz,
    Thank you for the input. As a single vote on the council, and no more, I will bow to the will of the council. Nevertheless, as is required of any free thinking person, I disagree with the decision to dismiss the clerk which resulted in the immediate resignation of the assistant clerk as well. This leaves us with zero clerk ability. If a citizen such as yourself wishes to have documents from the Town, now would not be a good time to ask for them. In time all will be back in order, no doubt.
    I leave you with this, I never suggested that there was any kind of plot between any council member. As for dysfunctional, well in a representative democracy, beware of a perfectly smooth running government. When this happens, you may wake up some morning with the fox living in the hen house. Never completely trust any elected official. Always do what you have done and ask the questions and watch those who profess to be your trusted appointment.
    Thank you for your input.
    With Kindest Regards,

    Edward P. MacDougall

  7. Dear Mr. Mayor:
    Thank you for responding, although I did not think I was speaking to you. I thought I was simply responding to Steve's "Concerned Citizens". I didn't know you were in league with his group.

    I have a bachelors in administration, and have worked with teams for many, many years–almost 13 of them in an insurance company as a licensed agent/supervisor/trainer/script writer and Quality Assurance Professional (overseeing the legality of all telephone insurance sales and proceedings). If you need help, let me know. And I mean this–I can even answer phones gratis. I love my town.
    You did not accuse anyone of collusion as far as I know–Ernie did. It wasn't thinly veiled–it was right out there. A better way might have to have been to say, "I know that everyone on the council cares for and wants the best for the residents of Cutler Bay. We are examining every aspect of this unfortunate incident, and will keep the public apprised." Instead, he shot off his mouth and pointed accusing fingers and brought attention to the dysfunction that Steve was so gracious to point out. Incendiary, to say the least, and not indicative of a team working together. Timing is critical, but so is dismissing someone who is not performing. Like the Kennedy assasination, I suppose we'll never know unless Ernie can document his suspicions and can print his findings in his personal column.

    Thank you again for caring to respond to the residents of Cutler Bay.

    Most sincerely,


  8. Can anyone tell me what this is REALLY about? Surely not a one-time $4,000 mistake. The residents of Cutler Ridge (Bay) are not that stupid. While we are hanging out dirty laundry, let's come clean. The head-banging between the mayor and his council is not a secret.

    Read more here:
    According to the mayor's right-hand man, "It seemed like “a strategy of some type,” Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin told council members at Tuesday’s meeting. Does that mean that whenever any council member disagrees with anyone else on the council, it's a "strategy of some type???? Again, we are not that stupid–Ernie–stop accusing those who hold other views as violating the sunshine laws.
    Why can't the mayor lead his council without being a dictator? Is that what I am seeing? Steve called the Council "dysfunctional". Well, a 3 to 1 vote seems to point the direction of the dysfunction.
    Is it time for a change??????

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