Power grab at City Hall?

By Michael Miller….
You just had to know that the city commission would vote to take away whatever “power” the city manager had to hire department heads and hand it to themselves.

Now it’s on to the November 2 election when voters have a chance to change the city charter, allowing the commission to either approve or nix hiring of any department heads.

(Speaking of department heads, Commissioner Brian “The Brain” Beasly and I finally agree on something: He and Commissioner Velma Palmer both voted against the charter change).

Now our Mayor is a sort of brainiac himself. A likeable enough guy, he’s a professor, scientist, and biologist holding a PhD. But he’s quoted as saying: “A veto should be a rare thing…”

Well, maybe that’s HIS intention but, clearly, he can’t speak for other elected officials, and at some point or another, he’ll no longer be a commissioner.

So, folks, remember that elected officials who can’t ‘get enough’ always want more of that elusive respect and power they so desperately seek. They’d be much better off taking a cue from the old refrain: “Looking for love in all the wrong places.”

Speaking of love, I hear that the city is contemplating suing attorneys for malpractice but — and that’s a mighty big ‘but’ — it seems the statue of limitations having run its course will leave the city holding the bag. Hmmm… who’s gonna’ get the blame on this one?

These commisioners are more fickle than our weather.

About 10 months ago, after hiring the last ‘acting’ or ‘interim’ city manager, they were all going ga-ga thinking Roger Carlton would solve what ailed them.

Then, son-of-a-gun!

Just as soon as Rog’ cleaned up city hall by firing a bunch of department heads, HE got fired (and quite unceremoniously, too). Sitting in the audience at city hall at the time to see the show was his replacement, Randy “The General” Witt (yup, a real ‘General,’ too!). Shortly thereafter, Witt was hired to replace Carlton.

After waiting a month or so, Commissioner Newman who touted both Carlton and Witt turned on Witt by sending him an Email blast that took “The General” to task.

So as the saying goes, “…and the paint was even dry yet.” My sources tell me, however, that the “General” took it all in stride.

Now fast forward to just a few weeks ago. Here we go again as Commissioner Valerie loaded up her guns to wage her own war on Witt, asking her compatriots to hand him his discharge papers. (Golly, doesn’t she have anything better to do?)

City staffers must be quite amused, watching ‘Val’ point the finger at the city manager.

But it’s the commission that ought to be giving itself a big salute!

And that’s the biggest “but” of all!

Thought of the Day: I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. — Christopher Reeve

Richard Yager contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to michael@communitynewspapers.com.

I hear that the city is contemplating suing attorneys for malpractice but — and that’s a mighty big ‘but’ — it seems the statue of limitations having run its course will leave the city holding the bag. Hmmm… who’s gonna’ get the blame on this one? e are more fickle than our weather. About 10 months ago, after hiring the last ‘acting’ or ‘interim’ city manager, they were all going ga-ga thinking Roger Carlton would solve what ailed them. Then, son-of-a-gun! Just as soon as Rog’ cleaned up city hall by firing a bunch of department heads, HE got fired (and quite unceremoniously, too). Sitting in the audience at city hall at the time to see the show was his replacement, Randy “The General” Witt (yup, a real ‘General,’ too!). Shortly thereafter, Witt was hired to replace Carlton. After waiting a month or so, Commissioner Newman who touted both Carlton and Witt turned on Witt by sending him an Email blast that took “The General” to task. So as the saying goes, “…and the paint was even dry yet.” My sources tell me, however, that the “General” took it all in stride. Now fast forward to just a few weeks ago. Here we go again as Commissioner Valerie loaded up her guns to wage her own war on Witt, asking her compatriots to hand him his discharge papers. (Golly, doesn’t she have anything better to do?) City staffers must be quite amused, watching ‘Val’ point the finger at the city manager. But it’s the commission that ought to be giving itself a big salute! And that’s the biggest “but” of all! t e I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. — Christopher Reeve Richard Yager contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to <michael@communitynewspapers.com>.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at michael@communitynewspapers.com

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