Sunday, September 18, 2011

Susan Stanton in Milwaukee

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Our city manager is now in Milwaukee at the International City/County Manager's Association (ICMA) Annual Conference. On their web site they list 9 available city manager jobs. Conventions are a great place to network.

The first thing on the program Monday morning is a segment entitled Being Brave and Bold without Getting Fired.

Our city manager is extremely brave considering that she took on the Unions and actually negotiated with the IBEW and others and making strides, not to mention the law suits. I admire her for many things. She saved us $1.2 million this year with PBSO and County Fire/Rescue getting them to agree to dropping the supplement yearly payment. Of course we are now locked into a 10 year contract with a $5 million cancellation clause. One of her biggest achievements was ending the PB County water dispute so that we could continue with our RO. And we can't forget some of the Staff she has hired that are top notch like our Finance Director, Steve Carr. She has "taken on" personnel and the turn-over is off the charts. She has cut departmental budgets and staff. The make-up of our City Hall today is totally different than it was just a few short years ago. She has an extremely bold Budget. You can't find a damn thing in it. You can't get any bolder than she by raising taxes up the gazoo during the worst economy of record and didn't flutter an eyelash.

In this regressive city government, our city manager has stated that there has been citizen dissatisfaction that has been disruptive to her balancing the budget. It's always the other guy's fault. We are all supposed to be sheep and not question a thing. She wants everything implemented in the Budget, no exceptions, and has repeatedly said that we are a city that is broken and she, as city manager, is performing medical triage.

A curve ball was just thrown to her on Tuesday when the garbage assessment increase was turned down after much public outrage. She has talked about our active citizenry who "express rage and displeasure directly towards the Mayor, Commission and to Managers. Consequently, we have seen a lock-down at City Hall. We witnessed the Mayor's patience wearing thin last week to someone in the Chamber. We are not allowed to react emotionally to them taking our money; We, I guess, should be happy campers. No longer is it a quaint and friendly place to visit. It has at least 10 security cameras throughout, inside as well as out, with armed deputies in the Chamber and you now have to call for an appointment.

Our City history has been eliminated from City Hall other than the Pioneer Plaque that was re-hung after much insistence. All of the past commissions and former mayors' photographs were removed from the walls over two years ago. Although we have asked that they be reinstalled, that request has fallen on a deaf dais. Our Museum has been closed and we have our 100th anniversary in 2013.

Our city manager has vowed that the city no longer spend money that it does not have. That makes sense considering we have NO money left in our Reserves according to her Budget. Why did we ever spend money over the past few years that was not in the budget? Last year we had over $66 mil in Investment funds of which approximately 1/2 was unrestricted with over $7 mil in cash. We wonder about all that money. We wonder about our Fund Budgets in general and how much money the City is raising in new taxes. 5.25% here; 13% all mounts up to a bundle. The only way to fill up the cookie jar again is by taxing those citizens who have been dissatisfied and who are a thorn in her side for even thinking about a complaint.

Her Staff fears her. A few act like they idolize her. Many of the residents don't trust her. She tells us that, "You are wrong." She will probably learn at this Seminar that having a regressive commission that does not listen to its constituents and that looks up to her as if she were some sort of guru or demigod is just what the doctor ordered to keep her job.


Anonymous said...

I have said it in other CM, go to the city line, step over and don't turn back....Well she is past the city line maybe she will not come back....after all who knows she may already have all our money to live on for the rest of her life.

Is it me or does it seem like everyone involved with the city has his or her hand in the cookie jar? We need an Audit!!!

Michael said...

Stanton is delusional. She is such a fake, she like to look down on others, her power will catch up to her. She never wants to listen to us the citizens, she treats us like crap. I hope she takes a job elsewhere, we need a CM that listens to us and the elected officials, not the other way around. We have the right to question her and I am glad Lynn does this with this blog, keep up the great work Lynn. He needs to be responsive to us and treat us with respect. I believe a person earns respect, it is not automatic just because you hold the title of CM, Stanton had never earned the respect from the citizens here, her ultimate success will hinge on this.

Anonymous said...

Let's get some changes in the faces on the dias, and I have a feeling that will lead to a change in the CM's office. They have had their time to make a positive impact and they have failed. Let's get some new blood in City Hall. I want people running my City who are actually affected by the decisions they make. Enough transient renters running our City.

Anonymous said...

City staff moving and giving away money without Commission approval or knowledge. Meetings held out of the Sunshine.Notes being passed while in meetings that are out of the Sunshine( Steve,what was in that note that Margolis gave to you)? Margolis-you useful idiot-don't you know that what you did(passing a secret note while in a "public" meeting) was against Florida law?Stanton-where has all the money gone? Why did you fire our last auditor? Construction halted on the Casino because the boss has a bug up his AZZ about a missing GOLF CART KEY!!! Such wonderful employees.Mayor Waterman,you have a hell of a lot of nerve getting impatient with ANY citizen.Commission-either incompetant staff(yes,Joe,a pool needs a pump to run) goes ,or you do.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't matter if there 900 open CM positions in the U.S. No other city would be foolish enough to hire her. Just the good ole BCE

Lynn Anderson said...

I understand what Susan Stanton is trying to accomplish. I just don't like it. She has done, however, some very positive things for LW and so has the BCE.

Lynn Anderson said...

I just heard from the CM and she said that she is NOT looking for another job.