BY BUDDY NEVINS
Coconut Creek has found a way around the new law which curbs golden parachutes for city officials:
Commissioners are being asked to immediately extend City Manager David Rivera’s current severance package through 2018. His current package is much more generous than the new one allowed under the law.
Let me write that again. Commissioners will vote on whether to extend Rivera’s severance package for seven years after the new law takes effect!
“I’m not for it. I think it’s wrong…it’s disgusting,” said Commissioner Becky Tooley.
The idea for the extension came from Rivera himself. He did not return a call for comment.
Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the extension Thursday night.
The Rivera agenda item, below, makes it clear that the vote is to being done to get around the new law.
The backup for the agenda states the new law has “a limited severance pay provision” and that is why they are rushing the extension.
Rivera is currently entitled to severance for at least one year, according to a commission member.
As part of its efforts to cut the cost of government, the Florida Legislature during the just-ended session limited the severance pay of public officials. The new law caps severance at 20 weeks, or about five months.
If an employee disputes the termination, the severance package can be cut to six weeks. A dismissal for cause — defined as “willful disregard of an employer’s interest” can result in no severance being paid.
There is a lesson in this: Some Coconut Creek officials are oblivious to taxpayer’s demand that outsized government benefits must be reduced. Thursday we will see if a majority of the commissioners are also blind to the wishes of the public.