BY BUDDY NEVINS
The city manager of Coconut Creek has a big, expensive Valentine Day’s gift for taxpayers.
The only question is whether city commissioners will accept it.
Manager David Rivera’s evaluation is scheduled for Feb. 14. It could result in an 8 percent raise on his already huge salary.
David Rivera wants big salary to get bigger
Rivera was paid $359,288 in salary and benefits in 2012, up from $328,495 in 2010.
The top 10 Florida cities in population pay city managers $90,000 to $199,000, according to the Miami Herald of Oct. 19, 2012.
He also may seek a contract extension at the meeting, according to several sources.
Is he worth it?
Coconut Creek was once a model of good government under long-time former Manger John Kelly.
Then Rivera took over.
At the same time Rivera’s salary was climbing, the pay to city police was cut, morale among employees plunged and the city hall cut back the days it was open. You can only get a building permit or do any other city business Monday through Thursday in Coconut Creek.
Despite these problems, Rivera has two solid votes on the city commission and usually can pick up a third. Commissioners Lou Sarbone and Mayor Marilyn Gerber are Rivera acolytes, while Mikkie Belevedere often votes with him.
Commissioners Lisa Aronson and Becky Tooley are Rivera opponents.
Gerber will only be on the dais for one more month, since she is retiring after the March election. And in March, voters could elect a new commissioner who is more skeptical of Rivera.
So the timing of this evaluation, pay raise and possible request for a contract extension is suspicious.
Suspicious? I would say disgraceful if I were a taxpayer in Coconut Creek.