Manager Seeks Big Raise Right Before Election



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.



Read more about David Rivera from here and here. 

41 Responses to “Manager Seeks Big Raise Right Before Election”

  1. nookierookie says:

    Dave Rivera is rude to residents, disrespectful to the commissioners, why would anyone give him a raise, and much less a contract extension. why reward behavior that is unbecoming of his position.

  2. carcrate says:

    What nerve this guy has.
    He fooled everyone, and now even the people that helped him get in believe he needs to be gone. My vote is to dump him.

    Happy Valentines Dave

  3. insanity says:

    Charlie Dodge needs to apply for this job. He will get a $100,000 pay raise

  4. call me crazy says:

    $359,000 for the little town of Coconut Creek OMG
    This is highway robbery

  5. cacall me stupid says:

    insanity I agree with you.

    Most high paid broward employees (prvt sector) dont make this kind of money and have more duties and hours associated with the work

    This guy is a thief

  6. dave reversa says:

    city manager becomes high way robber

    Newsflash, Jesse James used a gun

    rivera uses intimidation and his pen

  7. pokahontas says:

    Maybe Dave can cut a better deal with the Seminoles in the wine room of the NY Yankee steakhouse in Creeeeek

    along with the other high rollers(ie losers)

  8. BL says:

    My opinion aside on Mr. Rivera, I would like to encourage our current Commission to table this until the newest Commissioner joins them next month. I don’t believe Mayor Gerber wants to leave a parting gift such as this for the new Commissioner or the residents she has served for so long.

    I would like to know if police, fire and staff will be getting any raise at all this year? Something stinks in Creek, and it’s not just the dump!

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Update: Holy Shades Of John Sims The Racist! More Facebook Stupidity, This Time From Coconut Creek Police Chief Michael Mann. Help Me Howard Weighs In. (0)

    File this under: When will they ever learn?

    Looks like Coconut Creek Police Chief Michael Mann suffers from Facebook Alzheimer’s.

    Last week, Mann shared the following video with his FaceBook friends. Seems that Mann, the town’s head cop (pun!), get his jollies watching a video of the po-po pulling over an innocent private citizen and drawing their weapons on that poor schlub.

    Done, of course, in the name of the cops “having a good time at the expense of John Q. Public.”

    Given Mann’s history of racial discrimination, turning a blind’s eye at very questionable shootings (more about that in the days to come), hiring his FDLE cronies at top dollar (more about this also), and driving agency moral into the shitter (and this), is this the quintessential example of
    “art imitating life”?

  10. BCDevelopment says:

    WOW, over $350K to manage Coconut Creek (CC)? Really?
    CC is just another of the many run-of-the-mill, non-descript, blah, suburban communities found in So Fla…. It should have never been incorporated…..such a waste & duplication of municipal taxing & service……. CC would have been much better off as a subdivision of Coral Springs- even merging with Margate would make more sense.

    CC’s biggest claim to fame is the fresh aromatic smells from Mount Trashmore that make their way thru Winston Park on those balmy summer nites…..They haven’t been able to “cash in” on any descent development projects as a result of the Casino, there’s not a single Class (A) office project in the entire the City and its Publix anchored retail center designs are beyond tired….for $350K you’d expect much better leadership, vision & results.

  11. Nevins fan says:

    Once again, Buddy is right on target! Rivera is not entitled to receive a pay raise to his already obscene salary (come on Commissioners, you know his performance is nowhere near “above average”), he should not receive an extension to his contract and he should be dropped as city manager as soon as possible. And his toady, Lou Sarbone should continue to follow him…right out the door.

  12. Independent says:

    What do other city managers in the region get paid? I think this is at the high end of the spectrum. Others get less than $200,000.

    Maybe cheaper to find someone else and still afford an assistant city manager.


    The 10 top Florida cities in population pay city managers a range of $90,000 to $199,000, according to the Miami Herald.
    Within the past few months Sunrise, a bigger city than Coconut Creek, agreed to pay its new city manager $195,000 plus benefits and no cost-of-living raise for two years. The salary would increase to $198,500 after a year if the commission believes he is doing a good job.

  13. blah blah blah says:

    Yeah Charlie Dodge didn’t/doesn’t deserve the obscene $ he got for years either. Buddy can shed light on the issue but only the voters out there can change the situation.

  14. Former Public Sector Employee says:

    His salary is so far beyond the norm that I have to wonder if the Commissioners are paying attention. Do they conduct a salary comparability study? This guy should be more than thankful with what he is currently being paid. And I’m sure his fringe benefits are very generous.

  15. modeengunch says:

    I laughed at Coconut Creek over 40 years ago when I moved to Broward. Still laughing. I don’t know anyone who lives there.

  16. Nicole says says:

    I hope the commissioners in Creek will do the right thing and not grant Mr. Rivera his salary increase nor extend his contract. There are plenty of qualified people out there that can do his job at a more realistic salary. The City of Coconut Creek is not reinventing the wheel. It is an awesome little community that is continually getting black eyes from this guy. The residents deserve better!!

  17. excompassionateconservative says:

    This is what the Tea Party should be fighting. Fight against blowhard cops and bloated pensions and welfare kings who own sports teams. That is what I thought was going to happen.

    Instead, they fought blacks, teachers, the minimum wage, clean air and water, OSHA , black helicopters from the UN, women, gays, autism care, science, non Christians, hispanics, gays, health care and multi imaginary Obamas. From 2016 to 2024 they wil be fighting imaginary Hillarys while residents pay inflated pensions and health care for this travesty in Coconut Creek.

  18. OOPS there she goes again says:

    There are many inflated salaries in creek. check it out. there are a number of deptheads that make over $200,000, there are secretaries that make over $100,000

    Please investigate this- dig deeper, its not just Rivera, although his is the most blatant

    Look at all the salaries and adjust downward

  19. Thomas G. Biggs says:

    Rivera secretary makes more than $100,000 a year which is enough to get him fired anywhere else.
    Commissioners should show the public where other secretaries are earning that much anywhere in Coconut Creek or in all of Broward.

  20. I Smell A Rat says:

    Rivera is also a secrecy nut and doesn’t trust the public. His attitude during public meetings is one of arrogances which is why he ordered the staff not to put the commission meetings on the Internet because he likes to do his dirty work in private.

  21. Rivera is an A$$ says:

    He is the most arrogant piece of crap in Broward, right ahead of BMW Patti. This guy is a minature version of Mike Levinson who ran Coral Springs into the ground. They need to dump his a$$, and pay 1/2 the price for someone who is twice as good and will respect members of both the commission and public!

  22. Just say NO! says:

    A request for resignations:

    To: Mr. David Rivera (City Manager), Mr. Paul Stewart (City Attorney), Mr. Lou Sarbone (City Commissioner):

    On behalf of the good citizens of Coconut Creek, I am asking for all 3 of your resignations. I now present the reasons.

    On or before 11/01/2012 City Manager Dave Rivera devises his diabolical plan. Rivera calls a meeting with City Commissioner, Lou Sarbone, and City Attorney, Paul Stewart. Rivera needs their full cooperation. Stewart is to request a meeting with City Commissioner, Becky Tooley. At this meeting he is to get Commissioner Tooley to agree to reverse her actual opinion of Rivera’s job performance at his upcoming elvaluation, from below average to above average. She is then to also vote in favor of a contract extension for Rivera .
    Now, here is how Rivera’s plan is to happen at the workshop on his performance evaluation: After City Commissioner, Lou Sarbone, gives Rivera a 5-star above average rating on his performance for year 2012, he, Sarbone, is to make a surprise motion to extend Rivera’s contract. If Commissioner Tooley agrees to cooperate in this plan, Commissioner Sarbone, promises to nominate Commissioner Tooley for Mayor when the next meeting for nomination occurs in March. It is risky plan, but City Manager Dave Rivera wants his raise, and wants his contract extention even more. City Commissioner Lou Sarbone and City Attorney Paul Stewart agree with the plan, Stewart is to deliver the message to Tooley.
    The three believe Tooley might just go along with the plan. Rivera knows Commissioner Tooley is still mad as hell – as she should be – that she got passed over last year for the nomination of Mayor. (That was another devious plan devised by City Manager Rivera. The details of that will be saved for another time). So, attorney Stewart fulfills his part; on the day before the performance evaluation workshop, he requests a meeting with Commissioner Tooley. At this meeting, he explains what her part is to be, what she is to do, and in return what her reward will be. But Commissioner Tooley tells the City Attorney she cannot be bought. She will not cooperate.
    The workshop is held on 11/08/2012, and Rivera’s plan backfires. His performance and behaviors are slammed by Commissioner Tooley. If that isn’t enough, Commissioner Lisa Aronson also pounces on him, describing in detail how he has been repeatedly disrespectful and a liar. She also described how, just the day before, he had produced a red-lined contract for waste and refuse that had been negotiated without informing the commissioners, a completely unacceptable practice for a City Manager.
    Time runs out at the meeting. It is 7:00 pm, time for the regular commission meeting to start, so the workshop is adjourned. There is no vote on City Manager Dave Rivera’s performance and therefore no raise.
    Now, Fast-forward to Feburary 14th, 2013. Another workshop is scheduled prior to the regular board meeting. Rivera has placed a “Conclusion of City Manager Evaluation” on the agenda. (There is also talk that a contract extension will be placed on the table as well. Ask yourself: If I were a Commissioner how would I vote on his performance and, this, a raise? Or would I instead ask for his resignation?

  23. Wasteful says:

    Look into the 2 Greenstein contracts that Sarbone voted to extend and raise. One Sarbone extended his Resource Recovery Director the other was to give him a lobbyist raise in his city. Can he do this at County level knowing he is preparing a Resource Recovery Contract knowing Mr Greenstein is clearly registered as the City Lobbyist.
    Sarbone is a Rivera and Greenstein puppet.
    With a name like Sarbone dealing with garbage contracts seems up his alley.
    The expansion, smell and corruption with landfills and waste contracts in creek is out of control.
    John Kelly is rolling over in his grave and he still is alive!
    Let’s Take Our City Back!

  24. fla cracker says:

    That’s criminal. He and Mike Good should found a “ridiculously paid and talentless” city managers association.

  25. Mike says:

    So this guys stands to make about as much as the president? I wonder if coconut creeks public works, parks and recs, police and fire employees will also be allowed a raise…..seems common place for city managers to allow themselves concessions/ perks, while claiming to be short on funds and cutting salaries and benefits across the board.

  26. Lamberti is garbage says:

    I live in Creek an didn’t know this. Fire this scumbag immediately.

  27. Lamberti is garbage says:

    OK Chaz…this thief makes Deerfield look like child’s play. Get him and get some street cred instead of what you got now.

  28. Just say NO! says:

    To Wasteful: Tell us more about the Sarbone/Greenstein connection. We would like to put it out there for Creek residents to see.

  29. Wow says:

    Just say no just laid out the elements of a sunshine violation. Paul Stewart served as the conduit to a proposal by Sarbone to trade a vote to support Rivera in exchange for a nomination and vote for Tooley for mayor.

    Really proud of you becky for rejecting such a scheme. Becoming mayor is not worth violating the law.

    Where is the state Attorney when he is needed????

  30. Leonore Greller says:

    Now I know why I pay a $30.00 occupational license fee to Broward County and a $150.00 fee to Coconut Creek! It’s used to pay a ridiculously high salary to a City Manager.

    We need to address this issue and the high taxes we pay.

  31. Nevins Fan! says:

    Question for City Commissioner, Marilyn Gerber: Why is it that you unfailingly, and without questions, support City Manager David Rivera. Why do you just as consistently vote for anything he places before you? You do this despite his continually lying to commissioners, bullying them and in other ways showing his disrespect to you, HIS BOSSES? Why do you support him even when he secretly negotiates a contract with a waste management company without any notice to the city commissioners or input from them ( HIS BOSSES) and then he expects them to rubber-stamp that contract? Then, when he receives heat from outside, and then secretly renegotiates the contract to be shared between 2 companies , why do you still support his antics? Are you OK with the salaries paid to Rivera and his top-paid staff which, in 2012, amounted to over $2 million? How about the 4-day work week for Creek employees that, for each holiday, becomes a 3-day week? Why do you unquestioningly support him? Has he promised you something? Does he have something on you? You cannot be as stubbornly clueless as you seem, can you? Then why are you backing this loser?

    Same question for Lou Sarbone: Why do you continue to back this guy, a man who operates in secrecy from the commission and the public? Why do you back a guy who routinely bullies staff and commissioners, who creates job positions at will without any input from commissioners, his bosses? Why do you stand by a guy who routinely lies to commissioners and citizens to further his ends? Is it purely out of friendship that you unequivocally back him? Or is there something in it for you?

    To Micki Belvedere: Have you heard the old saying that if you sleep with dogs you may wake up with fleas?

  32. just one vote says:

    Buddy you have educated many here, and hopefully some live in Coconut Creek and take immediate action with their Commission if they don’t approve. If not, let this highway robber city manager stay in Coconut Creek. I don’t want to see him hired by another city he can fleece.

  33. Creek Girl says:

    To Nevins Fan!:

    Your argument is complete crap! All Coconut Creek Commissioners voted for Dave Rivera exceptional salary increases for the pass 5 years. In 2008, his salary + benefits contract was around $200,000. Five years later, it’s $359,000!!! Comm. Tooley and Comm. Arson gave him the raises, including Mayor Gerber

    What is different this year? Could it be that
    Comm. Lisa Aronson is being lobbied
    heavily by another garbage that really want
    Coconut Creek’s garbage contract. Check out’s Coconut Creek Open Government page under Lobbyist Mtg and her campaign treasury report summary contribution page.

    The City of Coconut Creek’s Commission is fractured and dysfunctional. Wonder if they will decide to have group therapy and send the bill to the City’s taxpayers.

  34. I love Coconut Creek says:

    Every once in a while, I am jolted by a taste of reality. Here is a bit of perspective I picked up last night: While was shopping at Home Depot in Coconut Creek after the City Commission meeting, I began chatting with one of the workers there. I mentioned that, though Coconut Creek City Manager Rivera would not be getting his 5% contractual raise, he would be receiving the COLA increase (approximately 3% raise).

    The man asked how much money that would be. When I told him it would be nearly $10,000, he replied, “Do you know. at the $10 an hour that I get, I would have to work 1,000 hours to make that?” A thousand hours! That is 25 forty-hour weeks, to make salary equal to Rivera’s raise! This man was obviously over 65, and it was almost 10:00 at night. It is hard-working people like this who live in the Creek and who pay Rivera’s salary. Enjoy your raise, Dave.

  35. excompassionateconservative says:

    I used to live in Coconut Creek Buddy. This sounds very similar to what happened in a California town where a clique railroaded incredible raises and pension benefits and virtually bankrupted the place.

    I really can not understand how a city manager can paid so much.

    I would love to support a Tea Party revolt in Fla towns over this, but they are too busy being angry about a black guy in the White house and will spend another 8 years angry about Hillary starting in 2016 till 2024.

    Mr. Rivera might as well have every resident’s tax and fee check made out to him directly. To think that at one time I thought Margate was worse. At least there the spoils were spread out better.

  36. What's going on ? says:

    Intimidation and a huge fear of retaliation is an important factor concerning employees of CC. From City Hall, trickling down to every dept. It is a do as I say, not as I do, type of thing. As long as the current leadership is in power nothing will ever change. Moral is low no matter what may be said otherwise. Take a close look at the parks. Maintenance and upkeep is at an all time low…and management…wow…very top heavy..

  37. garbage in creek says:

    rivera needs to be done. i missed recent election nomination deadline…looking for you dave. look for me next go round…

  38. kuku says:

    Whoever wins in Creek (hopefully Sandy Welch) needs to call for a vote of no confidence on Dave Rivera. Lets get this guy out of there and replace him with a reasonably paid manager that respects women, respects employees and respects the citizens of coconut creek.

    Out with Rivera should be the first order of the day.

  39. Wasteful says:

    Just say no…
    Here is you answer look at resource recovery minutes from the day jack sieler who by the way negiociated gene seinfeld contract was told on his first mtg he was handling that. Next was Lieberman directing Sarbone to negotiate Greenstein contract. It took place at the first mtg of the new board. Look you will see the mayor Sarbone at the time did negotiate greensteins contract who if you look was a lobbyist of city at same time. The end!

  40. just one vote says:

    @Wasteful –
    thanks for post. looks like they are ALL in bed together! am I wrong? sieler sticking it to Fort Lauderdale residents and taxpayers as well? should we rejoice again leiberman gone from any seat of power? pray tell more to us in the dark.

  41. Pick says:

    David Rivera is a greedy man. He want everything for himself. David cut yearly evaluation for city employees to half of what a city worker would get on his or her evaluation. Say for instance you get a 3% with Dave policy you would receive 1.5% on your hourly pay. But Dave wants 8% on his 360,000 he is making not to mention all the other incentive he took away form the city workers.