Monday, January 22, 2018

Palmetto Bay Manager May Cash In Unused Vacation

October 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews

CBS4 reporter, David Sutta, and the ITEAM investigated Palmetto Bay's proposed golden parachute for the Village Manager.

CBS4 reporter, David Sutta, and the ITEAM investigated Palmetto Bay's proposed golden parachute for the Village Manager.


*CBS4 Video – David Sutta and ITEAM investigation of Palmetto Bay Village Manager Golden Parachute

The Manager’s 40 Weeks Of Unused Time Could Add Up To $120,000

David Sutta and the investigative reporters and producers at CBS4′s ITEAM
came to Palmetto Bay on Monday, to question the proposed contract extension for Village Manager Ron Williams.
Palmetto Bay Village Manager Ron Williams’ new contract would allow him
to take two months of vacation. If he doesn’t use it, town officials say he could cash in the unused time.
Similar contracts in other municipalities have proven to be expensive to the taxpayers.
Here is David Sutta’s report:
Oct 5, 2009 11:59 pm US/Eastern
Reporting – David Sutta
When the CBS4-ITEAM investigation revealed that City of Miami employees banked hundreds of hours of vacation time and then cashed out tens of thousands of dollars, Jim Araiza, a resident of Palmetto Bay, was dumbfounded.
“It’s a great perk. It’s a great perk if you can get it!” Araiza said.
It was not so great though when Jim found that same policy is now being proposed in his neighborhood of Palmetto Bay for the Village Manager. Araiza told us, “I don’t think right now with the current economy is the time we should be sweetening the pot. If anything, we should be looking to save.”
Village Manager Ron Williams’ contract does not expire for another four years but outgoing Mayor Eugene Flinn sealed the manager’s position by renewing his contract tonight for the next five years. The contract includes a $145,000 salary with cost of living raises. There is a $200 a month stipend for a cell phone and a $1,000 a month stipend for a car. The manager also gets two months of vacation. On Monday night, the Village Council capped the number of vacation days Williams can roll over to 90 days.
On Monday, CBS4′S David Sutta asked the manager “How many vacations did you take last year?”
Williams responded “The last year, this current year, I have not been on vacation at all.”
And when asked about last year, Williams said, “Last year I don’t recall, but probably a week no more than that.”
The Village Manager admits his workload prevents him from leaving the office. In reality, the two months of vacation is a perk and he will likely roll it over until he leaves the village and cashes it out.
“I see nothing wrong with it. I am going to continue to do what I can for the best. The best I can for the residents,” Mayor Flinn told CBS4. Mayor Flinn says the manager is underpaid when compared to other cities. He added that if this perk keeps him here it is a good deal for the taxpayers. Jim Araiza disagrees.
“Because someone else drives a Ferrari, I should drive a Ferrari? I don’t think that’s the right justification,” Araiza said. Flinn countered, “If it wasn’t in the best interest I wouldn’t be proposing it.”
During our interview with the Mayor and Manager, we brought up the fact that the contract had no cap for the number of vacation hours Williams could bank. Meaning if the manager continued to not take his vacation, as he has, the Village could end up paying more than $120,000 with cost of living increases for the 40 weeks of vacation. But the council amended his contract at Monday night’s meeting capping his vacation days to 90.
Still with 18 weeks of vacation, Williams will get a $50,000 bonus whenever he leaves the Village. The Mayor told us we could call it a onetime bonus, however there’s a cap. And he said he’s saving the village money considering they are not paying into a pension or an extremely high salary.
(CBS4′s Sharrie Williams contributed to this report.) 

Related Stories: Miami Workers Cashing In Big On Unused Hours (9/24/2009)

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