Viewpoints – Week of July 28

“Let’s all get over it and move on”

The July 12 Pompano Beach City Commission meeting was a horror show and especially at the end. To listen to Commissioner Andrea McGee and Mayor Rex Hardin, critical and insulting Vice Mayor Beverly Perkins, was unbelievable. These were nasty personal attacks on a colleague, Perkins, who made a simple mistake. She said something in anger. She didn’t kill someone.

I was very impressed with Commissioner Tom McMahon taking the high road and not engaging in the insults. He definitely has mayoral capability and potential. He will have my vote after seeing the other two join in a very personal and unnecessary attack on Beverly.  

I guess the police officer involved is now in a state of PTSD after hearing the F-word from Beverly. I hope that is the very worst he ever experiences from the public. The police union that sent the video out on the internet is usually installing large billboards on I-95 with ads against their chief, who they are always in disagreement with. Who does that? What company do you work for where the employees have billboards on I-95 against their boss? I guess we can expect to see one with Vice Mayor Perkin’s picture on it.

Who hasn’t made a mistake and said the wrong thing and would like to take it back? Let’s all get over it and move on.  

This language [below] is in the City of Pompano Beach Code of Ordinances, 3.07 Rules of Conduct, [2] Audience to be Heard, [D] The use of Personal Abusive Attacks. The mayor or commissioner or commissioners can call the question, point of order or just interrupt and ask for order and have that person sit down or be removed. Perkins can demand that this behavior be stopped at future meetings if it happens again. Read the code.

[d] The use of slanderous, obscene or profane language, personally abusive attacks upon any person, physical violence or the threat thereof, or other loud and boisterous behavior which disturbs or otherwise disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting and a failure to comply with any lawful decision or order of the mayor or of a majority of the commission shall constitute a disturbance. Personally abusive attacks include insults, discourteous comments and defamatory statements. 

Kay McGinn, former mayor, Pompano Beach

“A better form of government”

At a recent meeting of the Lighthouse Point City Commission, Commissioner Sandy Johnson proposed a salary increase for our mayor. Additionally, Commissioner Mike Long suggested that voters may want to adopt the newer city manager form of government to replace our old, antiquated strong mayor form of government adopted 70 years ago when our city had about five employees.

The proposal to increase our current mayor’s salary was related to the level of city work that our current strong mayor is required to do by our city code. There is presently a fine line between our city administrator’s duties and the strong mayor’s duties. This is confusing to everyone. Many of our voters may not be aware that our strong mayor is elected to that office and there is absolutely no required qualifications for this office. No prior experience in managing a city or managing a business of any kind is necessary. Our next candidate for mayor needs only sufficient funds to purchase a lot of campaign literature and we residents could wind up with an inexperienced elected mayor managing our $22 million budget and 115 employees.  

A city manager form of government would make it possible for the commissioners we elect to hire a qualified city manager with many years of actual experience in managing a city. We residents need to have the opportunity to cast our votes for this better form of government. 

Leo L. Bentz, former mayor, Lighthouse Point

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