Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hayward Tries to Push Alexander Out. Barker Stays? Council Can Change the Drop Ordinance

When Chief David Alexander was brought in as police chief everyone understood it was for a short period of time. Hayward got his PR win and re-election victory.  Chief Alexander got to achieve his career goal of being Chief and everyone in Pensacola knew that Tommi Lyter was pre-picked to be the next Chief.

  • Hayward won!
  • Alexander won!
  • And the PPD had a future leader already in place who is respected and admired by the entire force.

Fast forward.  Now Chief Alexander is being forced out by Hayward in 2017.  He will be reaching the end of his DROP period. The City Transparent Pensacola page states:

Rumors regarding Chief David Alexander's status as Police Chief

Is there any truth to the rumor that City Hall told Chief Alexander that he will not be able to continue beyond his DROP date? 


No. His contract was based on his DROP date. In fire and police pensions, employees are not able to continue beyond their DROP date as in general pensions. This was agreed upon in the initial contract.

Questions:

  • Why is Chief Alexander not honoring the deal he made?
  • The DROP Ordinance 9-9-2 states: DROP election. DROP election means the establishment of a date upon which the employee intends to terminate his/her employment with the City of Pensacola. The date is established through the irrevocable completion of a DROP election form to be submitted to the DROP administrator. Following the submission of a DROP election, the employee's employment with the city cannot exceed sixty (60) months in duration, although employees may terminate employment with the city at any time prior to the termination date indicated on the DROP election form. 

  • How does Dick Barker continue extend past his DROP period? 
Chief, if you want to fight your forceable removal from office, please note the following below regarding DROP in the City DROP Ordinance.

Sec. 9-9-6. - Reservation of power to alter or amend


  • Although the city council, through the adoption of this ordinance, has agreed to join with those communities and other governmental bodies in providing its workforce with additional flexibility in planning for and entering into retirement following a career with the city, the city council acknowledges that DROP plans are still in their relative infancy and may ultimately produce results, either financial or otherwise, which may be deemed adverse to the interest of the City of Pensacola, Florida. In that regard, in the adoption of the DROP plan ordinance, the city council hereby expressly reserves the authority in the future to amend, modify or repeal all or portions of this DROP plan ordinance as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. Any future change will be adopted in accordance with the requirements of law. With respect to city employees who have not terminated their employment with the city and who have not executed a DROP election, the adoption of this chapter shall not be deemed to have conferred any vested rights or property interest upon those employees. 
Chief, you just need 4 votes on Council to amend the DROP ordinance! If you get the 4 votes to amend, you push the Mayor to have to actually make a REAL management decision!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maren, the way Barker stays is not in the DROP ordinance. It is in the general pension plan section 9-5-138. The police or fire does not have this. That's why the police chief has to leave.

CJ Lewis said...

Here's another option not directly related to Chief Alexander but a good idea all the same. State law does not prevent municipalities from electing Police Chiefs and some do. Not many but some. I contacted the Florida Police Chiefs Association and verified that four municipalities (Starke, Marianna, DeFuniak Springs and Monticello) have elected Police Chiefs. I was told that they are going to start tracking the numbers and that I was the second person who had called that day to ask about elected Police Chiefs. One big problem inside city limits is non-enforcement and selective enforcement of laws. Even Chief Alexander says so. When asked this past summer why the PPD does not enforce the state's fireworks laws inside city limits he said, "If the fireworks laws were important to Mayor Hayward, I would enforce them." An elected Police Chief could be voted out of office if they failed or refused to enforce the law and could even be made subject to recall from office by voters. An elected Police Chief could be given the power to appoint and dismiss all employees in the PPD and the power to submit the PPD budget directly to the City Council much as a state law gives the DIB the same power, a power that the DIB does not use. If a City Council member proposed such a Charter Amendment in January, I believe they would have four votes to move it forward mindful that Wu, Terhaar and Johnson would vote NO unless Hayward told them to vote YES. Public support of an elected Police Chief? I would predict overwhelming support. The Charter Amendment could provide a transition procedure keeping in office as Acting Police Chief the incumbent on the date the Charter Amendment was proposed. That would prevent Hayward from pre-emptively dumping Chief Alexander so long as the City Council made clear they would not confirm a replacement. Of course, if you distort the Charter as done by the City Council, Hayward can claim to have rebranded the Pensacola Police Department to be the Pensacola Police Division (keeping the same "PPD") and the City Council claims they are powerless to stop him. A special election could then be held to elect a Police Chief or four year term of office. Would Chief Alexander be elected as Police Chief? He would have an advantage but there might be multiple candidates, fewer if the Police Chief had to be a sworn law enforcement officer. At a minimum, an election to elect a Police Chief would force a public discussion about crime in the city that both Hayward and the City Council do not want held. I believe that most people would be shocked to learn that from 2001 to 2015 the per capita crime rate in the City of Pensacola went "up" 1% at the same time that it went "down" 40% in Florida and 45% in Santa Rosa County. In every one of those years, the crime rate inside city limits is higher than in the rest of Escambia County. The "per capita" crime rate in the City of Pensacola is four times that of Santa Rosa County. In all of those years, more crimes were committed in the City of Pensacola than in "all" of Santa Rosa County. Clearly, Hayward is just giving lip service when he says - "Public safety is my top priority." Of course it is not. If it were, he would get rid of his private mayoral photographer ($27,500) and use that money to pay for most of the salary of another PPD Officer. When the City Council voted to increase the "property tax levy" this year by $4.06% or more than $583,000 they could have used that money to put more PPD Officers on the street or raise their salaries but especially their starting salaries but instead gave themselves a 53% pay raise, created a new position for Rusty Wells and more.

Maren DeWeese said...

Anonymous

Sec. 9-5-138. - Continued service upon conclusion of DROP.

Notwithstanding any other provision in the Code of the City of Pensacola, Florida, to the contrary, employees holding unclassified positions pursuant to authorized employment contracts with the mayor may continue to render such service to the city upon the conclusion of their participation in the deferred retirement option plan (DROP) of the General Pension and Retirement Fund, subject to the approval of the mayor as reflected in a written contract providing for same. Such contracts may be amended, modified or terminated from time to time at the discretion of the mayor.

Why could a code section like this be added to Police and Fire. Police are actually working for the City at the Airport after retirement at the rank they left.

This is just Hayward playing games!

Anonymous said...

But they left and were reemployed. Not sure if they are able to or not. Just because they are working doesn't mean it's legal.

Anonymous said...

Fire is a state law and would have to be changed there. Ppd may be able to do this. Not sure. If he stays on they may have to change his job description. When the city hired Frank Edwards as chief they put him in the FRS. The only way the state allowed it, was he was an administrative chief only. He was not to be in command of any scene he was administrator only. He responded to a mutual aid call at the Imogene theater in Milton. He was the C side commander at this scene. When it was found out what he did, the city had to put him in the fire plan. So I guess if David wants to give up his badge and uniform he may be able to stay.

Anonymous said...

CJ, the fire pension law states that anyone in the fire department that is a certified firefighter is in our pension. Not sure about police. That's what happened to Fire Chief Edwards. He still wanted to be a firefighter, and it went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here! Hayward has been playing black people like pawns in a chess game since his first election. He shamelessly visited black churches for votes and even lied about the black friends he grew up with. ALL of the blacks he's hired and promoted were strategic moves to pacify the black community. Anybody who can't see this is as blind as a bat! Where the real money goes in the community tells you exactly what he's about. ASHTON HAYWARD DOES NOT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE!!! Get over it Pensacola.