Viewpoints: To City Manager Crawford

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Buy Now, Pay Later?


Letter in Rebuttal to Mr. Crawford regarding Mr. M. Merrill


Keyboard Courage

….no wonder…  

Who wants to face the City Manager who bullies and threatens residents who have opposing opinions or an opinion not complimentary to the city plans.  

Who wants to be the victim of that backdraft? 

Thumb pressing down little stick person.

Even when it is fair to speak your mind, you resist using your keyboard because of
the City Manager’s threats to residents.

In his rebuttal to the letter from Mr. Merritt to the Beach Beacon, the City Manager describes the “madness method” of borrowing money so current residents can use and pay for what the city deems beneficial. …That is akin to living on a credit card.  

  • Budgeting for future purchases, then saving for it, works in our family budgets, why not in our city budget?
  • It is not surprising that the “buy now pay later” philosophy is held by this group of city leaders in contrast to most residents’ conservative thinking.

 It explodes the most enduring rule of good economics.

In support of his spending the city manager cites our little town as a “full service” city with the lowest millage rate.

  • The Florida League of Cities states in an article that no two cities are alike. “A common practice of Chambers of Commerce and other promotional agencies is to label city and county governments as “full service”.
  • This is an unfortunate label because it is hard to define.” Each city offers those services necessary for their town.  

So lowest millage rate for a “full service” city is counter-descriptive and misleading
since effectively we are ALL full service cities.

Then the City Manager addresses the raise in salaries of our BOC as warranted.  

  • But the compensation funded by the taxpayers, is a painful reminder that we are paying for no representation.
  • Could it be that there are residents who would like to preserve the peace and lifestyle we enjoy in the “neighborhoods” off of Gulf Blvd. 

And maybe there are neighbors living in condominiums who have a differing vision of future city improvements. This does not include more beer on the beach, or unsafe vehicles carrying partying groups from one drinking hole to the next or terrifying towers shadowing our homes.  

  • Maybe there are folks who prefer to protect our little beach community from “tourism experiments” or from becoming a Spring Break destination.
  • For some reason, our leaders are focused on making Madeira Beach a party town, encroaching on the sanctity and peace we so espouse.

In the view of many, this BOC is non-responsive to our voices

  • Over 1000 residents validly spoke their disapproval for the city’s vote on tremendous, experimental hotel projects.
  • Instead of discussing the intent of the signers, the process was ridiculed and dismissed .

There are many living in this city that feel “disrespected and discouraged” that the only recourse the people have to object was ignored with no explanation from the mayor.

This city board continues to proclaim the wonders of what they’ve accomplished in this little town but not everyone is applauding.  We are alarmed by the wild spending.

1-consumer-editedWe are forced to accept what the city dictates. The city furnishes well-planned propaganda.   Videos and you-tubes expound the wonders of the “exploding” city, Madeira Beach. Invites to “come-on down” and see how this sleepy, mid-century town is rapidly changing it’s hue. For residents, “tall towers of terror” will jam our already crowded streets and stress our environment. The city manager credits himself and his developers for making this happen. The problem is most of these poorly-schemed city ventures are not the vision of the residents.   This all-too-rapid expansion was conceived and endorsed long before the citizens gave sanction.

This highlights how we are forced to accept the City Manager and Mayor’s agenda for our future. Another example of their disregard for ethical government is the position the city takes regarding the ICMA. It is clear that the City Manager should have made his own decision regarding this and not relied on the advice of peers.   He should have taken his own morally correct position using common sense morality.  Instead, at the October 11 meeting, the codification of a new standard of ethics was foisted on us. It wasn’t that the “tides turned” forcing some of us to leave the meeting, as the city manager says, but that the” tide rose” drowning out hopes of any fair say, any fair representation and any fair adjudication…. once again.   It is the same unanimous vote “yes” for whatever the leadership crafts to approve, no matter what the reason.

In the end…

We must continue to pay substantial compensation to our City Manager, reimburse him for a trip to Kansas City to defend his censure by ICMA, even while the mayor claims the ICMA has no jurisdiction over any City Manager in Florida. The mayor gained a “macho” applause from City supporters who agreed that an organization based in Kansas City cannot impose rules that Florida statutes do not address. The mayor brushed it off as it was a neutral event, and not a requirement of the City Manager’s city employment.  A few months back, the City voted to pay for any legal expenses regarding the ethics and other complaints filed against the City leaders.

The City Manager states that people are making statements that have no basis or back-up.  

  • Based on that the City paid for the City Manager, his assistant and a lawyer to fly to Kansas City.  His appeal was denied, and for some unfair reason, we are forced for pay for this travesty.  
  • If it was not necessary for city manager’s employment, why are the taxpayers on the hook for the $7500. of legal fees, travel and lodging.

If a city employee is uses bad judgement, he should at the least pay
for his mistakes from his own funds.  

Again we are fleeced for things we have not had a hand in, indebted by things we objected to, and then targeted for speaking our thoughts. All the while, we are compensating a group of individuals who are looking for more ways to spend our money keeping us shackled for decades.  

The residents of Madeira Beach are not silent spectators though. We will chose and elect ethical leaders, enforce a sustainable budget and embrace the comfortable lifestyle we were enjoying before the “explosion” happened.  Who has the courage to ask ….. What’s in your Wallet?

J. Clyatt

This letter was reproduced with permission by it’s author.  It was published in the Beach Beacon newspaper, but for some reason we cannot find this viewpoint posted online.  Send us the link if you locate it, please!