An Informed Populace

Two codes from the “Lake Park, Florida, Code of Ordinances” are posted below for the enlightenment of our readers. The links to two other interesting public documents will hopefully be posted tomorrow.

Reading the town code is likely not on your to do list of the day, your preferred reading list for a cool winter evening nor will it likely be packed in your carry-on as you head out on your next vacation. However, it is in fact, full of interesting information that may surprise, alarm and/or merely inform you. I hope you will take a few minutes to read it and consider the implications of the wording now and in the future, especially in light of the situation we currently find ourselves in as a town. Should this code be amended? Who benefits most from its wording? Please begin to inform yourself about the ordinances to which our town is bound. The two ordinances posted below are not very long and it might be a good idea to read them. Come on, you can do it. Become part of the growing number of those within the Lake Park populace who are informing and enlightening themselves.

Sec. 2-81. – Appointment and removal of town manager.

Appointment and removal. The town commission shall appoint and remove the town manager by a four-fifths majority vote of its members and the town manager shall hold office at the pleasure of the town commission. The town manager must give the town commission at least 30 days notice in writing before resigning from such position. The town commission may then remove the town manager from office at once or permit the city manager to serve out the time in office.
Terms of employment. Terms of town manager employment shall be established by contract, such contract shall not exceed one year duration from the date of hire or anniversary date, if renewed. The contract must be in compliance with F.S. § 166.021(7). The terms of the contract shall be approved by resolution.
Surety bond. The town manager shall furnish a surety bond to be approved by the town commission in such amount as the town commission may fix, such bond to be conditioned upon the faithful and proper performance of the duties of the office. The premium of the bond shall be paid by the town.
Vacancies. Any vacancy in the office of town manager shall be filled by the town commission at the earliest practical date.
(Code 1978, § 2-40; Ord. No. 17-1994, §§ II, III, 12-14-1994; Ord. No. 11-1995, § I, 6-21-1995; Ord. No. 7-2001, § 1, 6-6-2001)

Sec. 2-82. – Powers and duties of town manager.

The town manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the municipal government under the general supervision of the town commission. The town manager shall abide by the policies established by the town commission through ordinances, resolutions and specific motions. The town manager shall:

Managerial-exempt department heads serve at the pleasure of the town manager. The town manager shall appoint, suspend and terminate all department heads.
The town manager shall appoint, suspend and terminate all nonmanagerial employees in accordance with the town’s merit system.
Direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the town, except as otherwise provided by the Charter, codes or by law. The town manager shall direct all department heads of recreation, marina, and finance to file monthly reports with the office of town manager. The town manager’s office shall collect and forward these reports to the town commission without correction or modification. The town manager may issue comments regarding any of these reports.
Prepare the budget annually, submit it to the town commission with a message describing the important features, and be responsible for its administration after adoption.
Prepare and submit to the town commission at the end of each fiscal year a complete report on the preceding year’s finances and administrative activities, which report shall include an annual audit for the preceding fiscal year prepared by an independent auditor retained by the town commission.
Keep the town commission advised of the financial condition and future needs of the town, and make such recommendations as may be desirable on a timely basis. The town manager shall actively seek out potential grant monies that may be available to support town projects.
Recommend to the town commission a standard schedule of pay for all town positions, including minimum and maximum rates of pay. Recommend appropriate action with respect to negotiation, approval and/or rejection of labor agreements with public employee organizations acting on policy directives provided by the commission in proper sessions.
Recommend to the town commission, from time-to-time, adoption of such ordinances and policies as may be necessary or expedient for the health, safety or welfare of the community, or for the improvement of administrative services.
Organize, reorganize, consolidate, combine or abolish positions, offices, department divisions or departments of the town with the approval of the town commission. This approval requires an ordinance.
Attend meetings of the town commission, town committees and boards, and other town meetings, as the town manager deems necessary, or as directed by the town commission. At such meetings, the town manager shall have the right to take part in the discussion, but without having a vote.
Serve as purchasing agent for the town, responsible for overseeing the purchase of equipment and supplies; the retention of engineering, consulting and other professional and contractual services for the town; and the disposal of surplus personal property. Contracts exceeding $10,000.00 require approval of the town commission.
Provide staff support services for the mayor and commission members. These services are limited to those necessary in support of town activities.
See that all laws and ordinances are duly enforced using existing agencies in a proper manner.
Investigate the affairs of the town, or complaints regarding any department or division; investigate all complaints in relation to matters concerning administration; investigate complaints regarding service maintained by public utilities, and see that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the town in any franchise, contract or agreement are faithfully observed.
Devote all working time to the discharge of official duties.
Perform such other duties as may be required by the commission not inconsistent with the town Charter, state law or applicable ordinances.
(Ord. No. 17-1989, § 1, 9-6-1989; Ord. No. 19-1991, §§ 1, 2, 11-20-1991; Ord. No. 17-1994, §§ I, IV, V, 12-14-1994; Code 1978, § 2-41; Ord. No. 06-2007, § 2, 3-7-2007; Ord. No. 10-2007, § 2, 7-18-2007)
Charter reference— Provisions concerning town manager under the commission-manager form of government, Art. VI.