Last year, Hallandale Beach City Manager Mike Good officially, and briefly, retired -- a move that allowed him to cash in some 25 years of accumulated sick and vacation time. This, according to Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, is how in 2008 Good's gross income reached the astonishingly high figure of $422,000.
Despite the suspicions of her rival, Commissioner Keith London, Cooper says that the payout to Good is "commensurate" with that of any other long-serving employee.
Except in Good's case, he's handsomely rewarded for having climbed through Hallandale's public ranks. He started his employment with the city in the mid-Eighties, collecting a construction worker's modest paychecks. But whatever sick and vacation days he didn't use then, Good was able to cash out at the pay rate of his current job as city manager, which comes with a base salary of $191,000.
After tendering his official resignation, Good was rehired by the city and Cooper says he's now being treated like a new employee -- a generous move on his part.
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"For him to take his money out of the DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Program), it saved the city eight percent annually," says Cooper. In an era where fiscal responsibility is a must, she says that "Good has led by example" and that "It's just a sin for someone to continue making an issue out of this."
That "sinner" is London, who made the public records request relating to Good's pay and who says he's never received an explanation for exactly how the payout got so big.
Having been told about the accummulated sick and vacation time, London questioned whether Good was submitting the paperwork that counts against those absences. He claims that Good's frequently late to meetings and appears only sporatically in City Hall.
Says Cooper: "Commissioner London, in my opinion, is just trying to get his name in the paper." When it comes to criticism of Good, she says, "thankfully, Commissioner London is in the minority."