During last night's Hallandale Beach Commission meeting, Vice Mayor Bill Julian cited documents indicating that over the past six months, City Manager Mike Good came to city hall on only about half the work days.
That spotty attendance record made it hard to meet with city staff, business owners and other members of the community. Julian said it was one of the primary reasons he reversed his past support of Good and voted to continue moving toward terminating Good's employment.
To more forceful critics like Commissioner Keith London, Good's truancy is even more outrageous considering Good was among the highest-paid city officials in the state of Florida, collecting more than $400,000 in 2008.
But there may yet be a clash over the terms of Good's severance package.
For instance, in the package that Good negotiated with Hallandale's legal staff, he asked for a $90,000 severance payment. Julian suggested that given the coin-toss chances of Good coming to work on a given day, it would be appropriate to pay approximately half that amount.
London had concerns about a provision that paid for all the expenses associated with Good completing a master's degree. Lest those costs include room and board, London asked that the agreement stipulate Good be reimbursed for the costs of tuition and study texts -- but nothing more.
Good has five days to file an appeal challenging the terms of the deal being offered by the commission. If he doesn't respond, the commission can meet and make the termination official on the sixth day. If Good does appeal, then the city will have to revisit the subject at a meeting at least 15 days from that appeal's filing, but no more than 30 days.
It remains a mystery how Good's support among commissioners crumbled so quickly, so decisively over the past several weeks. They spoke about Good's lack of availability as if they had only recently learned of it; but Commissioner London has been complaining about Good's disappearances for years.
A blooming scandal that involved Good's decision to hire a real estate agent as a consultant may have had something to do with the other commissioners' reversal. Or it may be that Good had emboldened a group of determined activists, like bloggers Mike Butler and David Smith, who finally got the attention of commissioners.
London doesn't particularly care how it happened; he's just glad it did. "This is a new beginning for the city of Hallandale," he said this morning. "Hopefully now we can accomplish great things."
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