RE: Type of government – LHP
[Mr. Bentz is seeking to change the form of government in Lighthouse Point from a “strong mayor” system to a “city manager” based system, which he feels is more modern. He presented his points at a Nov. 8 commission meeting].
I have copied below a portion of our City Charter that sets out the powers and duties that a newly elected “strong mayor” must be ready to assume and to carry out.
1) Supervising, directing and coordinating the activities of the city’s executive branch including its operating departments.
2) Enforcing within the city the provisions of the charter, city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida.
3) Exercising powers granted to him in this charter and the laws of the State of Florida, concerning the appointment and removal of certain administrative employees and members of boards, commissions and committees.
4) Submitting annually to the commission for its consideration an operating budget and a capital improvement program and budget.
5) Exercising such other powers and performing such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter, by ordinance or resolution, or by applicable laws of the State of Florida.
6) Unless otherwise provided herein, the mayor shall be the appointing authority of all officers in the executive branch, subject to the approval of the city commission.
What would the average business person, with no prior government management experience, know about our charter, our hundred plus pages of city ordinances and all laws of the State of Florida?
If I asked all our former mayors, most of whom were former commissioners, if they ever read our charter or code of ordinances before or after being elected, I am sure the answer would be no. Most of our mayors have been persons with full-time jobs or professions and with families to raise. How much time do you think they could devote to administering and being responsible for the activities of 50 or so employees and their department heads. At least our current mayor is a CPA and he may understand the internal working of our entire budget.
Think about our residents willing to seek election and serve as our new mayor. They should not be held responsible to cure the errors or mistakes that were made by prior mayors.
Leo L. Bentz
Lighthouse Point, FL
RE: Caboose’s rails moved
On Saturday, Nov. 5, we moved three 30 ft. sections of historic vintage railroad trackage from the old Florida East Coast Railway/Deerfield Builders Supply siding to the grounds of the Old School House Park.
Once again, the dynamic duo of Bill Muenzenmaier and Dan Bogner led the charge starting at O-dark thirty [at the site] with FEC Rail security and safety staff on-hand.
Abundant thanks to Joe Williams and Allegiance Crane for their seamlessly professional lift out, transport and spotting on the new rail bed at City Hall.
Again thanks to the Florida East Coast Railway for their generosity in donating the rail trackage.
As anticipated, many (actually most) of the 70-90 year old railroad ties did not survive the lift out and we’ll need to replace approximately 40. We have the ties on site at old Deerfield Builders Supply and will need to transfer them to Old School House site and mobilize labor to lift the track sections and position and spike in the replacement ties. Volunteers anyone?
The caboose’s interior has been completely gutted (thanks Bill and Dan!) and prepared for its ultimate restoration.
Roof repairs, already underway, will be completed during the next 10 days and then we’ll be ready for the big move.
Many thanks again to Charlie DaBrusco and his crew for the perfect site preparation. Outstanding!
Ed Dietrich, Jr.
Deerfield Beach Historical Society