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This beauty burst forth in today’s Key West Citizen – www.keysnews.com, I supplied photos.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Yaniz flunks city manager in evaluation
Other commissioners support Vitas; mayor gives him high marks
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
In his first job evaluation since he was hired by a 4-3 vote in June 2012, City Manager Bob Vitas received praise and support from six of the seven city commissioners he serves.
“Overall, the city manager is doing a very good job in a very demanding position,” wrote Mayor Craig Cates, who checked the second-highest rating of “Exceeds Job Standards” at the end of the six-page form.
Commissioners Billy Wardlow and Jimmy Weekley joined Cates with the overall rating while Commissioners Teri Johnston, Clayton Lopez and Mark Rossi were in the middle ground of the review, checking “Meets Job Standards.”
But Commissioner Tony Yaniz, the newest member of the dais in his first term as an elected official, blasted Vitas by placing a checkmark 13 times in the lowest column available, “unsatisfactory,” and choosing the second-lowest rating, “improvement needed,” in overall job performance.
Out of a possible five point score, commissioners gave him a collective rating of 3.52.
“There is a communication breakdown between the commission and Mr. Vitas,” Yaniz wrote. “Directives are not implemented as issued and when they are it is not done in a timely manner. He also rarely gives a direct and concise or simple answer to a basic question.”
Yaniz, who voted consistently for another candidate during the city manager selection in 2012, wrote, “It is evident Mr. Vitas has not come close to achieving the goals of his job.”
“In 33 years, I’ve never seen one like that,” Vitas said Sunday, of the lone poor review in the City Commission batch. “I haven’t had an opportunity to offer feedback.”
Vitas said Yaniz submitted his evaluation last Wednesday, the day of the commission meeting, and that he hasn’t had a conversation with him yet.
Of the poor marks, Vitas would only say he needs to set up a meeting with Yaniz to learn what exactly is making him draw the conclusions.
“Everyone is entitled to an opinion,” Vitas said. “He has shared his opinion.”
Vitas had access to the evaluations before the Wednesday City Commission meeting, but didn’t mention them at that meeting. The evaluations were approved without comment as they were included in the consent agenda, the collection of items approved in one fell swoop. Items on the consent agenda are not discussed unless a commissioner requests that an issue be removed from consent, in which case it is discussed and voted on individually.
Vitas, who succeeded Jim Scholl as the top city administrator, earns $180,000 a year and last worked as the village administrator for Lake Zurich, Ill. from 2007 to 2011. Lake Zurich has a population of 19,664, and a budget of $45 million. The town has 172 full-time employees. Vitas also worked for one year as chief administrative officer in Lewiston, Maine, with a population of 35,690. From 1991-2000, he was chief administrator of Menasha, Wis., population 16,546, overseeing a $22 million budget.
Johnston, a Vitas supporter from the start and the only commissioner who typed up her comments in a narrative form, pointed out that Vitas is 18 months into a new job in a new city that is undertaking an “unprecedented” number of construction projects, including the construction of a new city hall at the former Glynn Archer School and the sprawling Truman Waterfront Park plans.
“I have found that the quantity and quality of Bob’s work product meets expectations, particularly since he and his wife have been in the process of selling their home, purchasing a new home and relocating to live in the city of Key West,” Johnston wrote.
She noted Vitas’ past experience and suggested he has been in a transition period acclimating to Key West government.
“Bob comes to Key West with over 30 years experience interacting with city commissions and boards,” Johnston wrote. “Key West may be somewhat unique for Bob since he is now reporting to (7) rotating commission members, all giving direction to the city manager on a daily basis.”
Lopez echoed the sentiment, writing: “I expect that his prior experience with a different ‘style’ of city government may be an issue to be worked on in dealing with this city government.”
Yaniz wrote that Vitas doesn’t work weekends or stay late.
“Projects are delayed sometimes and completely overlooked,” Yaniz wrote.
During the June 2012 vote to select a new city manager, Cates and Weekley joined Johnston in supporting Vitas while Yaniz, Lopez and Wardlow wanted another candidate. Rossi liked a third candidate, but ultimately changed his preference to break a 3-3 tie and give the job to Vitas.
I myself have no opinion of Bob Vitas, other than I figured when he applied for the job that he was nuts, or sorely uninformed.
Maybe Tony is jealous of me; maybe he wants to be the biggest loudmouth in Key West. He’s making a serious run at it, in my opinion.
Here’s a report of a Tony conversation I had on the street the other day with a well-known Key West citizen (WKKWC):
WKKWC said Yaniz says he going to run for mayor this year, but maybe he’s thinking he can’t win because of telling the Rotary to fuck off last year and that got on the front page of the Citizen; and he’s thinking if he files to run, he has to resign his city commission seat, and if he doesn’t win the mayor’s race, he loses his place at the dais. WKKWC said Yaniz is doing a lot of grandstanding, and I said every time he says something in public, it looks to me like he’s running for mayor; but I give him credit for studying the issues and history. WKKWC said he gives Yaniz credit for that, too.
WKKWC said he’d heard Yaniz was crowing that he’d gotten 45 percent of the vote in the mayor’s race last year, which is what Margaret Romero got against incumbent Mayor Craig Cates. As if Romero drew no votes on her own.
WKKWC said, from what all he’d heard, he wondered if Yaniz and Margaret Romero made a deal last year; Yaniz would do all he could to help Romero beat Mayor Cates, and if she did not win, this year she would do all she could to help Yaniz beat Cates, and that’s why Romero will not run this year, unless Yaniz decides not to run. I told WKKWC that while I had not heard Yaniz and Romero had made a deal, I had heard Yaniz had campaigned hard for Romero last year, and he also had campaigned hard against Cates’ wife Cheryl in the utility board race. WKKWC agreed.
Tony might eat heaps of crow, if he doesn’t file to run for mayor, after all the noise he made about running.
Looks to me at city commission meetings, that Margaret Romero is running hard again this year for mayor. I see no sign of a deal between her and Tony. She comes across as seriously pissed off at the city commission and in no mood to take any prisoners. My main concern about her becoming mayor is she seems really prejudiced against homeless people. One Human Family don’t seem to be in her homeless dictionary. She has lots of company in Key West. Well, how that goes only time will tell.
Meanwhile, Mud Dawg Mike
out at Daddy Bones yummy pizza behind Checkers on North Roosevelt Blvd
keeps telling everyone when I’m around him that I’m the next mayor of Key West. He told Skip that yesterday, at the fundraiser for Frank Decker ,who had his lower leg ripped off by a car while he was on his motorcycle, and his heart injured, and he darn near died, but he looked and sounded pretty good yesterday at Daddy Bones, except for he was in a wheelchair and doesn’t have part of his left leg anymore. Several of us told Frank to be on the lookout for something to happen, which he might like; maybe the angels have something up their sleeves.
Skip was doing a live radio broadcast on 104.7, in which he is one of the owners. I think maybe Skip’s listener’s heard him and Mike talking with me about be being the next mayor of Key West.
Skip’s listeners might also have heard me say that the way for Key West to deal with its noise problem is, when a Harley rider revs the Harley up, a code enforcement officer or cop takes the Harley rider off the bike and calls a towing company and the Harley rider has to deal with that after the bike is towed off. And if a church is making too much noise, a code enforcement officer or cop shuts the church down for the rest of that day and night. And if a joint is making too much noise, a code enforcement officer or cop shuts the place down for the rest of the day and night. That sho nuff will get their attenshun, all that money they didn’t make flapping away.
No citation issued. No prosecutor or court involved. Redneck justice gets the job done cheap and effective. Skip and Mike agreed.
I said I give lots of free legal advice, worth what is paid for it.
I said if I only got $10 a throw for the legal advice I give in the Keys, I’d be a billionaire.
Skip said he bet lawyers hated to go up against me. I said back when I practiced law in Birmingham, lawyers hated to get on the other side of me in a court case because they knew I would try a case on principle, and they would be sitting in the trial for a week or two, thinking about all the money they could be making if they were back in their offices.
Skip said he bet I won lots of cases. I said I won some and I lost some, but those lawyers hated it either way.
Mike asked what did you call a train car full of lawyers going off a cliff? A good start. I said, same for a lawyer with his feet in concrete in five feet of water.
I asked Skip and Mike if they knew how to kill all the lawyers? They looked eager to hear the punch line. I said, stop using lawyers!
I think long before then Skip had turned off the microphone, which might have had to do with him asking me on the air if I listened to his station and I said I only listen to the oldies station, and then only when I’m going somewhere in my car. Skip said they play oldies on his station. I asked for the number on the radio dial, he gave it. I said that’s just on the north side of Bill Becker, darn smart to ride on Bill’s coattails like that, pirating US 1 Radio. Skip didn’t seem to like that all that much.
I asked if he did interviews on the air. Yes, short ones, maybe he would have me on, if I didn’t talk about other radio stations. I said I had done heaps of radio interviews, once I did one for three hours. Three hours? Yeah, and it was interesting all the way through. What would I talk about? Anything he wanted to talk about.
I told him and Mike that my sentiments about running for mayor were summed up pretty well in a recent Facebook thread I started, not realizing anyone actually would join in.
By email, Mike sent:
The way Mike keeps after me about being the next mayor, you’d think he might have some bulldog blood in his veins.
Also today, from Kurt Wagner, who has landed hard on the scene lately with emails from the Virgin Islands, where he last reported he was caretaking a place owned by someone else. He spent many years being a vicious van dweller criminal in Key West. He responded to part of yesterday’s tantric practices, taking risks, straight-shooting, helping those less fortunate, printing money, journalism as a contact sport, and other road and sea side attractions in the Florida Keys and its westernmost asteroid, and way beyond post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.
I read with great interest in Good Morning Florida Keys the discussion on income equality. While I don’t have a degree in economics, I had economics in high school (I doubt they offer that class any longer) and three economics classes in college. It’s not hard to understand. It’s not rocket science. The poor blame the rich because they are poor. It’s true the rich are getting richer, not because the game is rigged. It’s because they have the resources to invest to make more. It’s true about the government printing money they can’t back up. That’s why our dollar is worth shit.
I grew up in a lower middle class family of 7 kids. My mother couldn’t work with 7 kids in 11 years to take care of. My father sold insurance and was rarely home due to trying to make enough money to keep us kids clothed and fed. We never received an allowance, because the money wasn’t there, but we never went hungry and always had clothes to wear. If me and my siblings wanted something more, we worked for it. Delivering papers, shoveling snow, cutting lawns, etc. since I was ten years old. When I was 14 years old I worked at McDonalds for minimum wage ($1.20/hour in 1966) My parents couldn’t afford to send us to a fancy college or university. We all learned at an early age you have to earn your own way in this world. Most of us paid for our own college education. When I was 18 I made more money than my father.( he was pissed because I spent it all on women, gambling and race cars) Why? because I worked 60 hours a week at US Steel and two part time jobs.
Now today, that wisdom we learned is invaluable. Five out of seven of us kids went on to start and run our own businesses, plus four spouses. We all realized at a young age that working for someone else, relying on someone else, does not provide any long term security. To say the game is rigged is ludicrous. We have all done well for ourselves for many years. Although the past 6-7 years I personally haven’t done too well due to MY OWN decisions (but I don’t dwell on it)
My daughters, nieces and nephews, (12) have also been instilled with these same values. They are all in their twenties and some have already started their own business. Half have degrees and the other half have some college. It doesn’t always take a lot of resources to start your own business. Find what you enjoy doing and go for it. That’s not to say it’s always easy, sometimes it looks like you are running headfirst into a brick wall. But belief in yourself, perseverance, will pay off if you don’t give in to the “the government will take care of me” attitude. If you believe that you are doomed to failure.
No one is poor because some one else is rich! You are poor for other reasons.
1)You are poor because you come from a family with a cycle of being poor and not believing there is any hope.
2) You are poor because you are lazy.
3)You are poor because you have no ambition.
4)You are poor because you rely on the government to take care of you.
5)You are poor because you don’t believe in yourself.
6)You are poor because you believe the game is rigged.
I have heard and read many stories about college graduates who can only find work for minimum wage.
Why is that? Do they have the attitude that the world owes them because they have a degree? Do they think they should start at the top because they have a degree? No one will hire you with that attitude. I worked for many years as a Manufacturing Engineering Manager without a degree to back it up. I was paid just over 50K/year. Why? Because I was good at what I did.
Did they get a degree in a field with no future? Some degrees sound great, but there is no market for them. Young people should look seriously at today’s world before they sign on for a degree with no future. How many career opportunities are there in archeology, in astronomy, in philosophy, in ancient religions, in History etc. Go to school for a marketable degree.
Steven Jobs started apple in his garage. Bill Gates started poor, Warren Buffet was poor, Ross Perot was poor, Richard Branson was poor, Oprah Winfrey was poor. These are some of the richest people in the world.
They didn’t become ultra rich by chance. They believed in themselves. They persaveered, they BELIEVED!!!!
They didn’t blame some one else, they went out and did it themselves.
I guess Sloan, my whole point is, people need to stop blaming others for their place in this world. You make your own place, it’s your fault. This country has so many opportunities for those with the vision to reach out and grab it.
I salute you and your family, Kurt. Unfortunately, I have known quite a few people who simply were overwhelmed by something, or somethings, and they collapsed and disintegrated, and became homeless. Others became insane and were put on meds and kept somewhere, in a facility, in someone’s home, in a public project. One is a dear friend, who lives in a Key West subsidized project. They take 1/6 of his monthly disability payment for rent, and he spends the rest of it on some food, lots of booze and cigarettes, and newspapers and magazines – he loves to read. He’s super smart. He’s super hurt in his soul. Would be dead, if he had to live on the street. I would be too, if I had experienced what he has experienced, and I’ve had some really rough experiences. Might be they led to me being broke and homeless, and I’d probably still be that way, or more likely dead, if my father had not died and I received an inheritance. Or, maybe the angels would have taken their foot off my neck and let me make a livable wage at what I do well, which is not manual labor or practicing law, which I simply can no longer do.
And this from Nashville J, about the Charles Emiers case:
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN AUTOPSY REPORT IN KEY WEST ??
Somehow, seven weeks seems like a very long time unless someone is holding it up on purpose.
Recently retired, Charles Eimers, a suspected dweller in his PT Curuiser, who had driven from northern US to see if he might live out his days in Key West, was apprehended on Thanksgiving Day, the day after he arrived in paradise, by, at last count, 14 of Key West’s finest. Eimers was last seen alive in a video shot by a bystander at South Beach, where the rainbow flag ended. In the video, unarmed Eimers lies face down on the sand, as 3 of Key West finest’s approach him with guns drawn. They surround him, get down all around him, his legs started kicking and he does not survive. It is said Eimer’s nose and mouth were full of sand, he turned blue. One officer later told a friend, proudly it seemed, that he had put his knee on the back of Eimer’s left shoulder and had elbowed him in the back of the neck or head. Another officer was reported as saying she had wanted to arrest that officer.
Then, the wagons circled, stories were told.
Then, the KWPD learned of the video, which somehow had not been apprehended but was slipped to Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com.
Here’s the link to the latest of their articles, at the bottom of which is a link to the earlier articles.
about Charles Eimers’ Happy Thanksgiving in Key West.
Read that, and then you will understand Nashville J’s question, and my answer, a lot better.
After publishing all the above, I checked my email account and found this. Perhaps it is true. That would be nice.
“Good morning…” said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground.
“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it..”
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived…
The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”
“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.
“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business.”
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”
The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled……. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”
“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”
“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”
“What business is that of yours?”
I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”
The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”
“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”
“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”
“Yes, maam. That would be very nice.”
The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”
The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.
“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”
She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. “Jack, do you remember me?”
Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”
“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”
“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.
“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”
Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”
“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”
“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.
“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet… If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”
There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.
“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank God…… He led me to you.”