[ PRINT ]

A Commissioner Takes on “Exigent Operational Necessity”


The Palm Beach Post is looking out for the taxpayer.

Last week we mentioned that Rhonda Swan raised the issue of the county’s interpretation of “exigent operational necessity” as it applies to the PBSO Career Services Act in an editorial.

This week, Jennifer Sorentrue brings it up in the context of the Sheriff’s budget dispute with the county, and quotes Steven Abrams: “It would seem to boil down to whether our current budget situation qualifies, Commissioner Steven Abrams said recently. “I personally believe it does.”

We know of one, perhaps two other commissioners who also differ with County Attorney Denise Neiman’s interpretation of the statute that “it is not necessity until the county is out of money”. Or, in the words of Ric Bradshaw: ‘The county would have to be “almost insolvent” before he could freeze employees’ pay, in his view. “If I was to freeze the pay plan, the union could come in here and take me to court,” Bradshaw said. “You can’t just violate the law because you want to.”

Will the commissioners push the issue? – we really hope so. The time has come for the Sheriff to tighten his belt like everyone else in the county – including the county staff who haven’t seen raises in quite a while.

For Jennifer’s excellent article, see: Palm Beach County, sheriff at odds over raises

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