Christopher Tuffley/News-Sun Avon Park Public Safety Director Jason Lister hands city attorney Gerald Buhr information Monday night. ÔWith all the concern (regarding the pension plan) a joint meeting would clear the air,' Lister said.
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published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Another can of worms opened in Avon Park
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- In a heated discussion that resolved nothing, the city council's regular meeting Monday night dealt with complicated police pension and Government in the Sunshine law issues.
The only agreement between the various parties was that more face-to-face talks are necessary. A joint meeting between the police pension board and the city council was scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the council chambers.
City Manager Julian Deleon brought two main concerns to the council Monday night. He said he believes that Police Pension Board Administrator Carol Knapp and Police Pension Board chairperson Greg Warner are maneuvering to terminate the police pension system in order to bankrupt the city and he accuses Knapp, Warner and others, including Councilor Garrett Anderson, of intentionally bypassing Sunshine laws by using personal email accounts while communicating with each other.
He said requests for documents made on July 29 have not been fulfilled except by the pension board attorney.
Terminating the police pension system, Deleon said, makes the city liable for multiple millions of dollars, as it would have to pay out all pensions at one time.
"It would cripple the city," Deleon said.
Knapp flat-out denied Deleon's accusations.
"The bottom line, I would be crazy to terminate the plan," she told the News-Sun Tuesday. "I'd be out of a job."
Deleon accuses Knapp and Warner of "purposefully stalling" release of requested documents to cover their actions and claims to have seen derogatory and manipulative emails from Knapp. He claims some pension board trustees have admitted deleting public records from their private email accounts, but believes most of them to be unaware of Kappa's alleged actions.
The pension board hired Matthew Mierzwa, an attorney based in Lake Worth, last week for advice.
He spoke to the council Monday night regarding the public document requests. "I've never seen such a comprehensive request," he said. "I don't believe there is any intent to withhold (anything from the city). These are not readily available. A request made to many people on the same subject is so broad."
In a summary for the council, Deleon lists 15 different requests he made. Many ask for emails going back three years and involving many individuals.
For example, one request alone asks for any and all emails by any trustee, attorney and plan administrator referencing the city council, city managers prior to Deleon, Deleon himself and Maria Sutherland.
Public Safety Director Jason Lister said while it appears there may have been communications on some level regarding the pension plan, "There has been no formal direction from the board."
Warner was in a pension board meeting Tuesday morning and not available for comment.
.......And Still More??? (by: Spectre - 9/2/2013)
I think AP is missing their opportunity to start a reality show. The constant bickering, back stabbing and drama never cease to end. They could call the show "As Krap Nova Turns" That's Avon Park spelled backwards. Just think of all the progress that could be made if the drama stopped.
Be Civil (by: JIMMYFALCO - 8/31/2013)
I think it is time to stop the bickering,name calling, and sometimes just being nasty. I for one am asking all of us to be civil to each other. Any problems we may have we should offer solutions or opinions with kindness.Let's stop feeding the media with dirt and express ourselves with dignity and charm. We all love our city and should treat everyone with respect. Thank you for listening.
Bubba (by: mamas&papas - 8/30/2013)
The friendly teddy bear is not prepared for the public pounding coming his way. Wait till De Leon links in all the padres and madres for the cabrones.
Go Deleon (by: Papa Bear - 8/30/2013)
Don't let these naysayers get you down. Everyone sees right through the good ol' boys attempts to throw you out.
Anderson (by: yowanda - 8/29/2013)
Who is your daddy now. Mrs. Knapp is your daddy or mayor bubba the whale. At least bubba's pretty and young wife is pleasant to talk with. she is missed at the dealership since bubba took her out.
close down avon park city government (by: tax payer - 8/28/2013)
Fire Adolph Deleon for starters. Rest assured the city will be bankrupt soon. Between the federal and circuit trial by jury for Mike Rowan who will most likely win, and win big. Renee Green trial, another soon to be big win. Susan Bentons mis calculated budget shortfalls and the soon to be volunteer fire department all equate to the end of Avon Park as we know it. I feel sorry for all of the puppets who work and advocate this pathetic power hungry man they call by the name of Julian Deleon. The council is fully at blame fellow taxpayers, they hired him, time to replace them all. Remember, they are public servants, we pay their salaries which mean we the tax payers are their boss. Shame on you, i have know idea how you sleep at night.
Knapp (by: wrecking your balls - 8/28/2013)
She is trying to get MJRowan and Greg their big pay day. I wonder if she is getting a commission cut from the proceeds.
Nowhere else but AP (by: Been here - 8/28/2013)
Why dont these people just turn oer the documents? Why would a guy running for Mayor ruin every hope of getting voted in by stalling a records request? He was a cop for crying out loud. But then he was an AP cop. Go figure!
Deletion, truth behind him! (by: Knowledgeable Joe - 8/28/2013)
First of all, Deleon is the one being the city. He is an aggressive out of control ruler. He got rid of the police dept. even after he was told the pension would have to be paid out in millions. Now he realizes this but too late. Now the only way to hide his mistake is to spend money on another police dept. to keep pension open. Now we are paying Sheriff for law enforcement and police dept. to do nothing but keep the plan open. But wait, law states you can't have a police pension if they are not doing law enforcement duties. Hmmm, so his scape goat is fire dept. he is hiring more cops, wasting more city money, sending them to fire academy, wasting more city money, and calling it "Public Safety." Now he likes the fire dept.... Ha! If you believe that then go to negotiations with between the city and fire dept. He wants the city firefighter's to become cops. He hates the fire dept. and the letter of "No Confidence" the fire dept. handed in against Deleon.
Whoops (by: Pzz - 8/28/2013)
So maybe Delon didn't think out all of the consequences of closing the pd. It's okay we all make mistakes.
Blind copies (by: the wife - 8/28/2013)
Anderson's campaign slogan "I want open government" but it is fine when I collude with Knapp and Mayor Bubba to banrupt the City while using my private email to hide public sunshine business. Talk about a hypocrite and a liar. But everyone already knew this.
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