On Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, The Pahokee City Commission had on the agenda a preliminary resolution to terminate the city manager. During public comment, several individuals spoke against the measure to fire Manager Lucas.
The first speaker was named Mr. Robert V, he stated “Mr. Lucas has only had one year. Letting Mr. Lucas go would not do our city or our community any good at this time.”
He was followed by Mr. Morrison who said “Part of leadership is stability.”
Mr. Patrick came to the podium and stated, “Changing the guard and continuously changing people” will put us back in the same place again.
Jason Crawford spoke and said the manager scored “average” on his evaluations from the commission. He then pointed out that Perez said “she intentionally scored him low.” He said if you “keep switching people it’s not going to change anything.”
Later in the meeting, the Resolution 2023 – 53: A Preliminary Resolution to terminate city manager came up for discussion and vote.
As I stated in my Letter to the Editor in the local Belle Glade Sun Newspaper posted on August 25, “Pahokee loses every time a manager is fired or leaves. This repeated action sets us back decades. Projects become stalled and chaos ensues. The public needs to amplify their voices against allowing certain commissioners to take Pahokee down a destructive path. Citizens must attend the next two city commission meetings to speak out to reverse the resolution to terminate the current manager. If not, Pahokee will once again become an embarrassment to not only the county but also the state. After a while, if you constantly fire or cause to resign all of your managers, no one will want to come work in that position.”
“In the end, no one will take your city seriously if you have a proven record of instability in your manager’s office along with constant quarreling on your dais.”
On Sept. 9, 2023, I communicated with the commissioners and gave them my input. “In regards to this item, I strongly implore you to VOTE DOWN OR AGAINST THIS ITEM. Pahokee can ill afford this reckless, shortsighted, irresponsible, unintelligent, and destructive action. Furthermore, passing this item will only serve to further delay Pahokee’s day to day operations as well as its many projects. You must remember the chaos Pahokee was in after the March 2021 election that lasted until March 2022. A year of turmoil and stagnation ensued.”
I would like to thank the city commission for making the best decision for Pahokee and the community. The majority of the dais’s vote took into account the long term success of the municipality, stability in the city’s administration, and constancy for city employees. Put simply, the majority of the commission decided to put Pahokee first by not allowing yet another crisis or chaos to ensue.
Thank you and as always Pahokee Progress,
David J. Ruiz