International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
777 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20002-4201
RE: City Manager Jonathan Allen, City of Lauderdale Lakes, FL
Mr. Jonathan Allen is a registered member of your organization and as such required to follow the ICMA Code of Ethics (attached). As stated on the document these principles are enforced and are to govern the conduct of every member of ICMA. Request you review all of the information below and take appropriate action accordingly. I stand ready to assist.
Upon review of the Tenets, it can be determined that Mr. Allen has continuously and willfully violated virtually every Tenet. First the State of Florida’s Constitution and Statutes mandate that the State operates as “Government in the Sunshine” and further mandates that virtually all records are “Public Records” and open to review by all.
Under Mr. Allen’s Administration there has been a concerted effort to deny the public access to the governing process by not properly noticing legislative actions and not allowing public comment- required by both the City Charter and Florida Statutes (FS). Case in point was the recent debt refinancing that was not properly advertised or noticed or scheduled for a public hearing for input as required by FS 166.041.[cleeng_content id="720190646" description="Why stop now? There\'s 18 more pages to this complaint. Monthly subscriptions from .99" price="1.99" t="article" referral="0.1"]Response: On Aug 21, 2012 Ordinance 2012-14 was approved on first reading. On Aug 28, 2012, Ordinance 2012-14 was approved on second reading. FS 166.041 requires a 10 day notice (not even possible) and a public hearing for comment- neither happened. Proper notice and advertisement would be after a successful first reading and would announce the second reading and public hearing.
Attachment 1- Meeting agendas and FS 166.041
Other instances were major amendments to the FY 2012 budget that was enacted by a resolution although FS 166.241 specifically requires an ordinance (two readings) to amend budgets along with a public hearing for residents and interested parties to provide input. Again no public input allowed. The FS requires this for any amendment where the total budget is adjusted up or down. The FS also requires posting to the website within 5 days- still has not happened to date.
Response: Resolution 2011-95 was enacted on Oct 25, 2011 to amend the FY 2012 budget. FS 166.241 4c requires budget to be amended in this case(increased budget by adding the Building Department) by ordinance with required public hearings- did not happen. Two other budget amendments were passed, Ordinances 2012-8 and 2012-11. The FS requires amended budgets to be posted to the City website within 5 days. There is no amended 2012 budget posted to the City’s website. Also there is not a final adopted budget for FY 2011 posted on the City’s website.
Attachment 2- FS 166.241 and L Lakes website print.
Also under Mr. Allen’s Administration, the term “public records” has been redefined from the legal definition in the FS as “all those not specifically exempted by FS” to only those records Mr. Allen wants to release. A new category of “damaging public information primarily to himself and sometimes the City” seems to be in place for exemption. I can attest that there was a concerted effort by Mr. Allen to withhold public information and also to charge outrageous costs for public records to myself and can provide details if you would like. Mr. Allen’s actions in both the sunshine aspect and public records are under review by different agencies at this time.
Under Mr. Allen’s Administration there have been numerous financial reports provided to both his Commission and also the Broward County Commission that contained incorrect and also “manipulated” information in an attempt to mislead. Case in point is that all financial reports prepared in FY 2012 had different beginning balances for the General Fund and “total pooled cash” brought forward from FY 2011. From a public records request, it was determined that the City had a total pooled cash balance of $1.4m for the entire City. The General Fund brought forward balance either exceeds or nearly exceeds that amount in these reports. And from other record requests and the audited financial statements for FY 2011, virtually all of the cash is from Special Assessment Funds- Stormwater and Solid Waste. The Audited 2011 Financial statements are on the City’s website for review if needed- note that there are many issues with cash balances. From the 1.4m actual cash balance- the Special Assessment funds have 1.7m in cash and the governmental funds have 2.9m. Very interesting wouldn’t you say.
Response: All of these reports have a different beginning brought forward cash balance from FY 2011 for the General Fund as shown. We find this interesting as the entire City only had a 1.4m total cash balance as determined from this public records request which is far less than what is showing for the General Fund itself
Attachment 4- L Lakes Financial Reports- Months of March to July 2012.
Attachment 5-L Lakes Financial Reports- months of December2011 to February 2012
Attachment 6- Copy of MUNIS printout of total pooled/operating cash as of September 30, 2011
There are also other reports of Mr. Allen not furnishing the same information to all Commissioners favoring those voting together in an apparent block rubber stamping all of his actions. There are other reports of not providing information to a Commissioner even after numerous requests for such.
Mr. Allen was cited in a Broward County Inspector General report for many procurement related actions such as bid-rigging and violating City and State of Florida procurement laws. This was after Mr. Allen terminated the Purchasing Manager who would not go along with his actions.
Response: A copy of the first page of Broward County OIG Report 11-021 is provided for your information. The entire report can be viewed at the Broward County’s OIG website.
Attachment 3- Cover page of Broward County OIG Report 11-021
There are other numerous reported personnel related actions by Mr. Allen- giving raises to cronies, terminating experienced personnel in favor or less competent people he can control. In addition to the Purchasing Manager above, as of most recent he terminated an experienced City Clerk with numerous certifications and outstanding reviews. Reports are that she would not go along with the violations of sunshine and public records law. Also of recent he forced the resignation of the Executive Assistant to the City Manager (also extensive experience and excellent reviews) and in his own words from a 2013 Budget Workshop- expects to fill in 2013 with the right person.
Response: The termination letter for the City Clerk is on file with the City along with numerous outstanding performance evaluations for review. Also the downgrade and reassignment letter (forced resignation) of the Executive Assistant to the City Manager are on file at the City. There are also minutes from budget workshops available where Mr. Allen makes comments that he will fill the Executive Assistant position in 2013. Both actions identified create very possible legal actions against the City.
Take a close at his replacements- Finance Director, Interim City Clerk, Human Resources Director, and Parks and Services Director. All appear either incompetent (or next to it) or a trusted crony with little to no experience. Also numerous reports of personal relationships with these trusted cronies.
Response: Copies of the current Finance Director’s application and resume are on file at the City (shows lack of experience as a Finance Director and as a supervisor). Application and performance reviews from previous employment with City of Oakland Park are available that show lack of experience, supervision, and performance issues.
To reiterate Mr. Allen’s actions related to the Code of Ethics-
Tenet 1- Believe in concepts of effective local government by elected officials through professional general management- don’t think so.
Tenet 2- Social responsibility as a trusted public servant- don’t think so here either.
Tenet 3- Highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships- absolutely not here either.
Tenet 4- Serving best interests of all people- definitely not here either.
Tenet 5- Provided facts and advice, uphold local government policies- no way here either.
Tenet 6- Policy execution rest with elected representatives- missed it here.
Tenet 7- Refrain from participation in the election of members- remember the withholding of information to certain Commissioners above…
Tenet 8- Develop competences of associates- could not be here as he got rid of the competent ones in favor of less competent ones. This category should not be used for his personal interest as reported for certain direct reports and staff members.
Tenet 9-Keep community informed- not here either as did not even notice or advertise as required.
Tenet 10- Without discrimination on basis of principle and justice- fat chance here- just look at those employees terminated and laid off.
Tenet 11- Fairness and impartial with pay, promotions- not even close here.
Tenet 12- Seek no favor- Does he favor his reported voting block of Commissioners for continued employment?
L Lakes ICMA Complaint Revised v2