The Coastal Star

Briny Breezes: Town hires new deputy clerk

By Dan Moffett

    Briny Breezes has had to look for a deputy clerk three times in the last three years, so Town Council members hope they’ve found a long-term solution with the hiring of Jackie Ermola in November.
    A transplant from the Philadelphia area, Ermola has experience in property and construction site management that could serve the town well.
    “Jackie’s background in building certainly could be helpful for us,” said Council President Sue Thaler. “We hope that as she gains more municipal experience, she can grow into the position of town administrator.”
    The council had hoped to hire someone with experience in municipal government who could expand the role of clerk into an administrator. But Thaler said no qualified candidate was willing to accept the dual role on a part-time basis.
    Ermola currently works as a secretary for the care ministry at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church and lives in Delray Beach. She will earn roughly $400 per week for the part-time position, Thaler said. The deputy clerk’s job came open last month when Steve Cooper moved out of the area.
    In other business:
    • With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Town Council approved a contract with CAP Government of Coral Gables to take over the town’s building permit and code inspection work.
    CAP has a 27-year history of providing building department services to dozens of municipalities throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and has recently expanded into Palm Beach County.
    Under terms of the one-year contract, the town will pay the company 75 percent of permit fees collected and $60 an hour for code enforcement.
    There were three other bidders for the contract: Robert McInnes, a Briny resident, Calvin, Giordano & Associates of Fort Lauderdale and SAFEbuilt Inc. of Loveland, Colo.
    Thaler said the council decided against McInnes because he wasn’t properly licensed and rejected Calvin, Giordano because of a high price tag. Council members said CAP won out over SAFEbuilt because Cosmo Tornese, a senior engineer with the company, came to the Nov. 17 town meeting and answered residents’ questions.
    • Council members scheduled a special meeting for Dec. 1 to allow Town Attorney John Skrandel to present a first draft of a proposed ordinance that would require candidates for the mayor’s and clerk’s positions to submit election petitions.
    The council has been looking for ways to tighten qualifications for candidates in response to concerns about people who might make frivolous runs for office to embarrass the town. Rather than imposing qualifying fees that might discourage candidates from running for a job as an unpaid official, the council decided instead on requiring petitions for the top two elected positions.
    The ordinance will come up for final approval at the Dec. 22 town meeting.

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