By Tim O’Meilia

A year ago, Manalapan Mayor Basil Diamond claimed South Palm Beach could save a half million dollars a year — give or take $100,000 — by letting Manalapan provide police and dispatch service. 

South Palm Beach Mayor Donald Clayman disputed the numbers and quickly shot down the idea. “This is not a good time to look at a reduced police presence in town. Our people like to see the police cars around,” Clayman said then. 

Now South Palm Beach Councilwoman Stella Jordan wants to resurrect the offer from its neighbor. “Even if it’s half of $700,000, we need to discuss it. We owe to our taxpayers,” she said at the town’s May 22 meeting. 

Town Attorney Brad Biggs advised the council to check to see if the June 2011 offer from Diamond was still valid or endorsed by the entire Manalapan commission. 

Complicating matters is an offer from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to take over police services in Manalapan that would save the town $230,000 annually. After a four-hour session May 22, Manalapan commissioners decided to hold a workshop in June to further discuss options. 

“We still have an open mind on trying to work with other communities on cost-saving measures, in addition to other options,” Diamond said. “I did mention at the meeting that we are still open to other options.”

South Palm Beach has budgeted $951,000 for police this year. Diamond’s offer said the town could save $730,000 by letting Manalapan extend its ocean patrol zone to include South Palm Beach. All policing, dispatching and investigating would be done by Manalapan.

Another option would save South Palm Beach more than $400,000 by creating a new South Palm Beach patrol zone and devoting an officer to patrol the town 24/7. 

South Palm Beach typically has two officers on duty 18 hours a day, usually not including an administrator. Clayman said last year that Manalapan’s offer would reduce the level of police service.

“It’s a conceptual idea. I was giving two examples,” Diamond said. “Anything we do would have to be negotiated and it could be totally different than what I suggested.”

Diamond said savings would come largely through the reduction of administrative costs. “I don’t think it costs you anything to look at options,” he said. 

During the meeting, Clayman asked that the issue be discussed at a workshop but Jordan insisted on placing it on the June council agenda.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to spend $23,600 for a new police car, a Dodge Charger to replace a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, including trade-in. The council postponed the purchase in October and last month Jordan said the car, with 46,471 miles, was still useful.

Vice Mayor Joseph Flagello, appointed to investigate, said the engine miles on the car, including idle time, exceeded 254,000, the car was out of warranty and had maintenance problems. 

The council also approved a town finance policy, urged by Jordan, which includes guidelines for capital expenses, recurring expenses and investments.                              Ú

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  • The Town Council of South Palm Beach changed the Towns]FORM OF GOVERNMENT

    From March 2006 EVERY member of EVERY board was appointed by individual Council Member STRICTLY PROHIBITED by the Charter- the Towns Constitution.

    They refuse to answer any of my  e-mails or questions at Town Hall Meetings – why? If I am wrong just tell me so!

    Below is what I tried to read at the Town Hall on June 26, 2012.

    TOWN HALL MEETING 6-26-12

    At the October 25, 2011 Town Meeting Mayor Clayman instructed Police Chief Crane to remove me from the hall, and in the end Police Chief Crane said to Mayor Clayman “give me instructions Mayor and I will arrest her for trespassing. The Mayor has no authority to give orders to employees.

    § 2-3. - Prohibitions.

    (a)

    Neither the Town Council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the Town Manager, either publicly or privately. Crane is a subordinate of the Town Manager.

    Chief Crane has worked in this Town for 25 years and yet he asks the Mayor for instructions.

    March 28, 2006 Town Attorneys wrote Ordinance 255.This ordinance gave permission for the Mayor and Town Council to choose and appoint anybody that they wanted to put on the Boards etc. of our Town – PROHIBITED BY OUR TOWN CHARTER.

    Boards were cheery picked by individual Council Members and Mayor to suit their own agendas.

    Excerpts from our charter state:

    Boards and committees:

    a) Appointment—Every member of every board and committee of the Town, whether advisory or quasi-judicial, shall be recommended by the Town Manager, and shall be appointed by the Town Council.

    (3) The Mayor shall have no power of appointment, or of veto.

    3-3. - Appointments and removals.

    (a) . The Town Manager shall report every appointment and removal made by him/her to the Town Council at the next meeting thereof following such appointment or removal. Not done since 2006

    § 2-9. - Citizens advisory council.. Unless there is an emergency or other bona fide reason for immediate action, as approved by the Town Council, all recommendations of the Town Manager for board and committee membership shall be considered by the citizen advisory council, prior to approval by the Town Council.

    This Mandatory Citizens Advisory Council that has not sat in this Town since 2003.

    § 2-3. - Prohibitions.

    (a) Neither the Town Council nor any of its members shall direct or request the Manager or any of his/her subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in that portion of the service of the Town for whose administration the Town Manager is responsible

    § 3-3. - Appointments and removals.

    (a) Department heads, officers, and employees: Such officers and employees as the Town Council, with the advice of the Town Manager, shall determine are necessary for the proper administration of the Town agencies for whose administration the Town Manager is responsible, shall be appointed and may be removed, by the Town Manager. The Town Manager shall report every appointment and removal made by him/her to the Town Council at the next meeting thereof following such appointment or removal. Not done since 2006

    Planning Board Members Mike Nevard, Dee Robinson and Pat Festino who helped rob this Town the chance to redevelop our only commercial site, have never been through the MANDATORY CITIZENS ADVICE COUNCIL, and all three were ILLEGALLY appointed and reappointed by individual council members.

    Their votes should be invalidated.

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