Key Largo in the News

There are a few interesting items in the papers.

Key Largo sewer district GM accused of ‘power grab’

Sewer GM avoids official reprimand. Emails, letters reveal widening rift between commissioners

Utilities manager fired and replaced

On the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District issues, different commissioners have different styles.  Some dig in and want a lot of information.  They want to make sure they are fully informed about the issues they’re being asked to decide.  Others just take the “no news is good news approach”.  They win elections either way and they get paid either way.  Historically, the whole reason for having an independent engineer and an independent accounting firm was to have a check over the General Manager (GM).  It’s worked quite well in the past.  On the other hand, the District has also struggled with Board overreach.  As a result there have been major problems with both operations and finance in the past.

Striking the right balance between board oversight and board overreach is an ongoing struggle.  The GM has to be able to manage through it.  If the GM is withholding information or providing conflicting information, that is definitely a red flag.  This is the reason I included the link to the Marathon story.  Marathon’s wastewater utility is now out of compliance with FDEP requirements.  The Utilities Director was replaced, in part, for setting up separate email accounts, presumably to hide information about the deteriorating situation.  I’m sure that is on the minds of some Key Largo wastewater commissioners.

Hemeyer was placed on probation for six months in June after she purchased computer equipment without the knowledge of the city’s IT department and used non-sanctioned email accounts to correspond with staff outside of Florida’s Sunshine Law requirements.

There’s also an update on the fish kill which I previously discussed here.  It’s a natural occurrence – low dissolved oxygen caused by warmer temperatures.  Maybe summer time aeration would help?

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