Police call for “No Confidence” vote on City Manager Gretsas

     In a move that could further deteriorate the relationship between the Fort Lauderdale Police Union and the City Management/City Commission, the Union has called for a vote of “No Confidence” in Manager George Gretsas. The vote is expected to be taken at an upcoming meeting. The Union is also including Assistant City Manager David Hebert, who oversees Public Safety for Gretsas, in the “No Confidence” vote, though the Police Chief has apparently been spared.
 
                     
                             Gretsas and  Department brass


     The drastic action follows unsuccessful efforts to negotiate a Police contract. Police Union officials report that the failure to negotiate a satisfactory contract have led to poor morale and an exodus of experienced Police Officers from the force. These are some of the numbers that they state to make their case:

33
less Officers now than 2003, when the City had less residents

58
Police Officers left the force in 2007

94%
of the force claim poor or very poor morale

72% 
of the Officers are looking to move to other agencies

     Union officials complain that though they rated near the top in pay among other Departments in 2003, they currently rank last. They point to Gretsas’s
21 % increase in pay, while their standing among other Departments has fallen. 

     The Mayor and Commissioners are responsible for approving a contract, and leaks suggest that there is wide disagreement among the Commission on a solution. Early reports had Mayor Naugle and Commissioner Hutchinson in favor of accepting the Police demands, Commissioners Moore and Teel opposing, and Commissioner Rodstrom on the fence. The latest development has Teel ready to deal, but Naugle and Rodstrom at odds over the length of the contract to offer. 

     One thing is for sure. A “No Confidence ” vote next week on the City Manager is sure to cause new riffs and further instability. Stay tuned!