INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - With the leavetaking of City Manager Al Grieshaber just six days away, questions have arisen over his activities and what benefits the city has bestowed on him.
Included in this are an apparent clear violation of his employment contract, and a question over vacation time and "compensatory time."
While it has been learned that Grieshaber has taken no vacation time, he has compiled a mountain of "compensatory time" days off.
Obviously, the idea is that unused vacation days will be paid for when Grieshaber receives his final pay from IRB.
Grieshaber, hired last February, when he had already been around for six months as interim manager, has reportedly held only one staff meeting in the 17 months or so of his tenure.
His time in Indian Rocks Beach might have been outpaced by the time he spent away from the city, seeking, as it became widely known, another job, a violation of the ethics of the International City Managers Association.
CM ethics say that once having been hired, a manager ordinarily stays at least two years on the job without seeking other employment.
But Grieshaber spent many days seeking another job. It never seemed to bother most of the elected officials in Indian Rocks Beach who were "see no evil, say no evil, speak no evil" plus one.
In fact, the IRB City Charter specifically states that a city manager must belong to the ICMA. To hire someone not a member is a violation of the charter.
When this was brought to the attention of the city lawyer, Andy Salzman, the fact reportedly was greeted with bewilderment and dismay.
It was Salzman's specific duty, and publicly stated at a commission meeting, to review Grieshaber and his credentials for the job.
As city lawyer, it is Salzman's duty, it would seem in any ordinary sense, to see that city laws and the charter are being complied with. To transgress the charter, which is constructively the will of the people, would seem an important shortcoming.
Grieshaber's employment contract, executed last February after a tooth and claw struggle, says this in Section 10 -
"Moving and Relocation - The City will be invoiced directly, on the lowest of three quotes obtained by the employee with all three (3) quotes being forwarded to the city for the expense of moving the employee, employee's family and employee's personal property from Sanford, Florida, to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. Such expenses shall include but not be limited to packing, any necessary storage, insurance related to the movement of household goods and unpacking."
Note this - Grieshaber purchased property for $865,000 at 6114 S. Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach in February, 2004. He began his association with Indian Rocks Beach in August, 2004.
If there are some citizens in Indian Rocks Beach who think they get a whiff of something very strange, no wonder.
With the specifics and allowances clearly laid out for the city's financial obligation in moving and relocation in Grieshaber's employment contract and with Grieshaber equally confined to what he must do to get such expenses, why then, residents are asking was he paid $13,124.28 on August 15, 4 ½ months ago?
That payment, which Salzman was fully informed on because he was copied in on the e-mail which Grieshaber sent to Marty Schless, IRB's finance officer, requesting the money. The check for $13,124.28 was issued to Grieshaber the same day.
Salzman certainly had knowledge of the requirements of the employment contract. Those provisions were ignored.
Many observers have said that it would seem Salzman, as a matter of prudence and duty, would have put up a stop sign for such an obvious violation of the employment agreement which he participated in writing.
Invoices did not come from three movers directly to the city. In fact, even with the outrageous act standing there bold and dripping with wrongness, Grieshaber submitted only a receipt for $1,200, saying that the rest of his outlay was in cash.
Those experienced in business and government affairs say it is unheard of - absolutely unheard of - to reimburse any expenses without receipts.
In this case, the reimbursement was done in violation of the employment agreement, with no specifications of what the money was for.
For one thing, Grieshaber never moved a household to Indian Rocks Beach or this area. He engaged an apartment in Seminole (for whatever time he spent around here when not traveling on his job quests) and a visit to that apartment by Schless where a couple of boxes were observed stood as satisfaction, apparently, for Grieshaber's claim against the taxpayers of Indian Rocks Beach.
One citizen, Victor Wood, who was a candidate for mayor last March, said that "these undocumented expenses be returned to the city immediately."
With the fit hitting the shan last weekend, an e-mail went out from Mayor Bill Ockunzzi last Saturday morning to Schless and Salzman saying - "Note: Mary, Andy: Please be prepared to provide all appropriate and necessary documentation."
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition