Two Hallandale officials who voted for generous pension plan say they weren’t told true costs

By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org 

Hallandale Beach City Hall

Two Hallandale Beach commissioners who backed generous retirement benefits for top city officials said they were never told that the program granted retroactive credit for years worked prior to the plan’s start in 2001.

Those extra years and subsequent improvements are allowing those ex-administrators to collect millions of dollars in enhanced benefits that some say amount to undue compensation.

The commissioners’ claim was buttressed when City Manager Renee Crichton said her office has been unable to find any official documents that authorize the granting of retroactive retirement credit

However, two ex-managers – Mark Antonio and Randolph J. “R.J.” Intindola – said commissioners were given details in an actuarial report on the pension plan back in 2001.

“It’s easy for them to say now,” said Antonio, a former city manager and finance director who has said the plan was developed and approved because the existing plan was inadequate.

The controversy surrounding the costly executive retirement plan has intensified as election day approaches. The flap surfaced as the Broward Inspector General’s Office continues its investigation into city management practices.

One current and one former city commissioner are now calling for an outside audit to review the plan and determine how it came to include the lucrative provision granting credit for past years of service – with an eye toward possibly rescinding or halting some of the benefits for those covered by the plan.

The plan was stopped in 2007 for new employees, however about 70 former and current employees continue to accumulate benefits under the program.

COMMISSIONERS KEPT IN THE DARK

Current Commissioner Dorothy Ross and former Commissioner William Julian, who is running again, say they were not aware of the richness of the perks when they backed the management retirement program 11 years ago.

“It was never explained,” Ross said. “Why do something for past years of service? I don’t see the reason for it.”

“When we voted on the pension plan that never was brought up to us,” said Julian. “I never saw any documents about free years. They should not be getting anything free.”

Former Mayor Arthur “Sonny” Rosenberg agreed.

Rosenberg, who was off the commission when the plan was voted on but attended meetings about it in the months before, said there was no discussion about retroactive service credit.

“Robbery, that’s what it was,” Rosenberg said of the plan. The city staff, he added, misled commissioners about the plan and its costs.

Rosenberg said he saw a memo from the finance department stating that the plan would cost “no more than $10,000 a year” and would benefit only about 15 employees with 15 to 20 years of service.

City Manager Crichton, who took over this summer, said she can’t find details on the pension agreement in the city record.

“The city does not have any item that speaks directly to the credit of back time,” Crichton wrote in her memo last week. She attached minutes of various city commission meetings in 2001 where the management plan was discussed and approved but there were no references to approving retroactive service credit.

CITIZEN STEPS IN

Crichton’s memo responded to a public records request filed by commission candidate and community activist Csaba Kulin.

“As I expected there is no authorization to grant all those extra years of service to managerial employees,” said Kulin. “It was done illegally….The three previous city manager, starting with R.J. Intindola, have given themselves and others, illegally, millions of dollars.”

While she could not find any reference to the retroactive credit, Crichton said it is possible the approval was “inherent” when the commissioners approved documents outlining the management plan. She said she has no intention of hiring an outside auditor to review the matter, unless instructed by the commission.

The chance of such a review would appear to increase if Julian and Kulin are elected next month. Both said they want one.

“The commission can reverse anything it wants,” Julian said.

City commissioner Keith London also entered the fray, saying that if he’s elected mayor next month he will seek an outside audit and obtain legal advice on what aspects of the plan can be reversed for current retirees or halted for future ones.

BrowardBulldog.org first reported last week how the management retirement plan has paid off big for some top city officials who helped set it up, or backed later enhancements. Three former city managers – Intinola, Antonio and Mike Good – are among those who have received generous payouts, including monthly pensions totaling $37,000.

Intindola received nearly 20 retroactive years of credit when he retired in 2002. In addition, the plan allowed him to purchase an additional four years without actually working. Without those 24 years his pension would be 96 percent lower. He currently receives an annual pension of $111,700. His highest base city salary was $118,664.

Antonio, the city’s finance director before he became city manager, retired in June and received 14.25 years of retroactive service. He also bought five additional years. Without those 19.25 years his annual pension would be 77 percent lower than its current $127,000. His highest annual salary as a city official was $165,000.

Antonio accumulated another $744,637 in a city DROP (Deferred Option Retirement Plan) savings account.

Good was fired in 2010 after eight years as city manager, for chronic work absences and for other reason. Good now receives a monthly pension of $17,522, or more than $210,000 a years, just $2,000 under his highest regular base pay of $212,000. He also cashed out $786,000 from his DROP account shortly before leaving city employment.

Good did not receive retroactive credit for past years of service in the management plan. Previously, he was in the city employee group pension plan, and his years and payments were transferred to the new plan.

 

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  1. Bill Julian says:

    One of my first priorities will be to hire an audit and find out if this was legal or not, and why the information was not disclosed of the free years, to the Commission.

  2. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Bill, you’ve missed the boat. That’s something you should’ve demanded while you were a HB commissioner, not only on this but all the other boondoggles that happened.

    Time for a clean house in HB.

  3. Moozell Quirch says:

    Thank goodness the voters didn’t listen to you, Charlotte.

  4. Csaba Kulin says:

    It will be interesting to see if the newly elected Hallandale Beach City Commission will sweep it under the rug or start doing the right thing by hiring an independent forensic auditor to investigate the matter.

    The city cannot take away pensions earned, but unearned, unauthorized or payments made by mistake or fraud is fair game.

    Hallandale Beach could pay for the post office purchase, the new fire station and fixing our parks from the money they already got and will get in the next 30 years. We are talking about up to 20 million dollars.

    HB needs to get back some of the money already sent to them and stop paying out any more unauthorized moneys.

    We will see soon if “business is as usual” in HB and the matter will be ignored. If the city will not hire and an independent auditor maybe the Broward County Inspector General will look into it.

  5. Bill Julian says:

    Mr. Kullin, thankfully the smart voters in Hallandale didn’t liston to your ranting and put you out to pasture. You finished in last place, even Ann beat you. Everyone knows you were used by London as his patsy.

  6. Two years after he was first thrown out of office, Bill Julian, the insipid man who honestly thought it would be a good idea for him to make a motion that would require Hallandale Beach residents to live in this city for three years before qualifying to run for local office -even though that would clearly be unconstitutional, as even dim bulb and former City Attorney David Jove had to tell him at the time- STILL has zero remorse at all for all of his years of bad judgment and unethical behavior while in office in Hallandale Beach.

    From his YEARS of his habitually parking illegally in designated Handicapped Parking spaces at the public beach rather than paying $1 an hour like everyone else, as well as his years of parking in clearly marked No Parking spots elsewhere -all caught on photos- to his trying to triple his salary at a City Comm. meeting with no HB citizens present, and then having the gall to say that he (and his colleagues) ought to be paid like a corporate executives for their part-time job. and those are just the first ones that come to mind.
    He also made the motion to allow Comm. Sanders to stay for free at the property he sold the city until it was torn down. Over three and a half years later…nothing’s changed there, has it?
    Nope! Hmm-m…

    Julian has not changed his stripes one bit, and one easy way that you can see that is to look at something that, while fairly minor to most of you, I’m sure, upsets me for obvious reasons and ought to give you pause for whom you have given power over your city’s future to -someone who routinely ignores the law -federal, state and city- and who compounds this by having a remarkable lack of savvy or attention to detail.

    The proof of that, and Julian’s general sense of entitlement, is the fact that for many months, he has illegally used photos of mine that I took many years ago and have had posted on my blog since taking them, and posted them on his campaign website without my permission or paying for them, as well as onto fliers of his he has posted around town on retail businesses like The Upper Deck that if I recall correctly, actually have the word “integrity” written on them.
    Integrity and Bill Julian are, most assuredly, mutually exclusive.

    On November 3rd, I sent the following to the owner of the company that hosts Julian’s website:

    Dear Michael:

    Per our phone conversation earlier this afternoon about Bill Julian’s serial use of my copyrighted photographs on his campaign website without my permission.

    Something that I’m sure that he never mentioned to you when setting up his website with you at http://qualityhosting4u.com/
    Obviously, I want those photos of mine removed from his website ASAP.

    The first time that I wrote about it was on June 20th, the day after I first discovered he was illegally using them.

    This particular post has the three photos of mine he uses and the specific dates that I first shot them and how I used them on my blog for years: July 3, 2009: March 3, 2009; and May 8, 2008.
    Stop thief, stop! So guess whose campaign website contains 3 of my original blog photos -all taken without permission or paying for them? Bill Julian. Yes, just like Hallandale Beach City Manager Mark Antonio’s serial copyright theft of many of my original photos. Antonio will soon learn that stealing just doesn’t pay!
    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/stop-thief-stop-so-guess-whose-campaign.html

    Here’s some interesting information that I’ve shared over the past two years that has nothing to do with Julian’s illegal use of my photos on his website(s), but which I’m sure Julian probably never mentioned to you -info that lots more Hallandale Beach residents and TV/print reporters and columnists know about than he knows:

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/ethics-not-for-us-follow-up-to-my-post.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/why-would-you-even-consider-voting-for.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/classic-bill-julian-being-bill-julian.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/30-weeks-until-election-day-and.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/hallandale-beach-p-board-unanimously.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/stone-cold-fact-bill-julian-serial.html

    http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/so-very-creepy-why-does-hallandale.html

    —–
    Yes, you’d think that someone who has lived here for as long as Julian has would already have plenty of photos he could use on his own campaign website and campaign fliers, rather than to blatantly steal them from me, but no… Steal them he does.

    As far as local reporters and columnists are concerned, the great thing about Julian being on the HB City Commission is that it means that they will be able to continue to mine comedy material from him on slow news days when he will once again choose to make the whole city a laughingstock thru his bad judgment, faulty reasoning skills, and doubtless while defending the indefensible.

    But how is it good for this community’s Quality of Life improving to have someone who is such an obvious and unrepetant unethical bungler, offender and thief in office?

    How many times have we all heard, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it”?
    In Bill Julian’s case, that will include a long-overdue complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics from me, where his lack of character will be on public display for all to see.

  7. unique says:

    These Commissioners that didin’t read what they were
    voting for should be fired. This is how they represent the
    people?????

  8. Rzgar says:

    Oh Julian you are Oh Julian you are brilliant so sofluul.Please play with Donald Braswell he’s like you a very talented kind hearted man. He came is 4th in AGT 2008 You play like an Angel Don sings like one.Bravo Julian I loved to see and hear you with Kenny G You Dared to Dream and your dream is coming trueGod Bless you ans yours

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