Palm Bay: Moya Gets Owned By Bailey And Johnson Pulls Out Excuses That Five Year Olds Use.

We had discussed two agenda items for the December 3, 2020 Palm Bay City Council meeting. The first was the proposal for making December 24th an official paid holiday for City employees and the second was to address the pay of police and communications workers within the City.

We’ll address the pay for police first.

Chief Moya made an impassioned plea for increasing the pay of police. He threw up lots of charts and data.

What became clear was that Moya was looking for more pay and that the people Palm Bay was hiring were not looking into total compensation. This became a critical point as during discussion, Council Bailey noted that when pension benefits are added in, Palm Bay has the most compensation for its workers in the county – by a good amount. Moya agreed but said the pension came from the City budget and not the Police Department budget and Moya was only bringing up the numbers for the Police Department budget. We wondered why until we realized that Moya was hiding data that hurt his cause.

Moya said that “millennials” weren’t looking at long term total, overall compensation, but only pay.

To us, that is scary as it means that the police are hiring people who can’t see down the road and see the consequences of their actions.

We mentioned Councilman Bailey earlier and watching him from the dais, we have to say that Bailey was brilliant. Data point after data point came crumbling down under Bailey’s search for the truth. Everything from years of service, turnover rates (lowest in the county,) compensation, etc., fell like a cheap house built on sand in the middle of a hurricane. Bailey made subtle points that the charts and graphs presented by Moya were not accurate and did not show the current situation as far as staffing or compensation was concerned.

After the “clubhouse” debacle in which Bailey was implicated and never publicly took responsibility for, we had concerns about him.

We were glad to see the “old Bailey” back.

Moya’s presentation basically came down to one issue: workers wanted more pay.

Don’t we all?

The other four Councilmen bought Moya’s presentation hook, line and sinker. None of them could dispute anything Bailey said and the common refrain was “the police go out an put their lives on the line for us.”

While we don’t disagree with that statement, does keeping the pay rate at the current level mean they won’t strap on a gun and police Palm Bay anymore?

Furthermore, if this was such a critical need in increasing the pay, why wasn’t this handled in contract negotiations?

It just seems clear to us that the Police wanted a new council with three members the union had supported to be elected and then vote to change the contract.

We also want to address the bonus that Moya wants to be given out. It is not clear in the documentation in the agenda packet, but the bonuses supposedly are as incentives for new hires and law enforcement people who want to work for the City of Palm Bay. According to the City Attorney, this is not a bonus for all workers, but only for people being hired that have experience. If that is the case, that bonus would be legal under the law and we agree with the City Attorney on that.

However, the agenda packet is not clear on when the bonuses are to be given which is why we believed that the bonuses were for all. They are not and once again, legal.

We wanted to clear that up.

The Christmas Eve Holiday passed as well, 4-1 with Bailey again dissenting.

In presenting the case for the nearly $98,000 expenditure, Johnson said that the vast majority of other municipalities are doing the same thing.

This is the classic “they do it too!” excuse that 5 year olds use when they are caught doing something wrong.

Just because other cities decided to give their citizens the middle finger and dole out more money to governmental employees does not mean that the City of Palm Bay should follow suit.

During the discussion on the police pay increase, it was said by several Councilmen that they wanted Palm Bay to “lead the rest.”

When it came to this issue, the rationale was “we want to fall in line with others and not lead.”

Generally speaking, Federal workers get the most days off. No private businesses offer the same number of days off as the Feds. They can’t afford to.

In 2020, there are 10 Federal Holidays.

Wednesday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Monday, January 20 – Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 17 – Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day
Friday, July 3 – Independence Day
Monday, September 7 – Labor Day
Monday, October 12 – Columbus Day
Wednesday, November 11 – Veterans Day
Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day

According to the City Council, Palm Bay has 11 paid holidays for workers.

The addition of Christmas Eve is number 12.

One of the comments brought up by Councilman Foster was that employers need to take care of their employees. We agree with that sentiment. However, the City of Palm Bay, or any other government entity actually sells anything. They aren’t making anything tangible. The income for governments derived at the point of the government sword. They don’t have to worry about competition or anything like that. Need more money? Raise taxes and fees. Soak the citizens even more.

Foster also said that it was good that the employees could be home with their families on Christmas Eve. After all, Publix employees have the day off…..oh no. Sorry they don’t. Well, WalMart employees will be sipping eggnog at noon on Christmas Eve….oh sorry…no. They won’t be. Other businesses will be open because they have to produce something or sell something to pay their workers.

So while the rest of the citizens are working to pay for their families and taxes, the City Council said the City employees don’t need to be working. That 12th holiday is “deserved” according to the City Council.

The people who won’t have the day off get what they deserve as well – more money wasted.

If the decisions of this City Council are what we can expect in the coming years, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

3 Responses to “Palm Bay: Moya Gets Owned By Bailey And Johnson Pulls Out Excuses That Five Year Olds Use.”

  1. Carla says:

    Take a closer look at the agenda or do a Google search. You’ll see it’s Chief Moya, not Mora. Thank you.

  2. Percy says:

    I have wondered why while almost all private company’s have switched from traditional pension plans to defined contribution plans (401k type plans with employer matching) that city’s don’t do the same. Employees gain earlier vesting and portability and these plans limit the employers long term liabilities and are cheaper to fund and operate. I think the answer is the strong police/fire unions but as budgets tighten they really need to consider switching to the 401k type plans with matching funds. Like you say these discussions are handled through union contract negotiations and I can’t imagine why PB is even discussing the pay issues outside of the normal contract negotiation process. These employees and the union agreed to the current pay scales and they should live with it as they agreed until the next contract is negotiated. Shame on PB commissioners for even discussing this outside of the normal contract negotiations. If they approved a raise or extra holidays will they update the union contract??? Or will this stuff be just added over and above the existing contract.