REGULAR MEETING OF
THE TOWN OF MIAMI MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Monday June 8, 2015 6:30 PM Town Council Chambers
The good news from last night’s Regular Meeting of the
Town of Miami Mayor and Council is that the Town will be
able to amass both the required reserve money and the
capital replacement funds, necessary for the continuance of
the wastewater project.
The unfortunate news lies in how they’re doing it: by selling
three buildings at roughly 50% less than the appraised value,
which took the dilapidated state of the structures into
account. Worse yet, in terms of indicators of the economic
health of Miami, there was little interest in any of the
properties. There were only two bidders.
Frank Dalmolin gets 618 W Sullivan for $45,000 and 700 W
Sullivan for $30,000. The FitzPatrick Building at 196
Keystone will go to Ray Webb once it’s determined whether
his bid of $85,000 includes a neighboring lot.
The Council adjourned for over two and a half hours for an
Executive Session to consider assignment, dismissal or
disciplining of Town Manager Joe Heatherly. When they
reconvened at 10:23 pm, they did none of that. But the
discussion that followed did shed a bit more light on the
Mayor Darryl Dalley ran down the schedule of events. An
employee wrote an anonymous letter to the Mayor, who took
it to the attorneys for the Town. After getting signed
statements from the employees making allegations, the
attorneys were again consulted. Their advice was to bring in
an outside HR specialist. They recommended someone with
over 20 years experience, who the Town hired to sort out the
The bottom line is the specialist couldn’t do it. The issue,
which comes down to some Town employees unhappy with
what they feel is mistreatment by Heatherly, is still a he
said-she said, at best. As to what anyone said, the closest
anyone came to specifics was Councilmember Mike Black
who said the accusations were very personal to the people
The initial discussion after the Executive Session was
whether it would be prudent to bring in a hearing officer.
Mayor Dalley and Councilmembers Black and Sammy
Gonzales voted for it. Councilmembers Rosemary
Castaneda, Susan Hanson, Don Reiman and Angel Medina,
opposed. Those for it, felt that an outside entity and formal
process was needed to establish precisely what happened.
They favored an unbiased approach that would place
employees under oath, which they believed would lead to
more reliable accounts.
Those opposed felt that, regardless of outcome, structured
training and then the development of a well-defined
personnel plan for employees to follow would be necessary
for a harmonious work place, so money would be better
spent on solutions than hearings. Reiman noted that the
ultimate answer would be found in implementing a process,
not replacing a person.
Medina opined that effective training sessions allow
employees to get to know one another on a deeper level,
which can result in a meeting of the minds where both sides
agree a problem was not as large as previously perceived.
But his comment of concern that open hearings might bring
unwanted attention to the Town, highlighted the divided
philosophy of the Council. Black insisted that for resolution
it was first necessary to utilize outside help to get to the
bottom of the complaints, which he felt was not the
Council’s job. Medina said keeping a lower profile was best.
Black disagreed, concurring that training was a good idea,
but only after all allegations were openly addressed.
Ultimately, the Council approved a measure to implement
training, with Dalley, Black and Gonzales against it.
As to specifics, the first step will be undertaken by Heatherly
who has been tasked with presenting various options to the
Council. How that will sit with disgruntled employees was
not openly considered, but it will be the Council making all
Another possible approach was discussed— appointing a
Council Liaison to the Town Manager, meaning a
Councilmember would sit in on staff meetings, observing the
workings of management. Castaneda was against what she
termed as a babysitter, saying it was a way to undermine the
Town Manager. Reiman agreed, saying appointing a spy is a
bad idea. Hanson reminded the group that it’s been done
before and the result was a joke that got them in trouble.
On the other side, Gonzales said he’s attended meetings and
has gotten a lot more information from them than is
otherwise delivered to the Council. Black concurred, saying
that he’s been to several meetings and he just sits there and
doesn’t cause any problems. When he asked Heatherly if he
agreed with that assessment, Heatherly answered in one
Gonzales’ gripe, that he was not receiving sufficient
information from Heatherly, perhaps inadvertently revealed
some of the personnel issues. Heatherly said, I can’t give
you what I don’t get. Using the example of receiving a
report from a department head at 11:47 on a Sunday night,
long after his report to the Council was submitted, he added I
am giving you the truth—but you don’t want it.
Once again, the vote was identical. Dalley, Gonzales and
Black voted for a liaison. The remaining majority voted it
Councilmember Susan Hanson announced the upcoming
Splash Bash this Saturday from 5 to 8 pm at the Miami Pool.
The snack bar will be open, and a $2 cover charge includes
music, dancing and swimming for ages 13 and up.
Hanna Sartain, the new director at the Miami pool, informed
the Council that the pool is a happening place. People are
having fun and spending money. The venue has collected
$4,600 so far this season. Town Engineer Paul Curzon said
the pool chemistry is being tested regularly, and is looking
Miami Senior Center director Rashele Highbaugh told the
Council that the June Birthday Celebration is this Thursday,
and the following Thursday, June 18th, is Blood Pressure
And Isaac Webb presented his Eagle Scout project to the
Council. To earn the highest scouting honor, Webb will be
replacing benches at Bullion Plaza.