Open Letter to Jonathan Evans, the City Manager of Riviera Beach. Stop Ruining Our City!
Dear Mr. Evans,
I am sure you know who I am because I have written to you several times without a response.
However, let me introduce Myself, my name is Dr. Lydia Smith, and resident of the City of Riviera Beach. I have 4 children who were born and I’m raising them here. I have owned my home in the City for almost 20 years now.
I am also a volunteer on the Civil Service Board for the employees of Riviera Beach of which the council selected me to serve and the board selected as the Chairperson, for this, I’m extremely honored.
I’m writing this letter because I am disheartened and hurt for my children’s future and the state of the City of Riviera Beach because of how you are handling the City, with your leadership style, which reminds me of Hitler.
As the board chair, the city ordinance and charter provides simple, yet clear and concise rules that, we, the board must follow, in protecting the employees. However, since you have become the City Manager you want full control with no oversight.
That’s not how government works.
The government is set up under a check and balance system, one that We The People have the ultimate power of who represents us.
One of the few rules that the ordinance for the civil service provides is that we meet at least once every single month to discuss what’s happening in the HR department and to help to improve and provide oversight of the processes. However, again since you’ve become the city manager you’ve done everything in your power to hinder and prohibit the board from the meeting. This is in clear contradiction to what the cities charter and ordinance requires and intended.
Last night’s meeting that was clearly noticed by the city, your administration tried to cancel it at the last minute through email. However, was posted on the city website from earlier in the day.
Secondly, as per the civil service board rules and regulations, the board is the only one that can cancel and or reschedule a meeting. It should be the city‘s responsibility to facilitate the board meeting. Yet again, yesterday’s meeting was dictated with no just cause be canceled and was not canceled by the board.
Therefore, the regular schedule meeting when we showed up at the Lindsey Davis Center, there was no city employees to open the facility and there was no location open or available we had to have had our meeting outside in the garden using our cell phones as a light sitting on the grass.
The board that volunteers are our residence in the city of Riviera Beach and we love the city. We don’t mind having meetings in the dark on the grass if that’s what it takes to protect the employees of the City of Riviera Beach.
However, the reason for this letter is that I think that what you’re doing to the city will destroy the city for future generations.
The legacy that you’re leaving with your Hitler authoritarian leadership style is ruining and deterring employees from wanting to work, stay, and volunteer here. You are hinder great employees from benefiting our city, look at how many employees left since you became the manager. This city has become a revolving door, not being able to retain great talent. I suspected there will be more soon.
Mr. Evans, you are trying to stop the citizens from being involved in the city that we love and that is not a future that I want for my four children. This is why I’m speaking up. We want a better future.
Since I’ve been Chair Mr. Evans, here is your scorecard in hindering the protection of the employees of the City…
You have hired people without proper advertising.
You don’t want any protection for the employees.
You have demanded personal meetings with me during the height of COVID before the board can continue to meet, while other boards continue to meet with no problems.
You have intimidated the employee from serving.
You have tried FEAR mongering tactics to shut down the board with fake legalities, disregarding the city charter and ordinance.
You withheld authorization for facilities that the board uses to meet.
You have blocked the pathways we use to let the public know of the Civil Service Meetings.
You have ordered administrators to shut down our meeting on a whim, even when you don’t have the legal right to do so.
You have tried to eliminate everyone who opposes your dictator-like views.
And of personal offenses, you have tried to intimidate me and my family and tried to chase me out of the city, I grew up in and is raising my kids in.
Well, I do not fear you, we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship, and I want to remind you, Mr. Evans, the City of Riviera Beach is bigger than just any one person, much bigger than me and much bigger than you.
My goal is to serve and to leave the city better than it was when I got here.
So I ask you, please work for this City as if the ones you love live here, please do the right thing for our children. Stop preventing the Civil Service Board from doing what the city’s charter and ordinance designed it to do. So our children will want to work in this city and help make it better.
I know that the current majority council has blindly provided you with sole power, like Hilter. But let me remind you that the power is in the People of the City of Riviera Beach. We the people, the voters want a better future for our children and will not stand by and allow you to destroy it.
How can you be the City Manager and the CRA Director at the same time?
How can you have sole control and Trump/Hitler your way through this city?
What you want is no oversight?
Where is the transparency?
Stop the back door deals.
How can you rise the water bill on residents, while your salary keeps increasing?
You are being like Hitler and the fact is you are CORRUPT!
If I am the only resident to do so Mr. Evans, I assure you, I will hold you accountable, we want transparency, and will make sure you are doing what is best for the City of Riviera Beach.
Stop Ruining Our City!
Dr. Lydia Smith