Friday, September 18, 2015

Setting the record straight about Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's $90,000 a year 'chauffeur'

At last week's City of Miami Beach budget meeting, vice-mayor Ed Tobin spent some time trying to get answers about expenses incurred by the mayor's office since Mayor Philip Levine assumed command two years ago.

This IS NOT Mayor Philip Levine's chauffeur!
At one point Tobin began asking questions about a driver assigned to the mayor's office.

At the 0:32 mark on the video above, City Manager Jimmy Morales explains that the mayor's driver "is through our security guard contract when as needed [we] request the assistance of a driver or a guard be provided."

Tobin then asks budget director John Woodruff (at 1:50 on the video) "How much is the chauffeur costing us?"

Woodruff responds: "I think, in sum, it's around $90,000...that sounds correct. But I think it encompasses more than just the driver, for example, I think it's security and some different aspects."

The following day, I wrote a post that quoted the $90,000 figure for the mayor's driver.

But I still had questions: Does Mayor Levine really have a $90,000 a year chauffeur?

Earlier this week, I emailed a City of Miami Beach spokeswoman with these questions:

1) Is the mayor's driver a city employee?

2) Does the mayor's driver perform any other duties besides driving the mayor?

3) What is his annual salary?

A few days later, the spokeswoman responded.  (Her answers are in red.)

1) Is the mayor's driver a city employee? No.

2) Does the mayor's driver perform any other duties besides driving the mayor? Yes.

3) What is his annual salary? He is not salaried. His rate of pay is $32.81 per hour.

Yesterday, I followed up by asking what the driver's additional duties are.

Turns out that driving the mayor is just part of the chauffeur's duties.

His official title is "Supervisory Security Officer."

And he is, as Morales explained, a contract employee.

Here's a list of the chauffeur's other duties as supplied by the city spokeswoman:
Security for the City Hall campus is the responsibility of the Department of Emergency Management. The City has contracted with AlliedBarton to provide a number of security officers and a supervisor to staff posts in City Hall and the 555 Building.

Duties and Responsibilities of Supervisory Security Officer

* Supervise the day to day security operations of the City Hall campus to include:
o Scheduling of security officers.

o Maintenance of time and attendance records.

o Approving security officer incident reports.

o Video and alarm monitoring.

* Coordinate and conduct initial and in-service training of security officers posted at City Hall.

* Develop and revise post orders as required.

* Assist in conducting threat and security assessments for City facilities and events.

* Provide security at the EOC during activations.

* Provide security at Commission Meetings and other City events as directed.

* Coordinate scheduling of additional security officers for special events and other projects when requested.

* Function as Executive Services Officer to:
o Provide security and transportation for Mayor, Commissioners, City Manager and other individuals as directed.

o Conduct site security assessments and route selection related to above duties.

o Collect and analyze information regarding potential threats towards elected officials, City employees and City property.

* Maintain situational awareness as to safety and security issues within the City.

* Perform other duties as directed by the Director of the Department of Emergency Management.

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