Gateway Sun

You remember Joe DeCerbo, don’t you?

DeCerbo is the District Manager of the Spring Lakes Improvement District in Sebring, Florida.

Spring Lakes won the Florida Association of Special Districts’ award for District Of The Year in 2012 and 2014. DeCerbo himself won District Manager Of The Year in 2012.

Earlier this year DeCerbo was hired by the Gateway Services Community Development District for $5,000 to perform a human resources audit. Instead of doing that job, he wrote a wide-ranging report all about the “organizational dysfunction” (his words) in Gateway and gave his advice on how to fix our community.

He called the report the best work he’s ever done.

Apparently some of the GSCDD’s Supervisors agreed.

At the July 23, 2015 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, DeCerbo was given a 1-year contract worth $9,000 to show the Board and Severn Trent how they can improve the operation of this community.

For those who do not know, Severn Trent is Gateway’s management company, and they manage over 60 other districts in Florida. The GSCDD pays Severn Trent $225,000 per year to perform management functions for Gateway.

While nobody else will come out and say it, hiring DeCerbo is a bit of a slap in the face to Severn Trent.

A few important details about DeCerbo’s deal with the GSCDD: it was passed by 3-2 vote by the Supervisors with Margaret Fineberg, Gary Neubauer and Rod Senior voting in favor while Bill Guy and Pamela Gill voted against. It can also be terminated with 30 days notice.

I reached out to Fineberg to find out why she thought this was a good idea, but she did not respond. Evening things out, I also contacted Gill to find out why she voted against hiring DeCerbo and she did not reply either.

Hiring DeCerbo was spearheaded by Senior which gets my attention for two reasons. First, because he’s the Supervisor who I would expect to bristle at spending $9,000 on a consultant to do a job that should already be done by our own District Manager; and second, Senior knows that DeCerbo strongly favors ideas that will increase spending in Gateway.

I don’t know whether hiring DeCerbo is a good idea or not.

The main thing I do know about DeCerbo is that he was paid to perform a human resources audit for the GSCDD, and instead he went off on an epic tangent and focused on everything except the job he was hired to do.

Now that I think about it, he’ll fit right in.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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