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Riviera Beach: A city run by interim department heads

Posted at 6:45 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 18:45:55-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Riviera Beach city council voted Wednesday night to make an exception and let interim City Manager Karen Hoskins take a lump sum payment of around $18,000 for her accumulated vacation time.

A vote by necessity since Hoskins’ official retirement date is in mid-April. Without the new arrangement, the city might have found itself without a city manager for weeks.

“Last night we made an arrangement so that she will not use up her five weeks of sick and vacation time that she has,” Councilwoman Julia Botel said.

Hoskins, who previously worked in the finance department, has been voted into the interim city manager position after the council voted 3-2 to fire Jonathan Evans.

“I’m not interested in the permanent position,” Hoskins said on Nov. 2, 2017, when she was hired. “Just 90 days to transition. That’s it.”

But 476 days later, she is still in the position. And she isn’t the only one. Contact 5 found seven department heads at the city who are on an interim basis.

Here are all current interim positions in management:

• City manager

• Police chief

• IT Manager

• Human Resource

• Public Works


• Director of Development services

• Procurement

“It weakens us as a city to have so many people in interim positions,” Botel said.

During Wednesday’s council meeting, some in the community spoke out against it.

“You want to talk (about) interim? Let’s talk,” Riviera Beach resident Fane Lozman said. “We have an interim CRA director, interim police chief, interim HR director. Do we have any department head who actually works here? I mean this is ridiculous!”

Botel said she wants to wait after the election to look for qualified candidates to fill those positions permanently.

“I think we need to wait until we have a competent city manager and let that person fill the positions,” Botel said.

The city is still waiting on a permanent city manager, more than a year after council fired Evans.

The upcoming election in the city is going to be closely watched by those in the community. One of the three city council members who voted to fire Evans has been replaced. The two other, Terence Davis and Lynne Hubbard, are fighting for their seats on March 12.