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Riviera Beach council member claims to have paid water bills that don't exist

Posted at 9:26 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 07:07:52-04

Riviera Beach City Council members decided in 2015 to pay themselves an additional $12,000 annually.

On Monday, Councilman Terence Davis said he uses the stipend to pay water bills for some families at Stonybrook. 

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“I want to continue, if I could, with the funds that was in place,” Davis said. “I had been supporting families in Stonybrooks. And if I could continue to have my money that was allocated to support some families in Stonybrooks with their water bills.”

Contact 5 checked and residents at Stonybrook don’t pay for water. It’s included in their rent. 

What Davis spent the $12,000 a year on is not clear.

Since it’s part of the council members’ salary, they do not have to declare what they use the money for and it can be used for personal expenses. 

Council Member KaShamba Miller-Anderson said she had not accepted the stipend. Newly-elected Council Member Julia Botel said she is rejecting the stipend as well.

During Monday’s utility board meeting, Davis justified the stipend for extra work the council members are doing by serving on the utility board. 

Then he blamed former City Manager Jonathan Evans for that extra work, saying Evans failed to hire a utility district director. 

“(We told him) Sir, make the offer,” Davis said. “He didn’t this is fact. Follow the meetings.”

That’s exactly what Contact 5 did. 

Turns out, council never gave Evans the authority to hire a utility director. A memo was sent on Aug. 9 by the city attorney, saying the oversight should be addressed.

During the meeting on Aug. 21, council did not for it, leaving Evans once again without the authority to hire a utility district director. 

It wasn’t until after Evans was fired on Sept. 20 that the board voted to give the city manager that authority.