UPDATED: City Worker Punished For Failing To 'Acknowledge' Mayor
A Deerfield Beach city employee has been suspended from work for failing to say hello to the mayor.
It sounds like a joke but it's true. On Monday, Deerfield maintenance worker Cassandra Moye was given notice by her supervisor, George Edmunds, the acting Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, that she was being suspended from work for two days without pay.
Seems Moye passed Mayor Peggy Noland and had the audacity not to say hello. Here's what Edmunds wrote about Moye's Monday morning in a city memorandum regarding the encounter with Noland:
On Monday, August 3, 2009, at approximately 9:00 AM at the North Pavilion the disrespectful attitude you displayed to the Mayor was unacceptable. The mayor indicated that this was not the first time that you had not acknowledged her when you came into contact. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and is detrimental to the department. Your actions have caused irrevocable damage to the welfare of the department and your fellow workers.
Get that? Irrevocable damage. It's traumatic for any mayor not to be acknowledged by an underling. What good is it to be mayor if your minions don't suck up to you? (Answer: None at all). Edmunds -- judge, jury, and world-renowned authority on social etiquette -- goes on to write that Moye has been "found guilty of acts which amount to insurbordinatioin or of disgraceful conduct."
Apparently Moye hasn't always been such a menace to society. In fact, just a couple years ago, she was hailed as a hero. On April 17, 2007, the city bestowed upon Moye a certificate of recognition for rescuing an elderly woman from a burning car at the B'Nai B'rith apartments in Deerfield. At the time, she said she just acted like anyone would have under the same circumstances.
But Edmunds, who only recently took command of the parks department, has determined that Moye is a bad seed. He tacks on a note in his memo claiming Moye is "antagonistic in his attitude toward supervisory of fellow employees." I'm not sure what that means, but Edmunds also writes that Moye has been "criticizing orders or rules issued and policies adopted by his supervisorsor so conducts himself as to interfere with the proper coordination of employees of the City to the detriment of efficient public service."
Cassandra, of course, is a "she," but who can be concerned with such minor details when the very foundation of the city -- law, order, why, the municipal chain of command itself -- is being threatened? Moye was suspended immediately and is due to return to work tomorrow. In my opinion, that's not enough. The woman refused to salute the mayor and sometimes complains about the city's policies? Forget the suspension, I think it's time to bring back the the firing line for this one. Or the guillotine.
Moye told Elgin Jones over at the South Florida Times that she accepted her punishment without getting with her union first because she was frightened for her livelihood. "Times are hard and I was scared," she said. "The were talking about firing me and I don't have a million dollars in the bank and my family needs to eat."
Yes, well, Ms. Moye, you should have thought of that before you decided not to bow before the mayor.
[The city today actually decided not to suspend Cassandra Moye for not saying hello to the mayor on Monday morning. In a memo yesterday, Edmunds clarified that Mayor Noland didn't request the punishment and that he's reducing the punishment to a written reprimand. Translation: Noland began to see this as a political negative due to the media attention, which was only going to grow, and she decided to nip this baby in the bud. (Congratulations, Elgin Jones, who broke this story with the link above). It was actually the smartest thing Noland could have done under the circumstances. You can read the memo here at the Juice blog.]