Trick or Treat time has come and gone, and it's hard to believe that November is already upon us. As we prepare to spend Thanksgiving with our families, friends and loved ones, we here at the PBA are busy gearing up for the upcoming PBA election.
Why I Am Running For PBA President
As I said last month after Hurricane Irma, Florida’s landscape has changed, and so will the landscape of the PBA. At the time of this writing, I had already made the decision that I would run for the position of PBA President. This decision was not made lightly and was difficult on a lot levels, but change is inevitable, and has to come. The PBA is a great organization but unfortunately, has lost its focus. As with any organization if there are no plans in place for its future, then we're bound to fail. A wise man once told me the reason why the dinosaurs are extinct is because they did not learn to adapt.
I became involved with the PBA early in my career because I wanted to make a difference. I started with the PBA as a municipal PBA representative, representing the officers of the City of Homestead. I then moved on to become a representative of the Board of Directors of the PBA. Later I was elected as a Board Member to the Board of Directors. From there I moved on to the Executive Board to the position of Secretary, then Vice President, to the position I currently hold, Executive Vice President. Throughout the years we have strived to be effective for the betterment of the PBA members. Unfortunately, the PBA compass has become fogged and change is needed.
Recently we have lost long-standing municipalities, that were once PBA strongholds, to other organizations. Hialeah, Miami Shores, South Miami rank and file, and Miami Springs are just a few that have left us. At the time of this writing, the County contract has expired (but still in effect) and no negotiation sessions have been scheduled. A big part of this breakdown, in my opinion, is due to a lack of communication. When the last contract was signed we should have started negotiations for the next contract that was only twelve months away.
We have gone from having many voices to having just one, and when that one voice will not allow others to speak, be heard, or have an opinion, that is a sure sign of failure. I, for one, cannot stand by and allow this to happen. When one person makes a statement that he wants to take the PBA in a new direction, without discussion with its Executive Board or Board of Directors, that is wrong. The Board is made up of a group of representatives which were elected by you, the members, to participate in decision making on your behalf. The County contract is just one of many examples where the people that are affected and have skin in the game should be part of the negotiation team, and all people involved should have input. The PBA should be run by someone who is currently working and has a stake in the process.
Our current President has done many good things for this organization, but I don't believe our PBA founding fathers could have ever imagined that the majority of the Executive Board would be comprised of more retired
officers than active, working officers. Again, that kind of decision should not have been made by just one individual. These are just some of the many reasons I have decided to throw my hat into the ring, to make a change, and to be a “voice for all.”
To all of those who worked in the grueling heat directing traffic at intersections, or used chainsaws to cut up fallen trees, or climbed up on rooftops in need of patching, and basically doing whatever else they were asked to do in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, we say “thank you” and “we see you.”
Please continue to keep those prayers going for our brothers and sisters from Key West. I also want to give a shout out to our “Chainsaw Squad,” which was comprised of Narcotics and S.T.O.P. Officers, who responded to the devastation in Key West, cutting down trees, putting tarps on roofs and doing anything else that was needed. We here at the PBA would like to say thank you to those officers who took time away from their families to lend a hand to our Key West family with rebuilding their homes.
We would also like to thank St. Patrick Catholic Church for hosting our annual St. Michael’s Day event, and to multiple agencies that attended this event. A very special thank you to the school kids from St. Patrick who also participated.