Where is Margate city clerk?

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To the editor:

Margate pays Thomas Hiltner $147,900 plus benefits per year to serve as the city clerk and tax collector. He has not been seen at City Hall very much for the past year. I have attended just about every commission meeting since last fall, and believe I’ve seen Mr. Hiltner at perhaps only one meeting.

At one point, I asked, "Where is Mr. Hiltner?" I was told he was at a golf tournament. Isn’t one of the main roles of the city clerk to officiate at commission meetings? I understand Mr. Hiltner had an operation on his knee, and this has been given as a reason for his absence. However, I’ve known people who had knee operations who were back to work in a month. I’ve known people who had triple bypass surgery and were back to work in six weeks. This is certainly not an adequate excuse for his numerous months of absences.

While he was away, Mr. Hiltner found time to file a retaliation lawsuit against the city for replacing him as beach tag manager, a position that paid a stipend of $5,000 per year, and a position he was unable to fulfill anyway because he was out most of the spring and summer. The previous year, when he was in charge, 3,000 beach badges disappeared and are still unaccounted for. That was not the case this year. It was reported at the last commission meeting that revenue from beach badge sales this year was up $26,969 over last year, and expenses have been reduced $10,251, resulting in a net revenue increase of $37,220. It certainly would appear that Bill Walsh and Lisa McLaughlin did a capable job of overseeing the sale of beach badges this past season.

It was reported that during Mr. Hiltner’s absence, daily operations ran very smoothly at City Hall with the presence of business administrator Richard Deaney. That should be food for thought for city officials. It seems incredible that the city has allowed this situation to continue. Margate taxpayers work hard to pay their taxes. Mr. Hiltner is being paid to do nothing. Why isn’t he being held accountable? Where else could one find a job where it is possible to show up so little and make so much money?

If Mr. Hiltner worked in the private sector he would have been fired.

It is time for city officials to call our city clerk and tax collector to account. What has happened to "an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay"?


Steve Woerner


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