City Rejects Police Union President’s Request To Attend Bond Rating Meeting

HOLLYWOOD, FL &#8211 Hoping to get clarity on Hollywood’s financial standing, Police Benevolent Association union President Jeff Marano asked to attend a meeting between the city’s finance director and its bond rating company.

Saying it was a “private meeting,” and not “subject to Sunshine rules” the city’s finance director Matthew Lalla said no.

Lalla said Friday that the meeting was to assess “where the city stands” after Hollywood’s bond rating was downgraded in August, making it more expensive for the city to borrow money.

“To include people from outside is just something that has never happened,” he said. “This would be for anyone, not just the union.”

Marano, who said he wanted a better financial picture of the city after police benefits and pensions were cut to help fill a $38 million gap last year, said closing the door is just another way of hiding the numbers.

“So much for transparency and honesty,” he said.

The union recently filed suit against the city, saying it refused to provide updated numbers on how much is in the city’s reserve account. Lalla said the city’s reserve balance does not change, remaining at $3.8 million since Sept. 30.

From The Miami Herald.