Boynton Vice-Mayor Turkin Tries to Hustle the City Again
Boynton Beach Vice-Mayor Tom Turkin is underemployed and keeps trying to run scams on the people of Boynton to get more money. Turkin isn’t the only one trying to get more money, but he’s been the one constantly hatching schemes to get city commissioners more dough.
In August, Turkin was at the center of the expenses scam, which was attempted because salary increases have to get put on the ballot, and the voters have to approve the increase.
On Aug. 1, my colleague Tracy Caruso wrote: Boynton Beach Commissioners Find Loophole To Give Themselves Money, Residents Furious.
Given that the salaries are currently $23,000 a year and the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 would give each city commissioner about $36,000 more per year, the upset over this is understandable. For the first time, the proposed budget would provide city commissioners a $51,000 car allowance, an office stipend of about $71,000 a year, and a clothing allowance of $17,500 a year – all of which they would split five ways. ~Tracy Caruso
On Aug. 2, in Boynton Beach City Commissioners Should be Ashamed of Themselves, I wrote this little summation of Caruso’s explanation.
To sum that up, the commissioners earn $23,000 a year and want to give themselves $36,000 in cash and call it expenses. ~Jack Furnari
The uproar from Boynton residents killed that sweetheart deal, and now, God Bless them, residents are watching their commissioners like a hawk.
Last week, Turkin had the agenda “republished” and added a discussion about converting the City Commission positions from part-time to full-time. I assume with the expectation that commission salaries would then rise.
It’s a stupid and absurd idea entirely without merit, which the people of Boynton immediately jumped on.
On Friday, Nov. 3, I started making calls. I called Turkin twice on both of his numbers, texted him twice, and emailed him, and I haven’t heard back.
I spoke to City Commissioner Angela Cruz, and she said she hadn’t seen any documentation and wasn’t sure what this was about.
On Saturday, as I started writing this, I got a call from an impeccable source who said the “part-time to full-time” discussion had been removed from the agenda. See, when you turn on the lights, the bugs flee.
There are thirty-nine municipalities in Palm Beach County, and none of them have full-time council people. And what about people other than Turkin, people with actual jobs, would they have to quit them? Mayor Ty Penserga teaches Physics at a public high school. Would he have to stop being a teacher or leave the council?
And why would making the job full-time necessitate a pay raise? If Turkin and Co. want to double their hours and still get paid the same, they can do that without a referendum; just work harder. They’re not hourly workers at Home Depot. They’re elected officials who were elected to a part-time job meant to be public service. The salary for this part-time public service is a public record and known by all who ran.
If they don’t like the job or the salary, they should quit.
There are rules for adding items to an agenda, and it doesn’t seem like the rules were followed in this instance.
I’ve been bouncing around Palm Beach County politics since 1992. In my experience, when elected officials try this hard, in full view of the public, to connive more money for themselves in such an underhanded fashion, there are other things, bad things, going on that aren’t in public view.
Maybe it’s time for the State Attorney to start looking into Boynton, I don’t know, but there’s a stench coming from that council, and it’s the fine people of Boynton Beach who’ve stopped all these self-serving dirty deals.
When people from Boynton run into one of these citizens who watch over the city council, they should buy them a drink or something because, without them, Turkin and his merry band of brigands would have robbed you blind.
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