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BETWEEN THE PALM BEACH COUNTY VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD AND
CHRIS MARRONGELLI FOR SPECIAL MAGISTRATE SERVICES
This Agreement is made and entered into by and between the Palm Beach County Value Adjustment Board, 301 North Olive Avenue, Suite 203, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 (the “BOARD” or “VAB”), and Chris Marrongelli (“SPECIAL MAGISTRATE”), on this 20th day of September, 2016.
WHEREAS, the BOARD needs the services of special magistrates as provided under Chapter 194, Florida Statutes, for the purposes of considering evidence at, and otherwise conducting, administrative hearings, and producing recommended decisions that comply with applicable law; and
WHEREAS, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE desires to provide such services to the BOARD as an independent contractor upon the terms and conditions stated in this Agreement; and
WHEREAS, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE warrants and represents that he or she meets the qualifications of section 194.035, Florida Statutes, as applicable to SPECIAL MAGISTRATE’S appointment as a real property appraiser special magistrate, attorney special magistrate, or tangible personal property special magistrate; and
WHEREAS, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE warrants and represents that he or she has successfully completed the current Florida Department of Revenue Training and has submitted to the VAB Supervisor a statement or certificate of completion, or that SPECIAL MAGISTRATE will successfully complete said Training and submit a statement or certificate of completion prior to commencement of hearings.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual terms and conditions, promises, covenants, and payment hereinafter set forth, the BOARD and SPECIAL MAGISTRATE agree as follows:
ARTICLE 1: SERVICES
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall perform professional services to the BOARD as a special magistrate. The SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall:
a. Know and understand the provisions of Rule 12D-9, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and apply these provisions and any other applicable law throughout the hearing process.
b. Take testimony and review evidence at, and otherwise conduct, hearings held under Chapter 194, Florida Statutes.
c. Produce a recommended decision to the BOARD that complies with Chapter 194, Florida Statutes, Rules 12D-9 and 12D-10, F.A.C., and any other applicable law within five (5) calendar days of the conclusion of each hearing unless the petition was settled or withdrawn. A hearing that is continued, postponed or remanded shall not be deemed concluded until the continuance, postponement, or remand hearing is completed, or the parties agree that a continuance or remand hearing is not necessary.
Conduct the hearings to enable the VAB Supervisor or her designee to create a verbatim record of the proceedings and preserve any documentary evidence accepted into the record by the SPECIAL MAGISTRATE.
e. Conduct the hearings in a professional and unbiased manner.
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE acknowledges and agrees that Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, also known as the sunshine and public records law, and laws regarding conflicts of interest are applicable to VAB proceedings. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE represents that he or she is familiar with said laws, shall comply with said laws, and shall seek advice of VAB legal counsel where there is doubt or question regarding compliance requirements.
The SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall conduct all hearings in accordance with applicable Florida Statutes, F.A.C. rules, Florida Department of Revenue regulations, and the BOARD’S internal procedures.
ARTICLE 2: FEES
The BOARD shall pay SPECIAL MAGISTRATE the rate of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per hour for his or her services. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall be paid for a minimum of four (4) hours of his or her time for each day SPECIAL MAGISTRATE is scheduled and reports for hearings. Travel time, expenses, and costs of performing the services shall not be reported and are not reimbursable.
ARTICLE 3: TERM OF SERVICE; HEARING SCHEDULE; TERMINATION
The term of this Agreement shall begin on the date stated on page 1 of this Agreement and shall continue until final certification of the tax roll by the Board for the current tax season. Hearings shall begin in October and SPECIAL MAGISTRATE acknowledges his or her availability therein. Hearings shall be held from 8:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the last scheduled hearing for that day. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE acknowledges and agrees that the VAB hearing schedule is subject to change at the sole discretion of the VAB.
This Agreement may be terminated by either party, with or without cause, by prior written notice to the other party. Such termination shall be effective immediately upon receipt. In the event of termination, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall be entitled to compensation for services rendered through the effective date of termination. All finished or unfinished documents prepared by SPECIAL MAGISTRATE in the scope of his or her services hereunder shall become the property of the BOARD and shall be delivered by SPECIAL MAGISTRATE to the BOARD immediately upon the effective date of termination.
ARTICLE 4: RECOMMENDED DECISIONS
4.1 SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall use his or her best efforts to complete and file with the VAB Supervisor or her designee by 5 p.m. all recommended decisions that pertain to that day’s hearings. In the event SPECIAL MAGISTATE wishes to take a petition under advisement for further review and consideration after the hearing pursuant to section 12D-9.025(9), F.A.C., or is unable, for valid reason, to complete a recommended decision by 5 p.m. the day of the corresponding hearing, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall so inform the VAB Supervisor and shall complete the recommended decision no later than five (5) calendar days after the date of the hearing.
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE acknowledges that applicable law entitles petitioner and the Property Appraiser to a copy of the recommended decision “as soon as practicable” and in a “timely” manner. In the event SPECIAL MAGISTRATE does not complete and file with the VAB Supervisor or her designee any recommended decision within five (5) calendar days of the respective hearing, and does not show good cause, the BOARD, through its VAB Supervisor, may impose a penalty of $100.00 for each day the recommended decision is late. Good cause shall be determined in the VAB Supervisor’s reasonable discretion.
ARTICLE 5: METHOD OF BILLING AND PAYMENT
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall be responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations regarding payment for his or her services under this Agreement, and any applicable reporting requirements. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall truthfully and accurately prepare timesheets and invoices that reflect actual time spent delivering the services required under this Agreement. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall prepare the timesheets and invoices on forms provided by the VAB Supervisor and shall submit them weekly to the VAB Supervisor or her designee. Any invoice that applies to services performed during non-hearing hours (“Special Invoice”) shall identify with specificity thereon each action and the amount of time spent on each action. No Special Invoice will be accepted by the VAB for payment if submitted more than thirty (30) days after rendition of the earliest service listed on the Special Invoice.
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE acknowledges that each invoice must be reviewed and approved by the VAB Supervisor or her designee. If the VAB Supervisor or her designee determines that the invoice is not commensurate or consistent with services performed, work accomplished, or hours expended, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall adjust the invoice accordingly. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall be entitled to timely payment of any portion of an invoice not in dispute.
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall not commingle private business or personal work with VAB services and shall work exclusively on VAB matters during the hours appointed for VAB hearings and related services. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall not display or distribute business cards or otherwise advertise a private business while serving as a special magistrate to the BOARD.
5.4 The BOARD shall pay SPECIAL MAGISTRATE’S invoices in accordance with subsections 218.70 through 218.79, Florida Statutes, the Municipal Government Prompt Payment Act.
ARTICLE 6: STANDARDS AND CORRECTIONS
6.1 SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall use his or her best efforts and expertise to perform and furnish to the BOARD his or her professional services in accordance with the generally accepted standards of special magistrate services in Florida and in compliance with all laws, rules and regulations governing special magistrate services.
6.2 SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall, without additional compensation, promptly correct and revise any errors, omissions, or other deficiencies in his or her work product, services, materials, or recommended decisions upon notification of such error, omission, or deficiency by the BOARD, or VAB Supervisor or her designee. The foregoing shall be construed as an independent duty to correct rather than a waiver of the BOARD’S rights under any applicable statute of limitations. The review of, approval of, or payment for any of SPECIAL MAGISTRATE’S work product, services, materials, or recommended decisions shall not be construed as a waiver of any of the BOARD’S rights under this Agreement, or cause of action the BOARD may have arising out of the performance of this Agreement.
ARTICLE 7: NO CONTINGENT FEES
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE certifies, represents and warrants that he or she has not employed any company or person, other than a bona fide employee working solely for SPECIAL MAGISTRATE, to solicit or secure this Agreement and that he or she has not paid or agreed to pay any person, company, corporation, or firm, other than a bona fide employee working solely for SPECIAL MAGISTRATE, any fee, commission, percentage, gift or other compensation or consideration contingent upon or resulting from the award or making of the Agreement. For the breach or violation of this provision, BOARD shall have the right to terminate the Agreement at their discretion and without liability and to deduct from the Agreement price or otherwise recover the full amount of such fee, commission, percentage, gift or other compensation or consideration.
ARTICLE 8: INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE is an independent contractor and is not an employee, servant, agent, partner, or joint venturer of the BOARD.
ARTICLE 9: NO ASSIGNMENT
This Agreement, or any interest herein, shall not be assigned, transferred or otherwise encumbered by SPECIAL MAGISTRATE without the prior written consent of the BOARD. Any attempted assignment, transfer, or encumbrance by SPECIAL MAGISTRATE without the BOARD’S prior written consent shall be null and void. No portion of this Agreement may be performed by subcontractors or subconsultants without prior written notice to and formal approval of the BOARD. SPECIAL MAGISTRATE shall be solely liable, and shall indemnify and hold the BOARD harmless, for any work or services performed by subcontractors or subconsultants without the BOARD’S prior formal written approval.
ARTICLE 10: DUAL OFFICE-HOLDING
SPECIAL MAGISTRATE certifies, warrants, and represents, that he or she is in compliance with Article II, section 5(a), Florida Constitution, prohibiting dual office-holding, and that SPECIAL MAGISTRATE does not hold office as a municipal or county councilperson or commissioner, member of a planning and zoning commission, code enforcement hearing officer, member of a regional planning commission (with authority to take final action), or member or appointee of any other government board, commission, committee, or panel with decision-making authority.
ARTICLE 11: SEVERABILITY AND WAIVER
In the event any provision of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall be valid and binding upon the parties. A waiver by either party of any breach of any provision, term, condition or covenant of this Agreement shall not be construed by the other party as a waiver of any subsequent breach.
ARTICLE 12: GOVERNING LAW AND VENUE
This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with Florida law. If litigation arises in connection with this Agreement, venue for the litigation shall be in Palm Beach County, Florida.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the BOARD and SPECIAL MAGISTRATE have caused this Agreement to be executed in their names, the day and year first written above.
VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD OF PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA
Steven L. Abrams, Chairman
WITNESS (for special magistrate’s signature):
Deputy Clerk to the Board
Approved as to form and legal sufficiency:
Heidi Juhl, Esq.
Legal Counsel to Palm Beach County VABr work product, services, materials, or recommended decisions upon notification of such error, omission, or deficiency by the BOARD, or VAB Supervisor or her designee. The foregoing shall be construed as an independent duty to correct rather than a waiver of the BOARD’S rights under any applicable statute of limitations. The review of, approval of, or payment for any of SPECIAL MAGISTRATE’S work product, services, materials, or recommended decisions shall not be construed as a waiver of any of the BOARD’S rights under this Agreement, or cause of action the BOARD may have arising out of the performance of this Agreement.
ARTICLE 12: GOVERNING LAW