Prelude to a Commission Meeting…
Guest Writer, Jim Lloyd
In yesterday’s comments, I referred to the town’s government as illegal. May I just expound on that for a moment? Please bear in mind that these are the musings of an older man who loves Lake Park, but does not love some of those who abuse the town by serving in it’s municipal government.
OK, for the thousandth time (and may at least one citizen HEAR me this time) disgraced former commissioner P. Osterman (who resigned due to an investigation by the State Attorney) established official legal residence in Stuart on 1/1/2011. In my opinion, it is beyond belief that Maria Davis (who had lunches and dinners with her many times a week at the former Someplace restaurant) did not know what was up. And because of the cozy communications between Maria and the town lawyer and her pet commissioners at the time (D. DuBois and K. Rumsey) in my humble opinion, they all HAD to know that she was therefore serving ILLEGALLY!!
Had the town lawyer been doing his legal duty, (in my opinion) he was required at that time to point this out and
- A) Call for her resignation or dismissal
- B) Call for an election for a new commissioner (as required in the town code).
That election then should have taken place the first week of March, 2011. But the town lawyer, Maria Davis, and Kendal Rumsey, kept silent and let things slide further down into the mud. As an interesting side note… over the next few months, P. Osterman collected thousands of dollars in illegal salary (in my opinion) and voted on many significant issues that otherwise might not have passed. So with her serving due to the Silence of the Lambs (see previous blog) is the town government legal at this point? You decide. But I digress…
April 30th, 2011, D. Dubois tragically passed. In the aftermath, the town lawyer, Mr. Baird declared in a memo, that the wording in the town code was too ambiguous for his understanding regarding the lawful procedure in this instance. (see attachment) Following the law, he should have (in my opinion) held that the commission must have met and appointed a temporary mayor. Instead, with winks and nods, Mr Rumsey stepped in to serve as a temporary mayor as vice mayor and proceeded to set new standards of political partisanship up there on that stained dais. Meetings sank to an all new level of embarrassment, with, in one memorable incident, commissioner Hockman being denied a vote on a measure he had seconded. Oh, but they were just getting warmed up!
P. Osterman, having been confronted by the State Attorney investigating officer concerning her legal residence and her attempts to claim residency in Lake Park (which both she and her husband Karl have since referred to as a ghetto and a place not fit for them to raise their son in) announced her resignation, effective, get this, June 27th, 2011. Let’s see, that was the day BEFORE the election, half of which should have been the previous March. (Is any body out there still with me?) Two townsmen announced their candidacy for mayor, one of whom was the widower of the former mayor. State sunshine laws be damned (in my opinion) which forbid certain communications between office holders AND those seeking office, a campaign was waged by Mr. Stevens and called the DuBois-Stevens ticket.
There is evidence which cannot be discussed at this time (in my opinion) indicating that Maria Davis gave it her best shot helping her ticket to win. In addition, Mr. Rumsey and the disgraced P. Osterman both mentioned their backing of the DuBois-Stevens ticket from the dais during a scheduled commission meeting, and I have the discs of the meeting, Kendal. These actions are expressly forbidden in the town code. But again, town code only matters when it supports this regime, in my opinion.
So, where are we? We have a beautiful little town that I love which has fallen victim to less than honorable “public servants”. And what are we to do? Well, you eight or nine thousand apathetic citizens out there GET INVOLVED! None of what I have discussed is going away. Investigations are ongoing. And I am confident enough to repeat, this ain’t a legal town government, (in my opinion, Mr. Stevens).
Section 4. – Filling of vacancy on commission.
In the case of death, disability, resignation or removal of the Mayor or any member of the Town Commission, or in the event that a Commissioner or the Mayor ceases to remain a bona fide legal resident of the Town, a vacancy on the Town Commission shall exist, and such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a new temporary Commissioner by the remaining members of the Town Commission, until the next election for that office. The election to fill the vacancy on the Commission shall be held within sixty (60) calendar days after the date of the death, disability, resignation, removal of the Mayor or Commissioner, or the change of legal residency of a Commissioner or the Mayor to a location outside the corporate limits of the Town, unless a general election of the Town of Lake Park is to be held within ninety (90) calendar days thereafter, whereupon such election may be combined with the general election.
(Ord. No. 02-2009, § 2, 2-4-2009; Ord. No. 01-2010, § 2, 1-20-2010)
State law reference— Mandate to provide for filling of vacancies on commission, F.S. § 166.031(b).