On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Entertaining, if It Wasn’t Pathetic

So check this out. In today’s local paper we are entreated to a letter from the leader-founder-member-denizen of the local hate group where he wishes – and I am not making this up “… goodwill towards men and women, regardless of religion, creed, national origin, gender (preference) and political leaning”. Seriously, can anything be more funny or pathetic than this quote from this group?

Goodwill towards men and women “… regardless of … gender (preference) …” ? A simple lesson in genetics – just because one has a particular sexual preference does not change that person’s gender. I thought only God (or a good surgeon) were the only ones that could change genders hence the noting of a preference is patronizing to say the least. Regardless, when people go out of their way to be politically correct, rest assured that the last thing they care about is the people and beliefs that they are endearing. Such zeitgeist nonsense is equivalent to the bigot that proclaims “yeah, some of my best friends are spics and niggers”. Etymology 101 – goodwill towards all men suffices because “men” means all of humanity.

Goodwill towards men and women regardless of political leaning? Really? So can one infer that this group will stop advocating the shooting of those with different political leanings? Or will it finally honor its public assertion to allow the chairman of the recall committee to address this group? Or better yet, will this group, so as to buttress their public proclamation, make a public apology for such criminal behavior of their members?

Goodwill towards men and women regardless of political leaning? Really? Oh, as opposed to the attempt to squelch the free speech of those that this group did not agree with under the ruse of the ill-fated pitiable “civility referendum”. The thought process of this group, as if it has any, is as if we all have succumbed to the high concentration of alum in the city drinking water and therefore can’t recall anything farther back than the previous paragraph.

Goodwill towards men and women regardless of national origin? Really? So can one infer that this group will stop advocating the denigration of minorities through the use racial slurs? Or better yet, will this group, so as to buttress their public proclamation, make a public apology for such racist behavior of their members?

The irony that has escaped no one except this group is that the newspaper printing this “letter” is the very same paper that the group pressured to have a reporter fired because the group did not like the reporting. Not that the reporting was wrong or biased, mind you. Apparently the “goodwill” does not extend to people that the group doesn’t agree with. And by the way, isn’t wanting someone fired antithetical to the tenet of goodwill? So, will this group make a public apology to the hard working honest man at the newspaper that they unsuccessfully tried to have fired?

Without the public apologies, the letter to the paper is but yet another disingenuous and sanctimonious publicity stunt. Which of course has backfired.

And then, so as to prove that there is a god, or that someone at the newspaper has an extraordinary sense of humor, immediately next to this inane letter there is a letter from a local citizen that for all intents and purposes describes this group as something akin to a bunch of third-rate actors in a German beer hall circa 1939. Don’t think so? Check out the video of this group on this very same blog.

Therefore, what we can really look forward to in 2007, sans the above noted apologies that assuredly will come right after the city manager and the some of the city council members cease their association with this group, is more droll entertainment from this crowd. A plea to the 20 or so members of this group: please keep paying your dues, for the comic relief is better than any other entertainment on Marco.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

To the Councilors that Sued the Recall

For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.

George Patton

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

So Much For Basic Reasoning ...

Notes:
1. Remember that evidence was not allowed to be presented at the hearing.
2. The petitions are limited to less than 200 words.
3. The law regarding recall petitions -
written in rudimentary language - allows for more than misdeeds.

Now read the opinion.


IN THE CIRCUIT COURT IN AND FOR
COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA

CASE NO. 06- 176 1 -CA
WILLIAM D. TROTTER,
MICHAEL F. MINOZZI JR.,
E. GLENN TUCKER,
Plaintiffs

VS.

ROGER L. HALL, Chairperson,
Marco Island Recall Committee,
Defendant.
_____________________________________/

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
This cause came on to be heard by the Court on a Plaintiffs' Motion for
Temporary Injunction. At the hearing the parties agreed that the Court
should consider it as a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Court
having reviewed the pleadings in this case, the memoranda submitted by
counsel and heard argument, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

1. The Defendant is attempting to effectuate a recall election of the
Plaintiffs as elected members of the Marco Island City Council pursuant to
section 100.361, Florida Statutes. In the recall petition the Defendant
states that he believes that the Plaintiffs committed malfeasance,
misfeasance, neglect of duty, and/or incompetence.

2. A recall election is a special, extraordinary, and unusual proceeding. As
a result, a recall election is only valid when the petition contains legally
sufficient grounds as set forth in Section 100.361. The Defendant carries
the burden to assert a legally sufficient ground. This trial court has the
jurisdiction to consider the legal sufficiency of the recall petition.

3. A court reviewing the recall of an elected municipal official cannot rule
on the truth or falsity of charges against the official. Their truth or
sufficiency is for determination by the electors alone. However, the
validity of the proceedings for recall is a judicial question that must be
decided before the electors can vote.

4. A public officer has a property right in his tenure of office, and cannot
be deprived thereof without due process of law.

5. An elected official cannot be removed unless he has committed misdeeds
having some relationship to the duties of his office.

6. Errors in judgment cannot be sufficient grounds for recall; nor can
legitimate and authorized actions, no matter how unpopular they are.

7. A statement in the petition which is nothing more than a conclusion or
opinion without any tangible basis in fact is legally inadequate.

8. In reviewing the petition it is impossible to tell what duties of the
plaintiffs under the City Charter, or any other laws, related to the charge
that they "allowed a hazardous and unlawful handling of asbestos to go
unchallenged resulting in months of possible asbestos exposure to people of
Marco Island." This ground is clearly inadequate because it does not specify
what "unlawful handling" occurred and how Plaintiffs had a duty to
"challenge" it.

9. The acts complained of concerning the Septic Tank Replacement Program
appear on their face to be petitioner's disagreement with matters of policy
and do not amount to misfeasance, malfeasance, neglect of duty, andfor
incompetence.

10. The Court finds that the petition, even if its allegations are true, is
not legally sufficient to require a recall election and the Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings is granted.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers in Naples, Collier County, Florida, this 8th
day of December, 2006.
Ted Brousseau
Circuit Judge

1 Comments:

  • the opinion once again validates the conclusion of many - the legal system is infested with activist judges that are unable to apply reasoning or the law - a cancer buttressed by many lawyers with no ethical or moral standards.

    hoping for a victory in this mess is like hoping for a victory in a casino. but at least in the casino there are odds.

    ps. notice the date of the decision and notice the date that it was made public.

    By Blogger mario, at Thursday, December 21, 2006 9:19:00 PM  

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Judge Vindicates Recall Initiative

As the story is starting to wane in the minds of some, let us recall what the judge said at the December 1, 2006 hearing: “I will rule by this afternoon”.

Ten days have passed since the afternoon we were all supposed to have been enlightened by one of the many sages of the “law”. And in these ten days some may have sat idly by, speculating at what could have been if the ruling had been this or that or neither this nor that.

And in the same span of eternity, others have waited for nothing and thereby adhered to the tenets of a true sage when he (the true sage) said “There wasn’t any reason to pay attention to the words of a madman, because if luck hadn’t been with your grace, and the stone had hit your head the way it hit your chest, then what kind of condition would we have been in to defend the lady!

Adhering to the latter, can we then ask, what exactly is everyone waiting for? Better phrased: Can’t anyone interpret the silence?

By the Numbers
Did the judge lie by stating that he would rule ten days ago, and then failed to do so? Unlikely – lawyers and judges don’t lie – right Mr. Tucker?

Is the judge unaware of the timing constraints on the second phase of a recall drive as predicated by law? Unlikely, given that the judge was made plainly aware of the timing issue.

Is the judge shirking from his judicial responsibility to rule on a time-sensitive case? That would make him unprofessional – a conclusion one can’t make rationally.

Is the judge irresponsible to such an extent that he deems inconsequential the financial costs undertaken by one person to defend himself from a law suit (yes, it’s a lawsuit)? Is the judge discounting that fact that this one individual is being attacked because he is exercising his constitutional right to petition the government for a redress? We can only hope not, for such would cast aspersions when there is absolutely no reason to think ill of the man or his motives.

And then there is the speculation by which to parse by the numbers. It’s a hot topic. It will be a first in the state. The judge and one of the plaintiffs are pals. The judge does not want to take the heat. The judge would rather wait and see.

The Answer Some of You Have Been Waiting For
The answer is that he has already ruled. He did not lie when he said that he would rule by the afternoon of December 1st. He did rule. He ruled in silence. By saying nothing, he did not stop the recall drive. By saying nothing, he did not invalidate the petitions. By saying nothing, he informed the well-financed councilpersons that their action (yes, their action) does not deserve the merit of even an answer.

The answer simply came in children’s terms. Who amongst us can recall when our children were young and asked some really stupid questions in a disrespectful manner, to which the only plausible reply was to ignore the question and walk away? And as yet another real sage once said when asked why did he not respond to his children’s diatribes, “Why have two idiots in a situation?”.

For Now
So for now, the recall drive and the recall petitions have been vindicated and therefore the process has been given the blessing in silence to continue.

Maybe tomorrow the coin-flip that is the basis for the American legal system will occur. But for now, the court has vindicated the recall initiative by virtue of the fact that neither an order halting the recall, or an order invalidating the petitions, has been issued.

To those hoping for a deathblow to the recall drive via a judicial maneuver, interpret the silence from the court. Interpret it well.

3 Comments:

  • The judge has ruled. The recall is ordered stopped because elected officials can not be recalled because one disagrees with the way that they have voted. Plain and simple.

    I hope this stops the insanity that has fattened the lawyer's purse and cost our city!

    By Blogger Randy, at Thursday, December 14, 2006 3:52:00 PM  

  • Randy, wrong again. The insanity lies with Tucker, Minozzi and Trotter fighting this thing. They will go. They command respect only from those who serve them. They refuse to accept the will of their constituents and are paying the price. The people of Marco Island will never again permit them to serve in any capacity except dog catcher. They are bad men and deserve what they have harvested.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:38:00 AM  

  • making the lawyers' wallet fat is solely a product of the suit brought on by the city council against ordinary citizen(s). the democratic process, as put forth in the laws and the statutes, allow for a recall, devoid of legal action. by having allowed the recall to go to a vote, several things were guaranteed:

    1. the people would speak
    2. the wishes of the people would be made clear
    3. the councilpersons could have been recalled, or could have been retained - either way - solely by the will of the people
    4. if the recall would have lost at an election, those wanting a recall would have been silenced since the majority would have spoken against them
    5. regardless of the outcome of the election, divisions and suspicions would have been assuaged - at least to the reasonable public - which thankfully is still the majority

    but, FOR NOW, since once again an activist judge has ruled not according to law or to common sense (read his own opinion how it contradicts itself) but according to politics or to something ethereal, the citizen is left with no choice but to continue to seek his right to vote.

    what is amazing is what escapes the devotees of the three councilpersons: there is a law that allows any citizen to seek the recall of any elected official and that law allows for the citizen to allege ANYTHING. since the framers of the constitution had a lot more faith in the general public than the present day corrupt judges have, the founders knew that if some crackpot citizen alleged that that an elected official was from pluto and hence should be recalled, the majority of the citizens would probably not sign the petition in round one, most likely not sign the petition in round two, and assuredly the recall would fail in the general election. hence, stop-gap constitutional measures to ensure that stupidity does not prevail by the electorate while at the same time ensuring that the electorate have their voices heard.

    all true except here in southwest florida where the electorate are not allowed to exercise that fundamental right with the built in security measures.

    and that is the true sadness of what has occurred. not that the fat lawyers are getting fatter or more corrupt (impossible). but that ALL citizens, regardless of their inclination on the recall or the sewers or the POP issue or the asbestos fiasco were denied their right to exercise their right to vote - a right that one day will be denied to those very same ones that are now heralding the unconstitutional and unethical decision by a "judge".

    every time this occurs, more rights are taken away from us. and then many sit around the table with a drink in their hand bitching about how they cant do this or that, or that in the old days it was easier or better. and some just dont even realize it.

    so, keep exalting the victory, for ignorance is bliss.

    By Anonymous mario, at Tuesday, January 02, 2007 2:03:00 PM  

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bypassing Cap: Disproportionate and Ill Conceived

Open Letter to City Council
By Butch Neylon

Your recent decision to remove the edge to edge paving from the construction costs of the STRP special assessments, a correct action I might add, has apparently caused some problems regarding where to get the funds to do the actual paving.

When I first brought this to your attention back on July 16th of this year, I had discussed using the existing repaving budget, with several Councilors, as being the source for the money to replace the funds that will not be coming from the special assessments. At that time it appeared that the repaving budget would have to be increased to cover this and subsequent district repaving as the STRP continues.

When Councilor Popoff proposed this action he clearly stated that there may be a problem with the spending cap caused by removing the paving from the special assessments. The possibility of using a revenue or general obligation of the Utility was brought up as a viable alternative source for obtaining the monies needed for the paving. However, it may not be appropriate to use the utility budget for paving roads as this may be viewed as an attempt to circumvent the cap and thereby increase spending.

Now the Council has passed a measure increasing utility rates by 2% each year over the next four years to offset the cost of paving these roads. Unfortunately this method of increasing rates is discriminatory. Those residents who pay both sewer and water rates will pay a disproportionate share into this fund. Those water customers who use more water will pay a disproportionate share into this fund.

Regardless of weather or not the Utility can fund road paving, the only fair way to fund this is by having every citizen pay the same amount. That cannot be done by raising the money by adding 2% to the utility rates. This really should be funded by an ad-valorem tax.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

To The Opponents of the Recall Drive

In representing the councilpersons you support, your attorney made it quite clear what you believe and think about your city, your government, your fellow citizens and most importantly, what you believe and think about yourselves.

Consider …
Perhaps if you could take just one moment and seriously evaluate how you were depicted by the attorney you hired to represent your interests - via the special interest of the three councilpersons you hold so dear.

In but one startling admission, your attorney used what historians colloquially refer to the as the
concentration camp guard defense. The label comes from the defense used by the Nazi guards at their war crimes trials immediately after World War II. These guards claimed that by virtue of the fact that they were following orders – following the law – and had no authority to superimpose their will on the outcome of any law, they were then not responsible for what happened inside the concentration camps. Namely, what could they do? Fortunately for civilized and reasonable people, their defense was judged to be the sham that it was and punishment was well served.

Back to the hearing. Your attorney used this very same defense when he proclaimed that when it came to the asbestos debacle, your city councilpersons could not do anything. Namely, what could they do?

So to those that oppose the recall drive, that are so endeared to the named councilpersons, is that your moral, legal, and ethical compass? It is your humanity that when fellow citizens are at risk, you sit back and merely decry “What can I do?”

If that is who you are, then continue your support of the three councilpersons and hope and pray that one day when they once again shrug from their moral, legal and ethical responsibility to protect the citizens, it isn’t you that is being harmed.

If that is who you are not, then perhaps you should stop supporting people that don’t share your values – and fortunately the values of decent human beings.

More to Consider
So who did your city councilpersons via your attorney blame for the asbestos fiasco – that is not the fault of the three? Well, “it’s the responsibility of the city”!!

Really? And who may that be? The city manager? And who is responsible for the performance of the city manager? No, it wouldn’t be the city council now would it?

For sure, its not the citizens who should oversee the city via the city manager since – if you recall – we are too stupid to vote on the performance of the city manager, as the torpedoed POP petition taught us.

But wait a minute. Maybe your attorney meant the citizens themselves are responsible for the asbestos problem when he said “It’s the responsibility of the city”.

Well, that would mean you too – right?

You, who support your dear three councilpersons, have just been thrown under the bus by the three councilpersons you support. Perhaps this is your wake-up call – or so we can only hope – for your sake.

4 Comments:

  • Contrary to what the city councilors attorney claimed at the hearing about the councilors duty to respond to a ‘so-called administrative responsibility’ the councilors do have a primary duty to protect the health and welfare of Marco Island citizens. This they did not do, which is why the action by CARES was initiated. By relying upon city staff that minimized the problem, due to self-interest, they endangered everyone on Marco Island.

    Doug Enman
    Chairman, C.A.R.E.S, Inc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 03, 2006 6:33:00 PM  

  • and a footnote.

    some citizens (e.g., cares) that saw this abdication of moral, ethical and legal responsibility as a call to act.

    their recompense for filling the void doing the moral thing? they were slandered and accused of crimes.

    what a crew.

    By Anonymous mario, at Sunday, December 03, 2006 7:53:00 PM  

  • Some have questioned why Terri DiSciullo was not named in the recall petitions. She, at least, tried to determine whether there was a problem with asbestos on the island when she walked down South Collier Boulevard with Butch Neylon and Godfrey Davies. She asked Mike Daniel, the City Construction Manager, to accompany her. Butch pointed out the asbestos shards in the fill; Daniel picked them up, agreed they were asbestos and declared himself "unconcerned." That undoubtedly led Mrs. DiSciullo to believe that there was no real asbestos problem and that CARES had been exaggerating.

    When deposed, this same Mike Daniel ... under oath ... claimed not to know Messrs. Davies and Neylon, could not for the life of him remember walking down Collier Boulevard with the Chairwoman of the City Council, and wasn't sure who Mrs. DiSciullo was.

    Meanwhile, Vice Chair Tucker accused citizens of planting the asbestos, Councilman Minozzi's train had left the station (with his brain on board) and Councilman Trotter sat through council meetings with a blank stare on his face.

    Does everyone now understand why these three were the subject of the recall but not Mrs. DiSciullo?

    Ed Foster

    By Blogger CARES-Chair, at Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:16:00 AM  

  • some will never understand - because they choose not to. a la the lawyer representing the three councilpersons when he asked clearly during the hearing "and why are the other councilors not subject to the recall?" see, its because they dont want to know since the facts will cause too much confusion and deflate the balloon around their world that everything is fine and whatever isnt can be dealt by another generation or better yet "someone else".

    By Anonymous mario, at Tuesday, January 02, 2007 2:09:00 PM  

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Video of Recall Hearing - In its Entirety!

The entire proceedings of the hearing seeking an injunction of the recall by the councilpersons subject to the recall from their lawsuit against the citizens of Marco Island.

1 Comments:

  • This tape is one of the trial in which Tucker, Trotter and Minnozzi sued the citizens of Marco Island. The three can be seen in the background. Tucker sits next to his attorney standing and Minozzi and Trotter sit alone in the first row seats behind them. Confidence exudes from their knowledge that Tucker has his bud sitting on the bench in judgement. Their wifes and Moss, the designer of the instrument used to take money from the 2,000 victims, sit in the seats directly behind them. The rest of the room contains the victims awaiting justice. Hundreds of victims attended only to be dumped upon by the system.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 23, 2006 6:50:00 AM  

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Voter Intimidation Video

The repeated emphasis to recover the attorney's fees voluntarily spent by the city council from the citizens seeking to vote in a recall election.


1 Comments:

  • This tape is the record of an attorney working for the City of Marco Island, committing what many believe to be a violation of Federal election laws. He is participating along with the City Manager in a dialoge that effectively threatens petitioners with finanical ruin. As an attorney he knew this to be illegal but failed to advise the council. He was not charged by the City Councilmembers nor was he asked to account for his ethical lapses. He remains in good standing with the Florida State Bar and an employee of the City to this day. The tape also reveals the attorney advising the Council that no matter what wrong they may be charged with, the City should pay for their legal defense fund. This is South West Florida politics as practiced in the swamps of the everglades.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 23, 2006 7:04:00 AM  

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