Monday, April 30, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Septic System Additives - Compliant w/Florida Statute
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Recall Committee Appeal - Reply Brief
Friday, April 20, 2007
Facts Contradict City Manager's Threats
James R. Klindt, Esquire
U. S. Department of Justice
Middle District of
I am in receipt of a copy of a letter to you from the City Manager of Marco Island wherein he refutes information sent to you that precipitated the much needed investigation of the asbestos contamination here on
As is usual with Mr. Moss, his refutation is totally devoid of any facts, however, it is writhe with accusations, innuendo, and disdain for the citizens of
In an effort to clarify the original letter of March 9th, and Mr. Moss’ answer of April 17th, I have copied the body of his letter into this document and will offer my comments where appropriate. My comments will be in bold italic typeface.
On or about
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that:
• The letter dated
• The subject matter is of a civil nature as demonstrated by several lawsuits filed by an organization supported by Mr. Neylon and several or most of the signatories. The most recent lawsuit was filed on
In the first place, I am only a point of contact for the group of persons who signed this letter. There were nearly 60 signatories, and those signatures were collected in a matter of a few days with very little effort. If we wanted to take more time, we could have received over 2,000 signatures.
The reason the City of
• Whether there is criminal conduct is a matter of an on-going investigation by the Marco Island Police Department;
A seven month politically motivated criminal investigation that started because the contractor AMRC, failed to adequately clean the site in the first place. I say politically motivated because Chief Reinke and Bill Moss both said, when the asbestos was discovered for the second time, that it was planted. Moss even tied the planting of the asbestos to the recent recall effort.
The second cleanup yielded tons of asbestos contaminated material. Why didn’t Chief Reinke debunk the planted theory when he realized that only someone capable of moving tons of contaminated material to the site could possibly be responsible?? Why is the investigation still ongoing?
• The complaint is due to a disagreement with public policy decisions of the Marco Island City Council regarding the replacement of septic systems with a central sanitary sewer collection system;
Mr. Moss refuses to face the fact that asbestos contamination of Site-A, Site-C, and the entire area of the South Collier Boulevard construction project is a serious matter, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Septic Tank Replacement Program. Equally, or possibly more serious, is Mr. Moss’ outright cover-up of this very serious problem and his unwillingness to hold the responsible party accountable.
Marco Island Contract 05-006 has numerous clauses that would have protected the citizens of Marco Island from the acts of Quality Enterprises, form both a health and safety standpoint as well as monetary repayment for the clean-up costs, however, Mr. Moss categorically refuses to enforce the contract! Why?
• The subject matter continues to be within the jurisdiction and oversight of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the
Mr. Moss failed to tell you that in his eagerness to head off this situation he made a statement that appeared in the March 15, 2006 Marco Eagle http://www.marconews.com/news/2006/mar/15/asbestos_found_marco_park/ that Jon Iglehart Director of the Southern Division of the FDEP, had surveyed the site, declared it to be free of asbestos, and assured the City that the contractor, Quality Enterprises, “adhered to proper removal practices” for handling asbestos material. However, at the time Moss made that public statement, Mr. Iglehart, had not been to the site, did not investigate the methods QE was using to handle asbestos material, and failed to mention that no one on QE’s crew had any training whatsoever in handling or even identifying asbestos material.
FDEP’s inspector Mr. Sherrill Culliver came to the site three times before he finally admitted that the material that was strewn from one end of Site-C practically to the other was indeed asbestos. Then when he walked across the street to the enormous pile of processed fill he also determined that there was asbestos material there too.
The frustrating part about this was that we were looking through the fence at this contaminated material, while Quality Enterprises trucks were hauling it to
In a meeting that I was in with Jon Iglehart back in October of 2006 he admitted that they had botched the initial investigation and then failed to adequately account for the evidence when Site-C was initially cleaned up. This initially posed a problem for the EPA investigators who had taken over for FDEP regarding this contamination issue, but they subsequently worked through those problems.
Mr. Moss was incensed when the EPA got involved and in fact his Public Relations person, Ms. Lisa Douglas, who he hired from the FDEP asked me if I had called the EPA. I was not the one who got them involved, nor do I know who did, but I have had several conversations with them since they took over. Lisa told me that when Moss heard the EPA was involved he hit the roof.
So to summarize, The FDEP would go along with anything the City wants, and apologize for screwing it up later, but the EPA really wants the rules followed, and they are trying to work with the City and Quality Enterprises to get this material cleaned up and off the Island.
• The false allegations in the
This is pure Moss. Shoot the messenger, threaten, coerce, and shift the focus from the problem to the complainant. Every statement made in the March 9th letter to you was factual. We have provided verifiable information substantiating each of those statements further on in this letter. What Mr. Moss is demonstrating in yet another threat is his premeditation with violating the civil rights of individuals in an effort to suppress their constitutional rights of seeking redress. His tactics are legion in this regard and while they are omitted from this letter for clarity, it is hoped that at some point those abuses are also addressed by federal authorities.
About 77% of
A political action committee, Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Solutions, Inc. (CARES), unsuccessfully attempted to have the policy rescinded by their elected officials. CARES then filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for Collier County, Florida, Case No. 06-183-CA, against the City of Marco Island and The Department of Environmental Protection of
In order to sell assessment bonds to fund the sanitary sewer project, the City sought court approval of its assessment process and bond sale through a bond validation process. CARES argued against the City during the Circuit Court hearing. The judge issued a strong ruling in favor of the City. CARES subsequently filed an appeal directly to the
Believing that the presence of asbestos cement pipe in the construction area and staging area constituted a violation of the Clean Air Act and the RICO Act, CARES filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court Middle District of Florida against the City of Marco Island, Quality Enterprises USA, Inc., City Manager William Moss and Public Works Director Rony Joel, Case No. 2:06-cv-123-FtM-029-SPC. Before a Motion for Dismissal was heard, a mandatory Mediation was held on
The asbestos concrete pipe shards found on Site-A, Site-C and in fill material used on the South Collier Boulevard project were nominally the same size, with newly broken edges many of which were friable, (meaning that the material could be reduced to powder by normal hand pressure), which would be consistent with material run through a crusher.
Mr. Rony Joel, Public Works Director for Marco Island, stated on three separate times in an open meeting of the Marco Island City Council on April 6, 2006, that asbestos cement pipe was crushed, by Quality Enterprises, originally on South Collier Boulevard, and then at Site-A. Mr. Moss came out shortly after that meeting and said Mr. Joel was mistaken. (Marco Eagle,
The RICO charge stemmed from the fact that AMRC, the testing company who was originally hired by CARES to determine the concentration of asbestos in the initial samples collected, was immediately hired away from CARES by the City which we were told amounted to witness tampering and therefore the RICO charge.
In order to understand the entire situation leading up to the mediation agreement, it will be essential for your investigators to speak with Mr. Edward Foster, former chairman of CARES and Mr. Douglas Enman, current chairman of CARES. What I can say regarding the mediation is, that in my opinion, CARES received some very bad legal advice which ultimately ended the asbestos lawsuit. Bad advice, not a lack of merit which is borne out by the continuing involvement of the EPA and the FDEP in trying to resolve the contamination issue.
The terms of the mediation settlement agreement that are in question and the subject of this new action seeking a Declaratory Judgement refer to collection of costs to remediate the asbestos from Site-A and Site-C and certain indemnification of Marco Island against future action stemming form the asbestos contamination caused by Quality Enterprises.
Rather than abide by the letter and spirit of the mediation agreement Mr. Moss unilaterally hammered out a contract between himself and QE, which not only did not collect the money Marco Islanders have already spent, but obligated Marco Island Taxpayers to pick up the rest of the bill. He then wrote a diatribe, which can be viewed athttp://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/Public_Documents/MarcoIslandFL_CouncilAgenda/Mar19/7B.PDF to propose this deal to the city council for approval. Essentially he couched this in such a way as to make the removal of the asbestos pile on Site-A contingent on accepting the new contract. That is not true, since Mr. Moss knew that if he didn’t tie this bitter pill to something that all Marco Islanders want, which is the removal of contaminated material from our
In addition to legal action, several or all the signatories to the
• initiated, participated in, or supported an attempt to amend the City Charter to require a bi-annual election of the City Manager, a professional position universally appointed by elected officials, not elected by registered voters;
• initiated, participated in, or supported a recall of three Marco Island City Council members who supported the new sanitary sewer program;
• initiated, participated in, or supported an attempt to schedule a referendum election to overturn City Council’s decision to provide sanitary sewer service.
Failing to succeed through the political process, through the judicial process, and through the administrative process with the FDEP and the US EPA, a few citizens are seeking to ask you to initiate a criminal investigation in order to facilitate achievement of their political goals.
Remember, this is about widespread asbestos contamination of
Should you ultimately decide to pursue further inquiry, I hope you review the March 9, 2007 letter, the motivating circumstances in which it was written, and Section 837.05, Florida Statues regarding false reports to law enforcement authorities.
Nothing new here. In a City Council Meeting where the Council decided to pay legal costs for the Councilors being recalled, Mr. Moss went into a discussion with the City Attorney stating that the City should seek to recover those legal costs from people signing the petitions. This exchange, (voter intimidation), which had a chilling effect on the recall petition drive, can be viewed at http://188.8.131.52/miblog/videolibrary2.html about halfway down the page on the right side titled “City Manager & City Attorney Intimidate Voters.” There are many other videos and articles on this site and on www.earnmarco.com that will show the way concerned citizens are threatened on
Mr. Moss also petitioned the Council back in February to sue CARES for legal costs surrounding the asbestos lawsuit. Even though there is a clause in
Even though the Council voted not to pursue citizens for these legal costs last time, Mr. Moss stated in a newspaper article last week that he will once again request this at the next Marco Island City Council Meeting on April 23, 2007. Quality Enterprises is responsible, not only for contaminating our
The following provides a brief response to the allegations made in the letter of March 9, 2007 to your agency: “The City of
It is a widely published fact that pieces of asbestos cement pipe were found at a construction staging area on
Upon discovery of the pipe fragments on Site C, the City initiated a plan of action that involved the retention of a specialized environmental consulting firm and a state licensed asbestos contractor to perform appropriate environmental monitoring and removal of the pipe fragments.
This initial clean-up amounted to over 40,000 pounds of contaminated material; I think that might just be mischaracterized as “pipe fragments”.
The City accepted responsibility for the cleanup of Site C, recognizing that the firms that used the site as a staging area did not use or remove asbestos cement pipe for the reconstruction of a road project and replacement of utility lines. During Hurricane Wilma, a Category 3 storm event with landfall on
What Mr. Moss fails to mention here is that Quality Enterprises prepared Site-C for use by the other contractors, by removing a large number of sizable Australian Pine trees, filling the holes left by the stumps and grading the site. Mr. Moss will tell you that Quality Enterprises didn’t use fill on the site the sugar sand that they plucked the trees out of just filled in the holes automatically. What Mr. Moss also fails to tell you is that citizens have given statements to the City of
Following initial cleanup of the site with certification and photographs from the environmental consultant, more asbestos pipe fragments were discovered. Some fragments were near survey stakes used to mark where the soil was tested for evidence of asbestos. There was also evidence that dumping of some material had occurred since the cleanup, and it was well known that some citizens, including representatives from CARES, had collected asbestos cement pipe from a construction site. One individual later publicly admitted that he had a bag of fragments in his garage. Because of the suspicious circumstances, the City Manager asked the Police Department to initiate an investigation.
The dumping that Mr. Moss refers to was witnessed by a Marco resident Mr. Raymond Beaufort. He can tell you what he saw. The person who had the asbestos in his garage was Ed Foster, the former Chairman of CARES and he can fill you in on the situation regarding that material. By the way, Mr. Foster alerted the city to, and turned in the asbestos material he had after Mr. Moss initiated the police investigation, not before as Mr. Moss suggests in his reference to suspicious circumstances.
As stated above, this second clean-up of Site-C yielded more tons of contaminated material, not a few pounds planted by citizens as Mr. Moss would have you believe, but tons of contaminated material. Again, based on the amount of material found on the second pass, why is the investigation still ongoing when it is clear that in order to contaminate Site-C you would have to have access to a pile of contaminated material, and the heavy equipment necessary to place it on Site-C.
Quality Enterprises, not citizens, has a pile of contaminated material, or about half a pile left after spreading the other half on South Collier Boulevard, and they have heavy equipment, and they removed the trees on Site-C that left holes to fill, so why aren’t they being considered as perpetrators instead of citizens? Why?
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been informed and involved in the environmentally responsible mitigation of Site C. No mitigation action was taken without appropriate environmental review and permits.
Once again, Jon Iglehart Director of the Southern Division of the FDEP admitted they botched the original cleanup, investigation, and chain of evidence. The permits issued and the experts hired to accomplish the clean-up have cleaned up the Site at least three times to date, and I was told by Liam Dillon of the Naples Daily News, that they were still finding pipe fragments on Site-C as recently as two weeks ago.
Maybe if they just admit that the holes the stumps left were filled with contaminated material, and dig those areas up, they will finally get all the asbestos off the site. Of course that would mean that Quality Enterprises put it there and Mr. Moss doesn’t want that. Why?
It is also a publicly known fact that there are asbestos pipe fragments in a soil and concrete debris pile on Site A. This site is used as a construction staging area by Quality Enterprises, the contractor hired by the City to rebuild
Once again Mr. Moss forgot to tell you that the EPA actually suggested the plan he says the contractor developed. In fact the EPA stated in late August or early September of 2006, that they would approve removal of the entire pile on Site-A if it were all treated as Regulated Asbestos Containing Material, (RACM). The plan Quality Enterprises proposed was not approved by the EPA because it involved separating large concrete pieces from the pile, cleaning asbestos off them and then crushing them for road fill material. Then take what was left and remove that as RACM.
The EPA told the City and Quality Enterprises that trying to separate this material, clean it, and then treat what was left as RACM would be very difficult to do while meeting regulations of the Clean Air Act and they should consider removing the entire pile as RACM. The mere fact that Quality Enterprises would offer such an unworkable abatement plan further demonstrates their inexperience in handling asbestos containing material. Pamela McIlvaine, of the EPA Region 4 District Office in Atlanta, email@example.com can confirm all of the above statements regarding EPA approvals.
That EPA approved deal has been on the table since September of 2006, but only when Mr. Moss hammered out the deal where the taxpayers of
As further proof of the inexperience exhibited by contractors in handling asbestos material, there was a story in the Marco Eagle, back in October of 2006 covering the rediscovery of asbestos on Site-C complete with a picture of what appears to be of migrant workers with handkerchiefs covering their faces, holding plastic bags shuffling in plain clothes over the site “picking up asbestos”. That article and picture can be viewed at http://www.marconews.com/news/2006/oct/27/city_looking_new_asbestos_find_veterans_community_/ Once again the FDEP failed to adequately account for the 150 +- pounds of material picked up that day by these workers who failed to follow EPA rules while removing asbestos from Site-C under the guidance of AMRC the City’s asbestos expert.
“The explicit and implicit culprits of this crime, as put forth by the City of
The explanation as to the source of the asbestos cement pipe fragments on Site C is a matter of an on-going Marco Island Police investigation. I am certain that they will share findings to date with any other law enforcement agency. It is assumed that there is no natural occurrence of asbestos cement pipe fragments in soil, so someone put it on Site C. Whether that occurred recently or decades ago have not been determined, to my knowledge.
The key phrase here is the “decades ago”, where Mr. Moss is now suggesting that these pipe fragments have been buried in the ground from the initial installation of water pipes on Marco and his friends Quality Enterprises simply unearthed them. This is the latest in the cover stories Mr. Moss has proposed.
Notice again that Mr. Moss fails to mention that tons of material was found and removed on the second cleanup. So stating that “someone put it on Site C” fails to address where “someone” got tons of asbestos contaminated material, and how “someone” transported and buried tons of asbestos contaminated material on Site-C.
“It is indisputable that a city contractor crushed asbestos-laden pipe on the plot of land.”
If it is, in fact, indisputable, we assume this information has or will be conveyed to the Marco Island Police Department during their misdemeanor investigation. City staff advanced a theory and accepted responsibility for the removal of pipe fragments from Site C. Quality Enterprises, while not admitting fault, has accepted responsibility for the complete removal and disposal of soil and concrete debris from Site A with the appropriate notice to the FDEP.
The tree theory can be proved by digging where the trees were, but to my knowledge that has not been done, even though this theory was delivered in writing to the MIPD several weeks ago. EPA also has this information. This can also be read and downloaded from www.earnmarco.com It is on the opening page along with the latest deal between Mr. Moss and QE. Also, Mr. Moss stated in a newspaper article earlier this week that the tree theory has no validity. Of course he didn’t elaborate as to why it was not valid, he just dismissed it out of hand.
As far as City staff advancing a theory and accepting responsibility for the cleanup of Site-C, this was always going to be reimbursed by the contractor, until the most recent deal. Now that Mr. Moss’ intention is clear that the taxpayers of
The following factual statements can be verified, and I believe they prove indisputably that Quality Enterprises crushed asbestos cement pipe, mixed it into roadbed material and spread it on Site-C and many parts of South Collier Boulevard before they were stopped and the remaining pile of this contaminated material still exists on Site-A.
1. Quality Enterprises was the only contractor removing asbestos cement pipe on
2. Quality Enterprises was processing roadbed material on
3. Mr. Joel stated at the March 6, 2006
4. Over 40,000 pounds of newly broken asbestos shards and Regulated Asbestos Contaminated Material, RACM, have been removed in several cleanup operations at Site-C alone. This can be verified by tipping records from the
5. A pile of Regulated Asbestos Containing Material RACM weighing between 80,000 and 100,000 pounds still exists on Site-A. The FDEP took samples from this pile that tested as high as 40% asbestos. The threshold for determining if asbestos has to be handled as a hazardous substance is 1%. The report showing asbestos quantities for the 14 samples taken from Site-A and Site-C can be requested from the FDEP. Mr. Iglehart can help you get a copy. firstname.lastname@example.org This pile of contaminated material is what is left of a pile at least twice this size when the asbestos was first discovered. Much of this asbestos contaminated material was used by Quality Enterprises, as fill on
6. Quality Enterprises removed trees, filled and graded Site-C for use by Ballgas and LCEC. It is a virtual certainty that they used asbestos contaminated fill from the big pile on Site-A to do this, yet the MIPD say they must have an eye witness to prove this. The asbestos contaminated material that was on Site-C had the same characteristics as the material on Site-A. The FDEP tests confirm this, and photographic evidence that CARES has confirms this. Much of the broken pipe shards have clear evidence of rust on one side meaning they were used as water pipes recently, and it is clear to the casual observer that the broken edges were recent fresh breaks and are clearly friable.
“It is our opinion that the aforementioned criminal investigation revealed that no individual planted the asbestos, but that it was the contractor that intentionally or inadvertently placed the asbestos on the site.”
If the individuals can support their statement, they should so advise the
If the MIPD can’t figure out that citizens cannot plant tons of asbestos pipe shards, 2’ to 3’ below the surface of Site-C, then how do you propose we convince them?
If the individuals have factual knowledge as to who “crushed the asbestos to begin with” this information should be provided by the individuals to the Marco Island Police Department to facilitate the investigation and prosecution.
Go to http://www.earnmarco.com/asbestos1.html and play the videos to confirm what Mr. Joel said. I think if you then question Mr. Joel under oath, you may actually find out who misspoke.
I apologize for the length of this treatise; however, some things just can’t be said in a few words. It should be clear that Mr. Moss offered no verification for his statements above. He did however threaten to start legal action against citizens who are lawfully expressing their constitutional rights and are lawfully seeking answers to pressing questions that affect our safety, health and recourses.
The purchasing ethic in public affairs clearly states that one should avoid even the appearance of impropriety when dealing with public purchasing of goods and services. The relationship between Mr. Moss and Quality Enterprises goes way beyond those advisories, and I believe that we concerned citizens of Marco Island have a right to get answers to the above posed questions.
Low or poor quality of product, inexperienced workers created a hazardous dump out of fairly benign material through mishandling, late project completions, and still Quality Enterprises is the fair haired child of City Hall. Why?
Lastly, as you consider these facts, the premise for contacting you and other authorities not under the purview of Mr. Moss is that Mr. Moss, Police Chief Reinke and Councilperson Tucker have publicly proclaimed that the asbestos that is and has been on the island was put their by citizens. As your investigation unfolds and finds that these accusations are false, then you have been asked to prosecute those individuals for making false charges.
Facts are indisputable and verifiable. We only need to dig a bit, and I’m certain the facts will come out. You now have the opportunity to bring this nightmare to an end and in doing so, you will be providing a immeasurable service to all Marco islanders.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Documents: Criminal Investigations of City Governance
Citizens Letter to US Attorney, State Attorney & Sheriff of Collier County
Citizens Letter to US Attorney, State Attorney & Sheriff of Collier County
US Attorney Commits FBI (Word)
US Attorney Commits FBI (PDF)
Sherriff Demand on City (Word)
Sherriff Demand on City (PDF)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The Boycott That Backfired
Restricting public comment, not answering emails or otherwise responding to written queries, walking out during a council meeting, intimidation tactics and obstructing requests for public documents are the makings of their boycott - their boycott on opinions, discourse, and expression of civil liberties.
The purpose of boycotting the citizenry is but a feigned attempt to stifle the storm of civil discontentment in our city. The tempest they have failed to quiet arose solely out of the present governance's ethical, managerial, democratic and legal lapses.
The net effect of boycotting the constituents of this fine city is that those same constituents will pursue their constitutionally protected redress through the other legal venues accessible to them.
The same intellectuals that contrived this boycott are now aghast at the nearly weekly revelations of actions against them. The criminal investigations, lawsuits, complaints and charges against the present governance seem to manifest as if on a schedule. A councilperson is quoted as saying "Every time we turn around we are getting sued".
What did they expect? Are they so delusional that they convinced themselves into thinking that all of the people they have violated would just go away?
But instead of squelching public comment, the boycott of the citizenry by the present governance catapulted the dissatisfaction into forceful voices that will not be squelched no matter how many character assassinations, epithets, threats, violations of civil rights and personal attacks are spewed by the city manager, by select council members, by the propagandist reporter and by the quid pro quo nouveau city manager vicinus loyalist.
In the annals of recorded history there have been some remarkably successful boycotts, and there have been some remarkable failures. But nothing pales in comparison to the attempt at boycotting ideas, opinions, discourse and civil liberties as attempted by the present governance.
This city's boycott is truly an abysmal failure since opinions, discourse and expression of civil liberties has now found other constitutionally protected venues. And through those legal venues, the geniuses that came up with this boycott can expect more lawsuits, criminal investigations and charges.
That same council person and his cohorts best be prepared to keep turning around.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
In analyzing the furor over another bigot that not coincidentally used the exact same phrase as our local contingent of identical ilk, a succinct didactic perspective:
The local trapdoor will be soon sprung.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
An Elected Body That Gets It
Harvey Houtkin, the self-proclaimed "father of day trading," is speaking into a microphone. Houtkin, a stout man who won a 1993 federal appeal against the SEC that expanded small-trading access on NASDAQ, wears a black polo shirt and glasses. He and the other eleven men at the table form the board of the Williams Island
Property Owners Association (POA), whose January meeting is being videotaped.
"I personally believe that the least qualified person to run this island is Rod White," Houtkin says emphatically, referring to the president of the POA, who sits a few feet away. Some of the meeting's few dozen attendees break into applause. Houtkin waits for the noise to subside, then qualifies his statement.
"He has demonstrated bad judgment, and in my opinion," he says, and pauses. "Moral turpitude."
A roar of dissent erupts from some of the chairs. Houtkin groans loudly and runs his hand across his forehead in exasperation.
"It's not the forum!" complains a derisive voice in back.
"The truth cannot be said — "
"Shut up!" croaks one woman.
"You shut up, you witch!" Houtkin yells.
"You're out of order!" screams a man not visible in the video.
"You're out of order."
Following a cacophony of scuffling and expletive-laden shouting among various audience members, Houtkin faces the group and asks, "You going to beat me up?"
"Yeah I'll beat you up!" says a man.
"Come on!" taunts the retired stock trader.
At the bottom of the frame, Jerry Cohen, a silver-haired man in his seventies wearing a pink button-down shirt, is seen standing up. He heads to the table where Houtkin sits. The camera pans toward him. Uniformed security guards run into the frame.
"THIS IS A DISASTER FOR OUR ISLAND!" yells Houtkin. "THIS IS A DISASTER!"
He turns to his restrained would-be assailant. "Smack me! Go ahead, smack me!"
The video was shown in a loop on Williams Island's private television network for days following the altercation. Houtkin and his neighbors live a life of luxury in this elite gated community of high-rise towers in Aventura, but lately the mood has been tense. The exclusive enclave on Dumbfoundling Bay appeared to be experiencing growing pains.
the entire article can be read at http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2007-03-15/news/paradise-lost/
Friday, April 13, 2007
Last month the City Manager entered into negotiations with QE to implement the mediation agreement. They came out of the negotiations with an agreement they refer to as a contract between the City and QE. A copy of that contract is also attached.
Also, in the contract QE there is not even a whisper of an attempt to satisfy the requirement of item 8 in the mediation agreement. This item was meant to be a direct reference to the terms of the Collier Blvd. construction contract with QE in which it states that QE must pay all legal fees and expenses connected with performance of this contract.
With these violations of the mediation agreement CARES was obligated to file the suit it filed yesterday because we must recover taxpayers money that has spent to cleanup a mess made by a contractor. The City never should have paid a cent for the cleanup. The City Manager under the terms of the construction contract should have made immediate demand for remediation on QE's insurance carrier and its bonding company as soon as asbestos was found on Veterans Park.
In closing, let me say that the law suit does not and will no stop the cleanup effort it is meant to make the company responsible for the asbestos mess pay for its cleanup, nothing more.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
The Post Mortem Defense
Definition by Examples:
- An example from just this week. Some time ago the city manager and the ever-job-hunting chief of police accuse citizens of planting asbestos. This week, in light of the FBI investigating the alleged city investigation as to who really placed the asbestos, the perennially-interviewing-for-another-job police chief states (and we are not making this up) “We may have found things out since then showing that maybe that assumption is incorrect.”
- The City Manager and the former City Attorney appear to violate the Voting Rights Act by intimidating voters that signed the recall petition. The city council calls an emergency meeting assuring the voters that they will not be prosecuted or have to pay any costs associated with the city’s lawsuit against the citizen and thereby correcting any “misunderstanding”.
- Present and former city councilors, the city manager and others are being investigated for Sunshine Law violations. The city council backs the city manager’s claim that by simply discussing AFTERWARDS the subject of the emails that are the subject of the criminal investigation, the matter is “cured” and crimes were not committed.
- A statement or act that attempts to negate or otherwise obviate a misdeed or wrongdoing ONLY after said misdeed or wrongdoing has garnered the attention of real law enforcement agencies.
CAUTION: Do no try this defense yourself. Only applies to present city employees and present city council persons.
- The Nonsense Defense: Upon arrest, the arrestee shouts to the media "THIS IS NONSENSE!"
- The Plausible Denialbility Defense: “Hey, we are just the city council and we have no idea what the city manager does or doesn’t do or should do so we just do what he tells us hence we are not liable.”
- Law Enforcement By Assumptions: See the above quote by the interview-hopping police chief.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
FBI Investigates City Management
The U.S. Attorney receives a complaint from 60 citizens about how the alleged asbestos investigation was handled by the City. The U.S. Attorney asks the FBI to investigate.
And what is the response from the City Manager? Yet another character assassination of a citizen.
The City Manager says nothing about cooperating with the FBI, says nothing about wanting to get to the bottom of this, nothing said about finally resolving the asbestos problem. Nope – nothing like that – just more belittling of citizens.
And the comedy from the Police Chief. Some babbling about how its not protocol for the FBI to do this. That’s right – its not protocol – unless YOU ARE THE TARGET OF THE FBI INVESTIGATION.
Don't be surprised if the City Manager does what he appears to have done in the past and direct the City Police Chief to do a background search on all sixty citizens that signed the letter so they too have their civil rights violated.
Instead of denigrating citizens exercising their constitutional right to seek a redress, why doesn’t the City Manager and his employee the Police Chief explain why over six months have passed without the asbestos matter being address – except of course to stall long enough so as to give the same contractor that put the asbestos there to begin with more contracts and more money to clean up the mess.
And the city council once again allows the City Manager to demean the citizens. You would think that at some point these seven will get it.
So there you have it – in their own words – what an indictment of this governance – no more need be said.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
News to the Council ...
Direct quote from Quality Cities, a bi-monthly publication from the city manager "professional" association Marco Island's City Manager belongs to ...
City Rights and Privileges: In Florida, a city is recognized with certain rights and privileges as such a government. The most important of these rights is Home Rule. The state Constitution recognizes that cities may enact their own ordinances and self-govern – so long as the city’s law does not conflict with the state and federal law.
The City Council is responsible for blidly beleiving that Marco Island can have it's own mooring laws (conflicting with state law), can have it's own laws on toxic substances (conflicting with the state and federal law) and can force hookup to the finance-yet-to-be-determined STRP in 90 days (conflicting with the state law allowing for up to 365 days).
What we sorely lack is leadership and responsibility from our elected offiicials. March 2008 can't come soon enough.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
City Violates Federal Mediation Agreement
This deal - basically rewarding the company that dumped asbestos in Veteran's Park that still has not been cleaned up - violates the federally mandated mediation agreement binding the City, the contractor and CARES.
See for yourself:
Don't accept yet another abuse of our taxes and of our good will and of our rights by this present governance.
Contact Judge John Steele - the judge responsible for overseeing the mediation agreement - and decry yet another violation of the law.
It's your taxes, it's your city, it's your health, it's your right!