On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment
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U.S. Supreme Court at Odds with Collier County Court
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES UNITED STATES v. ALVAREZ
Even when considering some instances of defamation or fraud, the Court has instructed that falsity alone may not suffice to bring the speech outside the First Amendment; the statement must be a knowing and reckless falsehood. See New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 280.
Here [in this case], the Government seeks to convert a rule that limits liability even in defamation cases where the law permits recovery for tortious wrongs into a rule that expands liability in a different, far greater realm of discourse and expression.
So, fixing the dilapidated $100million sewage treatment plant was to be paid by creating an unneeded demand (a new sewage system)? Uhm ...
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:58:47 AM
Subject: Sewer Referendum
To: Bill Moss
Cc: Rony Joel
Attachments: Attach0.html 3K
In the last 30 minutes I received two call s from people I know who have
questioned the sewer program in the past saying they read the papers today and
wanted me to know how appreciative they are of the deferral program. "It makes
sense and is fair" was the constant message.
The more I think about a self imposed referendum the more I get concerned about
what will happen. I want to make sure we are not responding to a minority of the
council or a real minority, extreme group of our citizens and throw the entire
sewer issue into a shambles. After all, we purchased the water system and spent
over $100 million without a referendum because we felt it was the right thing to
Some concerns to think about and I would really like to discuss sometime Friday
afternoon, if possible:
1. Since all will vote and include some 50-60% of the people already on sewers,
the opposition will (rightfully) claim that this is a biased and
2. CARES will push that the vote should not be sewers or no sewers but to vote
no and force the City to stop the sewer program and search for alternatives.
They will agree that something needs to be done and this will sell. Will we then
vote on the alternatives (whatever that may be) by referendum?
3. We have talked about the need for upgrades of the exitsing plant. Some of
this ($30 million) was going to be paid for by the monthly charge of $40 to all
sewer customers - new and old. If so and we cancel the program who will pay for
this upgrade if we only have half the customers on line?
4. We must address who pays for the $14 million "lost" if the people decide to
turn down the sewer program? It's an impact all must be aware of.
Bill, I will keep sending you additional thoughts as I think of them so we both
have a chance to consider the radical action of a referendum. As of this moment
I am not feeling good about such an action. We all (you me, staff) must realize
that nothing of real long term value comes easy. The real difficult issues that
have a lot of pain and suffering usually have good long term results - "no pain,
no gain" was a guiding rule for me. As I mentioned I have no problem with a 4-3
split (especially when the 3 appear to just want some information or a more
uniform assessment process). Suggest we let the pain of last night settle for a
few days, see how the press spins this and get input on what people think of the
new deferral program. I will get a major sense this Thursday when I meet with
150 or so members of the Mens Club (which I am still trying to get a portable
mike which the Men's Club is saying they can't get from the City - I have
reached out to Laura for help for the 1 hour 10-11 Thursday at Mackle Park)
Keep the faith.
No one seems to know for sure, except that it isn't the City Council.
But this exchange should be of interest.
In the heyday of the fun, i.e., the asbestos contamination and the pumping of effluent into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency demanded that the asbestos be removed ... you know, the asbestos that some in the City claimed that either wasn't there or that it was fiberglass - maybe.
Anyway, Quality Enterprises is tasked with the job. So they email the attorney for the EPA in charge of the cleanup, who emails somebody else, who emails Rony Joel, who emails Ed Issler ...
A hastily called meeting by the City Manager took place at City Hall on May 29, 2012 at 4PM purportedly to address "rumors" that the City's inspection function was to be "outsourced" to Collier County. The standing-room only crowd was comprised mostly of contractors.
A question: If the City of Marco Island operated in the sunshine, as required by law, why would there be any rumors that would drive dozens of hard-working people away from their jobs in order to "get the facts"?
Minutes before the meeting started, Sir Monte Lazarus rose from his seat, stood for half a minute or so, inspected the crowd, made sure that he was noticed, then sat down. With this act, those of us that are either cogent, or have lived on Marco Island for more than a minute, can stop reading since this performance foretold what we already know what was going to get accomplished by the officialdom that infests city management bureaucracy and "leadership": nothing.
The City Manager spoke first. He noted that there have been discussions over the last 1½ years to outsource the City's Building Inspection services to Collier County.
A question: If the City of Marco Island operated in the sunshine, as required by law, why would the revelation that there have been discussions with Collier County to transfer the City's Building Inspection services be news to everyone (that's everyone outside of the few that were allegedly doing the discussion)?
The City Manager displayed numbers showing the revenue generated by the City's Building Inspection services from 2003 to the present. The amounts scaled from approximately $700K to $2.5M per year. For this fiscal year, the revenue is approximately $700K. He also noted that the cost to run the City's Building Inspection services is approximately $700K/year. He stated that the purpose of the discussions with Collier County was to reduce costs to the City by eliminating the City's Building Inspection services.
A question: If for every year the City's Building Inspection function has been generating a SURPLUS, why do you want to eliminate an operation that generates a SURPLUS every year?
A question: Where is the surplus money that the City's Building Inspection function has generated every year for the past nine years?
So then on to taking comments and questions. The City Attorney read the names of who was on the list to speak, and he and/or a City Councilperson ran the microphone to the speaker.
Every contractor decried the elimination of the City's Building Inspection services for one reason or another. Then a few poignant questions were asked. The City Manager answered a couple, obfuscated on a couple, ignored a couple. He adamantly denied that the elimination of the City's Building Inspection services was fait accompli.
A question: If moving the City's Building Inspection services was not a done deal as decried by the City Manager, why did a Collier County official say that it was just days before?
The City Manager summarized the meeting by not addressing any of the concerns but did go on to say quite equivocally that "any budget issue has to be approved by the City Council." To the trained ear, "any budget" is not the same thing as "a function being outsourced" … especially where the syndicate rules.
Of interest. There were three City Councilpersons in the room. One, Gibson, spent the time texting and looking into his mobile phone device. Another, Magel, sat silently, and snoozed a couple of times. The third, and most entertaining by far, Walduck, also said nothing but did joust with the City Manager as to who was going to run the microphone to the speakers.
A Final Question: Outsourcing of the City's Building Inspection services to Collier County would not have anything to do with the four inspectors being charged and adjudicated guilty by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, and that the four inspectors have run up over $40,000 in legal fees for the City, and that the four inspectors are appealing the State's finding that will cost at least another $40,000 in legal fees to the City – now would it?"
No one asked this question – the Contractors just did not know. The City was not to reveal it (ergo why the meeting was being run by the City Attorney). The Contractors got bamboozled.
-o-o- Some pics and videos for entertainment purposes …
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