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Here’s The Scoop…2/10/09…Commission Meeting..#3…Public Comments…Testing The Freedom Of Speech…

PUBLIC COMMENTS….TESTING FREEDOM OF SPEECH…PERSONAL ATTACKS…

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Hot off the Town Attorney’s dissertation on what the Commission can and cannot do…when it comes to public commentary and freedom of speech …(previous 2/10/09 Comm. meeting  #1)…it was time to face the music…see what would transpire…and if certain speakers would “push the envelope”…or play it safe….it turned out to be a mixed bag…that really covered all the aspects of speech the Attorney addressed…from unfavorable speech…which IS allowed…to irrelevant speech…which WAS allowed for a CIC member…and used to as an excuse to 2nd a point of order to quash another speaker….with the “regulars” …who speak at each meeting interspersed….

Right out of the gate…Bob Fleishman…who had previously been escorted out…in what was deemed “a personal attack” against Vice Mayor McIntee…(the comment portion was not actionable…but the exchange  afterward in a heated moment qualified as a reason to shut him down…although McIntee-disciple…Joe Couriel was left alone in an inequitable call of who was tossed from the hall….Fleishman apologized on his next viist to the podium at the next Commission meeting)….after commenting about Greenfest being an issue only to take aim at the Mayor over a limited expenditure…he went onto discuss his belief that is was wrong to approve the large expenditures for the entryway at Bel Air…the neighborhood of 2 of the Commissioners along with the monies allocated for N. Tradewinds…for marks left on the street from work done on Seagrape…He spoke of the lack of decorum coming from Vice Mayor McIntee for interruptions and disruptions  on the dais causing topics to fall by the wayside without results…ending with asserting the Town instead of looking for revenue was draining the resources dry….

Next up was Spiro Marchellos …which also produced edge of our seats response…due to the “history” between the Marchellos brothers and the Vice Mayor…the latest making the Pompano Pelican’s paper a few edition’s ago along with the front page of the Hi-Riser/Sentinel over the Pier Alleyway….Spiro spoke of an e-mail he sent to the Commission and the Town after watching the Comm. Round Table meeting where McIntee accused Spiro of “forging a signature” for signing in a woman who had asked him to do so….(The VM “profiled” the woman with a Greek last name…and did not let her speak…the Comm. went along with him…a decision in the aftermath was to allow sign-ins for others as long as the signed acknowledges it has been done)…Spiro asked for a retraction for this actionable remark…but the VM did not respond….Spiro also said the use by the VM of “Athena Boys” was disrespectful and made citizens sound like juveniles..(this writer has previously used the same reference…but will no longer , his point well taken)…He felt that McIntee had slandered him which again was actionable putting the Town and Commission at risk…still asking for a public retraction…also citing numerous acts that have targeted his businesses…and acts that Spiro believes were to cause divisiveness thus driving a wedge between their restaurant and others establishments in the town…he went on recounting the “code enforcement” being done by the Vice Mayor…and the possibility that in acting in this capacity the Vice Mayor may be violating town code by interfering in operations of various town departments…in finishing up Spiro asserted that he and his family were now insecure in regards to their fire protection, because of McIntee…making sure that while he has full faith in the volunteers, he is considering barring McIntee from their property…

Next came CIC /BOA member George Crossman…who asked for and received an extra 20 seconds to speak about carbon…no objections came from the Commission …although it was irrelevant to the business being addressed this evening….

The gentleman who last came on behalf of the Tennis Ordinance spoke of money making…tourist boosting ideas for the Town ranging from surfing …classic cars and a “bike night” for motorcycles…

Louis Marchellos  then came to the podium…he of the “Hissing Cockroach” remark made to the Vice Mayor’s wife after she was said to be “acting up” behind Louis and his brother as they dealt with her husband on the dais…..(The cockroach remark has developed legs…pun intended thanks to the VM…and later on at Comm. Comments…he did it again…Will it make the front page once more?)…A point of order made by the VM ensued…context below…..

Louis-“One Commissioner is trying to make my business fail. There is constant harassment in regard to every aspect of my business. This is not right. This Commissioner is abusing his position for personal reasons. He reminds me of a bully (#1) in a schoolyard. Unfortunately we cannot report his unethical behavior to our teacher or to our parents. As we not being Commissioners are at a disadvantage. The playing field is not even. Our only choice is to let the voters decide. And I remind you that the errant Commissioner is apt to choose one of you next. Whether it’s another business or another person in town. This Commissioner should be removed from office and censured by the other Commissioners. There is no polite word to describe him other than to name him a bully (#2). Just like a bully (#3) he refuses to give us rational for  this abusing of power.”

Vice Mayor- “Point of order Mayor point of order.”

Mayor-” I’m not going to recognize it. I will let him continue unless you want to call a vote for it.”

VM-” I’ll make a motion that we overrule the Chair.”

Mayor-” There’s a motion by the Vice Mayor to overrule the Chair.Is there a second?”

Comm. Silverstone-” This doesn’t have to do with really Town business…(although Silverstone did not object to previous speaker George Crossman’s irrelevant carbon speech), I think we got to discuss it with the Town Attorney.”

VM-“It’s slanderous!”

CS- “I’ll second that.”

The clerk was to take the vote…

Mayor-” …Clarified the motion to stop the speaker, correct?”

VM-” No the motion is to , let me ask the Town Attorney, When a Commissioner asks for a point of order does he have the right to express the point of order, Town Attorney?”

TA-“Yes, of course.”

VM-” Well the mayor did not allow me to o that. Is she out of line?”

TA-” I think you should be given time to explain your motion.”

VM-” I’ll reiterate my point of order.”

Mayor-” Yes sir.”

VM-” My explanation is I have no problem with what he’s saying but when he makes  personal attacks using the term bully(#4) he’s making slanderous terms towards me and there’s no foundation or proof of what he’s saying. That’s my argument.”

Mayor-” Okay, there’s a motion and a second.”

Comm. Clottey-” Mr. Town Attorney what do you think, I didn’t hear a name mentioned.”

TA-” I didn’t hear a name mentioned.”

Mayor-” No conversation from the audience, the Town Attorney has the floor, thank you.”

TA-” Well, a speaker can be out of order for reasons other than using a name. The motion that the speaker has spoken slanderous comments, that’s a matter for the Commission to decide.”

The vote…3-2…”2-Hats” VM & CS dissenting

Clerk-“Motion fails.”

Mayor-” I would ask you to continue but please under this advisement to adjust your conversation.”

Louis-” Yes Ma’am, I’ll make it brief…(he reminded the Chair of his remaining time on the clock)…He refuses to sit down and make peace. Instead he wastes time of Code Enforcement and BSO Sheriffs with nitpicking complaints. Why? What’s the reason? This bully (#5) must be stopped! This bully (#6) must be removed! Thank you.”

BC- the Vice Mayor responded in his Comm. comments…(will post later)…

Peanuts Wick came too speak about the conflict the Feb 24 Comm. meeting and Taste of the Beach…(no decision was made at the meeting)…the height referendum..N. Tradewinds…ethics and the Miami backup being poorly written…Oriana and the vacated property…needing to come to P & Z…and no one has ever been allowed to sign in for someone else (he must have missed the round table agreement)..

A spokesman from Leisure Towers (will post later) thanked the Commission for finally having this on the agenda…pointing out a whole row of LT residents…

Diane Boutin spoke about liking the bags off the meters…the looming lighting problem on El Mar for turtle season…looking for action…Oriana’s donated beach access…helping out each other in a small town…and Taste of the Beach…

A woman from the north end who previously came to spak out on the boats…came to set the record straight on the 2nd reading of the boat Ordinance for the next meeting which was wrongly included on this agenda under futures agenda items…

end of comments….

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