Monday, March 24, 2014

Commissioners Elect Still In The Dark

The last meeting of our City Council in its present composition will take place this Wednesday, March 26 at 8:30 a.m. Our newly-elected Commissioners' terms will begin at the following City Council meeting on April 1 per the Belle Isle City Charter. But despite having only one week left before being sworn in, our new Commissioners have not heard anything from City Hall since the day of the election.

Here's how the process usually works. In the weeks between the election and the swearing-in ceremony, the City Manager contacts each new Commissioner to set up an orientation meeting where the new Commissioners are presented with copies of the Sunshine Law manual, the Belle Isle City Charter and Code, and the City's latest budget report. Additionally, the Mayor contacts the new Commissioners regarding their preferences as to whether the swearing-in ceremony be performed by our Mayor or another qualified person, such as a judge, clergy member or elected official. That should have all been done long before today, so it appears that City Hall is changing procedure this year.

From the actions of those at City Hall, it almost seems as though the election never occurred. The City has not sent out a single email or notice regarding the election results. The only mention of the election on the City website is buried on a sub-page and reads "UNOFFICIAL," despite the election results being certified by the canvassing board on March 13. No one from City Hall, including Mr. Spaulding, has made any attempt to contact the winning candidates. By contrast, candidate Susannah Snavely sent an extremely gracious message to her opponent just after the election results were announced.

Attendance at this week's City Council workshop meeting will be limited. Mayor Brooks will be absent, as will City Manager Keith Severns and a majority of our City Council. Only Commissioners Readey, Pisano and Ady will be present, but a quorum is not required because no voting occurs at a workshop meeting. When our Mayor and Vice-Mayor are both absent, meetings are chaired by a temporary "Mayor" chosen by and from the pool of attending Commissioners. This meeting should be no exception. You can find a copy of the workshop meeting agenda below.

Workshop Meeting Agenda - March 26, 2014

This may prove to be an interesting meeting, despite there only being a few Commissioners present. Once again, the workshop takes place this Wednesday, March 26 at 8:30 a.m. The next regular City Council meeting will take place next Tuesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.


  1. The actions of the mayor should not surprise any of us. He doesn't want the "truth or facts" to get in the way of what he wants to do.
    This past election was just the first step in bring our city back to the "will of the people".

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

  2. Typical. Sad but typical!!

  3. Guess they can not face any hard or direct questions that may arise during the meeting. Or they are busy sweeping things under the carpet before the meeting. It sure is a strange way to operate in an open society. Hopefully this is just the beginning of changes to our elected representation in BI. It will be hard to get things turned around unless the majority of them start to do what is best for our community. I hope there will be reviews and changes made of past POOR decisions and needless expenses made by the board.

  4. What happened to common courtesy?

  5. Can't wait to hear their response to this. Fairly new to the area I've tried to give the incumbents the benefit of the doubt but the more I hear...sou fsae like new candidates for the next round of elections need to be found to replace the old guard.

  6. Can't wait to hear their response to this. Fairly new to the area I've tried to give the incumbents the benefit of the doubt but the more I hear...sou fsae like new candidates for the next round of elections need to be found to replace the old guard.

  7. Amazing - but let's face it - they're simply living up (or should I say 'down') to their own reputations. Their actions certainly speak louder than any words they could say at this point in time. Remember what happens when the light shines - the rats run! They can't even show up at a regular meeting! Shame shame shame. Hopefully when an important vote is needed "for the people" issue, they won't show up either and thereby let the new kids on the block have a majority vote for what is best for Belle Isle!

  8. Perhaps one of the Commissioners should invite an authorized individual such as a judge or the Attorney General to the April 1 meeting in case our city officials fail to execute their duties and responsibilities in a timely manner.

    We will have many more elections. There are reasons we have procedures to follow after such an election. There are no clauses reading "unless you don't like the newly elected Commissioners." This type of "filibuster" activity is unprofessional, irresponsible, and quite frankly shameful in such an election and city as ours. Is it done "all the time?" Sure, in "big government." If our elected officials are not going to uphold the duties and responsibilities of their positions, there are procedures for removing them. It doesn't take a general election to do so.

  9. Well, that was a little strong on my part! ;) I just spoke with Yolanda Quincero, our Belle Isle City Clerk to find out what is happening with the orientation and the swearing-in ceremony. She stated the Commissioners will be sworn in at 5:30 on April 1 and assured me the Mayor will be at the April 1 meeting. With regards to orientation to the Charter, that information is online under the municode and is updated every March with all the new codes. Once Commissioners are sworn in, they will be given "Robert's Rules" for the order of meetings. So, if I understand correctly, at least in Belle Isle, the new Commissioners will be sworn in and given their orientation material. The Florida State Sunshine Laws are also available online.

    Since we will be having elections on a regular basis, perhaps this "orientation" process can be reviewed and improved as needed so everyone involved will remain up to date.

  10. If the mayor doesn't want to attend the meetings, he can step away and make room for someone who really wants to help the people of Belle Isle. If the paid individuals chooses not to attend the meetings and do the work we are paying them for, maybe we can ask them to "take a walk". This city is for the people of Belle Isle not someone's ego. The people spoke on election day so let's move on.

  11. Re: "common courtesy"'s sort of like "common sense." It's not so "common!"

  12. I am not active in meetings, etc. for Belle Isle and I hear a lot of grievances against those in office.I would like to suggest a "clean slate" at the next election. Also, would like to see a" time in office" decided for all electees.NO ONE should be in office for years and years !Bring on some new ideas for our city!

    1. You have to have someone willing yo run, hence why we haven't had a election in years. I think more people will be open to run for office now tho


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