Friday, March 25, 2016

Florida Sunshine Law and the Belle Isle Sun

The Belle Isle City Council election results were certified today by the Orange County Canvassing Board, meaning that I am now officially your commissioner-elect for Belle Isle District 3. As a commissioner-elect, I fall under the purview of the Florida Sunshine Law. Many readers have wondered what this means and how it will affect future publication of the Belle Isle Sun.

Although there are many nuances to the Florida Sunshine Law, the basics are very simple. Communications with any city official regarding issues that could potentially come to a vote before the city council are governed by the Sunshine Law and may be requested by the public. Communications with city accounts and devices are generally assumed to be public records regardless of content, so please be mindful of this when communicating with your elected officials.

To ensure full compliance with the Sunshine Law, I will only be using my city-issued phone and email accounts to discuss city business. Therefore, I am no longer monitoring the email account. To contact me regarding city business in the future, please use my official Belle Isle email address or phone number, soon to be issued and listed on the City of Belle Isle website. Please note that based on Florida's Sunshine Law requirements, all communications with city email and phone accounts will be archived as public records subject to request.

With regard to future publication of the Belle Isle Sun, Florida law clearly states that there is no problem. In Advisory Legal Opinion 2008-07, the Florida Attorney General spells out the guidelines for a city council member operating and publishing on a private website. As it relates to publication of the Belle Isle Sun, the opinion states that a city council member may operate and publish on a private website regarding city issues, so long as other city council members do not respond to the posts.

Responses from other city council members are not an issue here because the Belle Isle Sun does not accept reader comments. This policy not only avoids the need to moderate user content for profanity, but also eliminates any possibility of our commissioners using the Sun to communicate regarding city business.

I look forward to providing residents with important information about our city through the Belle Isle Sun whenever necessary. However, my hope is that as we continue working to improve city communications, residents will be able to find more and more of the information they seek through official city sources.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 City Council Election Results [FINAL]

Here they are, the unofficial results of your 2016 Belle Isle City Council election! Remember, these results are unofficial until final certification by the canvassing board.

City Council, District 2:
Anthony Carugno - 1037
Katy McGinnis - 1086

City Council, District 3:
Karl Shuck - 1056
Jeremy Weinsier - 1065

City Council, District 4:
Larry Ady - 510
Bobby Lance - 1584

We had great voter turnout in Belle Isle! Thanks to everyone who voted this year!

UPDATE 3/15/16:

The Supervisor of Elections has updated its election results based on additional absentee ballots processed. The updated totals are reflected above.

At this time, absentee ballots have been fully processed by the canvassing board. However, these results are still unofficial pending final review on Thursday.

UPDATE 3/18/16:

After processing provisional ballots, the District 3 race was close enough to trigger the Florida automatic recount procedure. Therefore, a recount was performed this afternoon by the Orange County Canvassing Board at the Supervisor of Elections office. You can find the results of that recount posted below.

The updated totals above are now final, although they will not be certified until Friday, March 25 based on Florida law for presidential primaries. Thanks to everyone who participated in the City Council election process this year!

UPDATE 3/25/16:

The above election results were certified on March 25, 2016 by the Orange County Canvassing Board. Congratulations to the winners!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Vote Tomorrow - 7am to 7pm

Election day is tomorrow! Voting begins Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 a.m. and polls will remain open until 7:00 p.m.

Voting Locations

You must vote at your assigned polling location. Not sure which is your polling location? Check your sample ballot or use the link below:

Orange County Supervisor of Elections - Find Your Polling Location

Once you have found your proper polling location, you can click on the links below for a map:

Belle Isle City Hall, 1600 Nela Avenue
Pine Castle Masonic Lodge, 1216 Hoffner Avenue

Election Results

Get your election results first from the Sun! If you haven't already, sign up for Belle Isle Sun email alerts, which will notify you each time a new article has been posted. Emails usually go out no more than once a week, and often much less.

You can find the "Subscribe" link at the top right of the page under the Belle Isle Sun banner when viewed on your PC. This link may not appear on your phone or tablet. You can also follow the Sun on Twitter (@belleislesun) for new article notifications.