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The Big Picture?

The Big Picture?

On November 22, 2013, Commissioner Kessler published a blog post that included a letter from Wakulla Wetlands Alliance Treasurer, Mr. James Hennessey.  In Commissioner Kessler’s blog, he invited the citizens of Wakulla County to “Look at the Big Picture”.  Below, you will find a link to Commissioner’s Kessler’s blog.  If you haven’t seen it already, I encourage you to read it.  After you have considered Commissioner’s Kessler’s “Big Picture”, come back here and let’s zoom in on the Big Picture and take a closer look at the fine details.  To view Commissioner’s Kessler’s blog Click Here.

Welcome back.  There are many issues that I could respond to in Commissioner’s Kessler’s post.  I will focus on just one statement made by Mr. Hennessey…

“And while you have been informed by the county attorney that there have been no successful suits of the county based on a ‘taking” with the current ordinances, you may be setting up the county for that cost in the future by going ahead with the elimination of the protections provided by the comp plan and related ordinances, rather than simply amending them to deal with any clear issues of unfairness.”

All 5 Commissioners received an email from the County Attorney on October 17, 2013, regarding suits against the county that relate to a “taking”.  This email is a matter of public record, available to anyone who wants to see it.  Mr. Hennessey, through Commissioner’s Kessler’s blog, said there have been no successful suits of the county based on a taking.  Read the email yourself and see if you agree with Mr. Hennessey’s statement.  Click Here.

Remember, the County Attorney’s email went to all 5 Commissioners and she acknowledged in the email that she had spoken to each of us prior to sending the email.  After seeing this, you may think, maybe Mr. Hennessey was not aware of the “taking” settlement, when he wrote his letter.  Let’s zoom in on the “Big Picture” a little closer. 

On January 12, 2009, Mr. Hennessey sent an email to Commissioner Kessler regarding the owners of Log Creek LLC.  I will refrain from inserting my personal opinion regarding Mr. Hennessey’s email and let you read it for yourself.  Click Here.

On October 16, 2009, Log Creek LLC entered a suit in the Second Judicial Court of Florida against Howard Kessler, James E Hennessey, M Kathryn Gibson, and Wakulla County.  You can see the official court summons and complaint.  Click Here.

In conclusion…

Mr. Hennessey sent an email to Commissioner Kessler.

Mr. Hennessey, Commissioner Kessler and Wakulla County were sued by Log Creek, LLC.

Wakulla County’s insurance settled the suit for $200,000, plus $45,000 in Wakulla County funds. 

Are you starting to see the “Big Picture”?

Hennessey

3 Responses to “The Big Picture?”

  1. Political Peril says:

    As a matter of fact, the picture is becoming clearer with each event concerning the Alliance and its members! It is time for a recall of Commissioner Kessler!

  2. Political Peril says:

    Laws governing recall in Florida

    Recall

    Recall laws

    Contents
    [hide] 1 Charter counties
    2 Who may be recalled?
    3 Features of the law 3.1 Commencement
    3.2 Grounds must be given
    3.3 Initial signature requirement
    3.4 Statement of defense
    3.5 Second set of signatures
    3.6 Date of recall election

    4 See also
    5 External links
    6 References

    The recall of local elected government officials in Florida is governed by Fla. Stat. Ann §100.361. This statute applies to “cities and charter counties whether or not they have adopted recall provisions.”
    Charter counties

    Florida’s recall law says that the law is applicable to Florida’s charter counties, regardless of whether the county has specifically included a charter provision in its county charter governing recall. Florida has 67 counties, and as of 2013, 20 of these counties were charter counties. The counties that are charter counties are: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, Volusia and Wakulla.[1]

    Who may be recalled?

    According to Fla. Stat. Ann §100.36(1), “Any member of the governing body of a municipality or charter county, hereinafter referred to in this section as “municipality,” may be removed from office by the electors of the municipality.”

    Features of the law

    Commencement

    A recall cannot begin until the targeted official has served at least one-fourth of his or her term in office.

    Grounds must be given
    See also: Whether grounds for a recall are required
    Grounds for the recall must be provided. There are 7 allowable grounds. They are “malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.”

    Initial signature requirement
    See also: Florida signature requirements From the time that the recall petition is approved for circulation, signatures must be collected within 30 days.
    Once signatures are collected, the designated chair of the recall committee that collected the signatures must present them to “the auditor or clerk of the municipality or charter county, or his or her equivalent.”
    The clerk who received the signatures must then “immediately” convey the signatures to the Supervisor of Elections for the county within which the recall is taking place. The Supervisor of Elections must then proceed to inspect the signatures; a process that is by the relevant statute confined to 30 days.
    The group seeking the recall must pay to the county’s supervisor of elections in advance “…the sum of 10 cents for each signature checked or the actual cost of checking such signatures, whichever is less.”

    The signature requirement varies based on the number of registered voters in the jurisdiction.

    Number of registered voters in jurisdiction

    Signature requirement

    Fewer than 500 50 registered voters, or 10%

    500-1,999 100 registered voters, or 10%, whichever is greater

    2,000-4,999 250 registered voters, or 10%, whichever is greater

    5,000-9,999 500 registered voters, or 10%, whichever is greater

    10,000-24,999 1,000 registered voters, or 10%, whichever is greater

    25,000 or more 1,000 registered voters, or 5%, whichever is greater

    Statement of defense

    If the county supervisor of elections determines that sufficient signatures have been filed to force a recall election, he or she must provide a written statement to that effect to the clerk of the relevant jurisdiction. That clerk must then “…at once serve upon the person sought to be recalled a certified copy of the petition. Within 5 days after service, the person sought to be recalled may file with the clerk a defensive statement of not more than 200 words.”

    Once the five days have elapsed, the clerk must then prepare a form called the “Recall Petition and Defense”, which includes the defense statement from the recall target (but only if the recall target provides such a defense statement). The “Recall Petition and Defense” is then presented by the clerk to the recall committee.

    Second set of signatures

    After receiving the “Recall Petition and Defense”, the recall committee must then collect more signatures, equaling “15% of the electors” in the relevant jurisdiction within 60 days after the time that the “Recall Petition and Defense” was delivered by the jurisdiction’s clerk to the chair of the recall committee.

    Once collected, the second set of signatures are given to the county’s supervisor of elections, along with 10 cents for each name to be checked.

    The supervisor of elections must inspect the second set of signatures within 30 days.

    Date of recall election

    If it is determined that sufficient signatures were filed to force a recall election, the recall target is given 5 days to provide a written resignation. If the recall target chooses not to resign at this point, “…the chief judge of the judicial circuit in which the municipality is located shall fix a day for holding a recall election.” The date for the recall election must be “not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the expiration of the 5-day period” given to the recall target for tendering his or her resignation.

    See also
    Laws governing recall

    External links
    Text of Fla. Stat. Ann §100.361
    December 19, 1989 opinion of the Florida Division of Elections regarding the correct interpretation of Fla. Stat. Ann §100.361

    References

    1.↑ Florida Association of Counties, “Charter County Information,” Accessed October 29, 2013

    COMMISSIONER KESSLER JUST SERVED ONE FOURTH OF HIS TERM IN OFFICE. DO WE REALLY WANT TO ENDURE THE OTHER THREE-FOURTHS?

  3. Ron Piasecki says:

    Great information. Now may be the time to start this process for our newly chosen Chairman and Vice Chairman.

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