Thursday, June 22, 2006

Charlie Grapski, on being ejected from the City Commission meeting

From this morning's comments

Gotta run to court on the election case. But if you saw it - the Republicans have orchestrated the airing of the video of my being ejected (unlawfully) from the City commission meeting.

What they fail to mention is how they had set that up.

And what they fail to mention is what I was doing and why.

The City must follow Florida's Open Government law - 286.011 florida statutes.

But the City violates that law using a tactic of putting items on the Consent agenda and then approving them without a public meeting - without the public being able to observe or participate - in contravention of that law.

They place the approval of the agenda - which automatically passes the items on the consent agenda - before public comment.

Thus if the public cannot speak until public comment - they cannot speak to items on the consent agenda. Again - that violates Florida law.

The rules and procedures of the City adopt Roberts Rules of Order.

Roberts Rules prescribe that when there is a question as to the rule - you make a parliamentary inquiry.

I did. Instead of following the rules - the Mayor banged me out of order (after reading only one part of the rules - but not the relevant part).

According to Roberts Rules of Order you are then supposed to make a Point of Order - to state that they are violating the rules.

This is what you are SUPPOSED to do under the rules.

What did they do instead?

They violated the rules - and then when I stood up to inquire about the rules - they physically threw me out.

That is a violaton of the law.

But this is a town where "the law" is believed to be whatever the City officials say it is.

Charlie Grapski

Click here to link to the Alachua Project web site.

Evening update (from the comments)

Click homepage
to see my response to Hugh Calderwood's (the Mayor's husband and a key backroom politico (he was the "Treasurer" and effectively ran the campaign of 40year commissioner Lewis in this problematic election)).

Hugh does not know the law nor the rules. Unfortunately - neither does his wife - but she is mayor and is supposed to know.

I motioned to have the parliamentarian - who unfortunately is Clovis Watson and I don't believe he knows these either - read them the rules.

It would be great if the City Attorney would actually speak up as to the law and the rules - but I don't think she is familiar enough with the laws related to municipal government (Not really her area).

And as a "member" of the public - with speaking rights guaranteed by law in Florida (the Sunshine Law) and attendance rights - you also have a right to utilize the procedures that guarantee those rights are properly assured.
Anyway, long - but very interesting day - first time home.

The City held a "rally" (the one cancelled Friday) to support the city's officials. About 20+ people - but about half of them were city employees on the clock.

Interesting talk with Clovis after it - and surprisingly productive (if he follows through on what he said - I'll give him the chance).

But there is news - as the last I mentioned I was off to the court.

THe City filed a motion to dismiss - only set the hearing for 10 minutes they were so sure of themselves being victorious.

The motion to dismiss - was denied.


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