McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

07.10.06 -- ARTICLE: McIntosh residents want official fired

McIntosh residents want official fired
Open letter asks for removal of code enforcement officer

By Cher Phillips

McINTOSH -- McIntosh town residents will see another petition circulate town this week asking for the removal of a town official from office. This time petition organizers have their sites set on the code enforcement officer.

Casey Girardin, owner of Sportman's Cove, who in the last few weeks circulated recall petitions for two town council members, said the residents east of the historic district asked her to put together a petition or letter to address concerns with Code Enforcement Officer Art Davis. Instead of residents engaging in a calling campaign to Mayor Marsha Strange, the petition is part of an open letter asking for the mayor and the town council to consider removing the code enforcement officer from office.

The letter asks for his removal from office.
"We feel that he has violated the code of business conduct and ethics during his employment as code enforcement officer," the letter says. "On multiple occasions he had acted aggressively and inappropriately, both in action and in speech. Please understand that we below find this behavior unacceptable and hope that you do also."

Girardin is passing out forms for any interested residents to circulate and return to her. The open letter will be submitted to the town clerk for the mayor to present to council.

Davis was named code enforcement officer earlier this Summer and has not been a popular choice for the office. Part of the reason is that the town council gave Davis the freedom to act proactively. He was allowed to roam the town looking for code infractions, to write his own complaints and then enforce the code.

In the past, McIntosh code enforcement officers were required to write code infractions only after recieving a written complaint. But recently, the town council reinterpretted the wording, giving the code enforcement officer the authority to write the initial complaint.

Other concerns about Davis have centered around his approach. Resident Fred DelRusso brought one concern that Davis threatened to remove his Sago palms with the town's backhoe to a town council meeting June 8. Davis denied he said this at that meeting. At the same meeting, resident Charlsie Stott voiced concerns that no complaints were filed in the town office while Davis had clocked a 40 hour work week.

Davis' bills actually work against council member's plans. In January, town council members attended a workshop with the Florida League of Cities where they learned that code enforcement was one method of raising revenues. Due to low water rates and property taxes, the town of McIntosh had been spending more than it's taken in. Council members discussed at length in a February workshop methods in which code enforcement could be used to raise money to accomodate the losses and perhaps to even hire a town manager.

In other news, Girardin and several other McIntosh residents recently circulated a recall petitions for Town Council President Danaya Wright and Council Member Jim Strange. Both petitions garnered nearly twice the number of signatures needed, 50, for the first step in toward a recall election for a town the size of McIntosh. About 24 percent of the McIntosh residents and a third of the town's registered voters signed the petitions within a four-day period.

Florida statutes require signatures be collected within 30 days. McIntosh has never had a town council member recalled.

posted by Cher @ 9:21 PM,


At   July 11, 2006 2:33 PM     ,    Blogger Renovator    said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At   July 11, 2006 2:40 PM     ,    Blogger Renovator    said...

On the 7th paragraph: Other concerns about Davis have centered around his approach. Resident Fred DelRusso brought one concern that Davis threatened to remove his Sago palms with the town's backhoe to a town council meeting June 8. Davis denied he said this at that meeting.(NEW): Well I wont have anyone telling me or anyone else that I'm a liar so here it is read up: I Fred DelRusso ran into our town worker(you know the one that drives the tractor, or shall I say the only one we have) at the deli in our town and asked him about the whole mess and he did confirm that Art Davis has already approached him about my palms this is the reason I went to that meeting. So who is calling who a liar. I'm not here for this type of baby nonsense. I'm here to make as many friends as I can and enjoy this beautiful little town.


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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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