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07.15.06 -- ARTICLE: Citizen board members' freedom of expression preserved

McIntosh citizen board members' freedom of expression preserved

By CHER PHILLIPS

McINTOSH -- Citizen board members' freedom of expression was preserved at a council meeting Thursday when the town council president asked for the removal of three board members.

The new McIntosh Town Council President Joe Phillips asked the council to remove three citizen board members for signing a recall petitions of Danaya Wright and Jim Strange.

Phillips added to the agenda the removal of board members because he said he did not believe they should sign a petition against a council member and serve on a citizen board.

The three members he asked to remove were Sean Dowie from the tree committee, Joe Shea and Jim Walkup from the LPA.

All three had signed at least one petition for recall of either former council member Danaya Wright or council member Jim Strange.

Mayor Marsha Strange asked attorney Scott Walker if the citizen board members signatures on the petition weren’t an expression of their freedom of speech.

Walker said from searching Attorney General opinions, he did not think that being on a political action committee and on a board was dual office holding. Secondly, he said that signing the petition for recall or a citizen initiative did not create a conflict necessitating removal from the board positions.

“I nominated Sean Dowie,” Phillips said. “They serve at the pleasure of the council and previous councils have done this before so I see no reason why this one shouldn’t but it’s up to the council to decide.”

Phillips request met silence from council members Jim Strange, Frank Ciotti and Eunice Smith.

“I personally think it’s an insult to these boards, that’s my personal opinion and I’m entitled to it,” Joe Phillips said. “You can either make the motion or not make the motion.”

Other council members declined to make a motion on this matter or even comment.

But Jim Walkup resigned from the LPA committee. Later in the meeting, Barbara Fellman, LPA committee member, spoke to Walkup’s excellent record of attendance and said many times he allowed the LPA to make quorum and do business.

posted by Cher @ 2:41 PM,

5 Comments:

At   July 15, 2006 3:43 PM     ,    Blogger fisherwife    said...

Thank you for including this information, cutting through the red tape of two and a half hours of talk. I must confess that I haven't the stomach for politics or the patience for meetings. Ms. Wright's point of view upon exiting is important to the immediate future of the board.

 
At   July 15, 2006 6:05 PM     ,    Anonymous casey    said...

it seems that the council refuses to face the possibility that the town wants to have a voice in how it is run. mr. president and his cronies don't want to admit that the town might find thier actions unacceptable.

 
At   July 17, 2006 12:34 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I truly believe that the majority of the town council are very good people. I don't know most of them personally and think it is EXTREMELY important that this blog be kept up. Listening to the hours of meetings gives us great incite into the workings of the town and will do a LOT to dispel rumours. The truth shall set you free (I've heard it said). In my case, I believe it. I cannot attend all of the meetings, but now I can listen and make judgments for myself that are much more informed than they were a few months ago. No one in this town should fear "sunshine".

 
At   July 17, 2006 9:24 PM     ,    Anonymous Sweetie    said...

It was evident that the folks on the town council either haven't read the Constitution or they think the Communist Manifesto reigns supreme in our town. Come on members of the council, there is freedom of speech, at least in the remainder of the U.S.
Maybe you guys need to go to Iraq to see what we are fighting for!

 
At   July 28, 2006 9:03 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Just a few comments on Joe Phillips contempt for the voters right to vote. Thursday's the 19th of July. Mr Phillips would not accept discussions on the Art Davis situation, and letter to the council while he was not present but it was ok for him to ask the council to motion for Joe Shea
and two other members on comities to remove them due to them signing a petition to recall council members Danya Wright, and Jim Strange. If we can't take discussions on Art Davis without him being present then why is it ok to get motions to remove committee members and trashing them when they are not present. And Mr Shea has been putting long summer hours at work getting schools a/c ready for the new school year. I think Mr Phillips needs to resign his biased attitude and his contempt for the people of McIntosh from the council immediately. I also think the towns people need to gather and demand that Mr Phillips resign, and apologize to Mr Shea, and Mr Walkup in a public meeting of the council at the next scheduled meeting. Not to mention there is no place for a elected official to ram his contempt for the voters who voted the 11th of July and state we the council will do what we want no matter what you people think or vote for if we the council don't agree on the matter being voted on. In this case the expansion of the historic district vote. Now the matter of the passing of the historic district ordinance passed on June 22Nd 2006. I believe that now that the dead is done regardless of the towns peoples opposition to it Art Davis needs to violate the Feldman property for lack of a back porch off the double doors. This is a safety life issue per the Florida building code. The three trailers need to be under a roof and the building in the back of the property is a unsafe building which needs to be removed as per the new ordinance and poses a safety life endangerment. The Frank Ciotti place has a unapproved car tent where he parks his Benz. Every body in McIntosh was force by Art Davis to dismantle theres Frank needs to be brought into compliance. And as the Feldman place has a dangerous building on her property Franks rear building is even worse and must come down. Now if Art Davis wont enforce the codes on these issues then he is Selectively enforcing codes on the towns people and the council members and other committee members need not be bothered by the codes passed by the council as they are better than we the whole town people who are just people who must be force into submission to the great Art Davis and his honor Mr Phillips. Well its time we take this town back the council forgets they work for us the voters who elected them they are our employees and we the the people of McIntosh are the boss. So lets start acting like the boss. I mean who the hell do Mr Phillips Mr Strange and Mr Ciotti thing they are.

 

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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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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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