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.

08.10.06 -- BRIEFS: Code enforcement officer removed; new council member appointed

Code Enforcement Officer Removed, Lee Deaderick appointed interim council member

By CHER PHILLIPS

McINTOSH -- The McIntosh Town Council voted to remove their code enforcement from office and appointed a new interim council member Thursday night.

Mayor Marsha Strange brought a petition to the council signed by more than 100 residents asking for Art Davis' removal from office based on poor behavior. Strange attempted to bring this to the council last month but council members refused to hear her read the open letter into the record because Davis was not present.

Again, Davis was not present at this month's meeting.

Strange began reading the letter into the record by first apologizing that Davis was not present to defend himself. She then read the letter and testified to the council that at a recent meeting she attended at the town attorney's office, Davis treated her in a way she described as agressive.

One resident raised his hand and said that Davis made his statement by not being available.

Even though Council President Joe Phillips said Davis should be allowed to finish the cases he is currently working on, the council voted to remove him. Phillips also said that the council charged Davis to do his job proactively.

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Council member Frank Ciotti motioned to appoint Lee Deaderick as an interim council member after Deaderick volunteered to serve. Attorney Scott Walker informed the council earlier in the meeting that per the charter, they were required to appoint an interim replacement, even for two or three meetings.

Initially, Phillips blocked Ciotti's motion in a move to vote in a new council vice president before the council voted on Deaderick's appointment, blocking Deaderick from being named both to council and as vice president. Ciotti is now the vice president of the town council.

Last Fall, Deaderick lost the local election for town council to Ciotti and Phillips. The three candidates ran for two seats with Ciotti pulling 100 votes, Phillips taking 101 and Deaderick falling behind with 89.

Deaderick admitted when he volunteered he was not up on current issues. In the next two months, the council will be making decisions about the town's budget, looking at issues including a shortfall in the budget, the question of raising water rates and governing in a small town with a recall election of another council member potentially on the horizon.

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June Glass approached the council asking for a lease for the McIntosh Charter School. A motion was passed amending the lease but excluding an area in the southwest corner from the school's leased property with the caveat that the school can use it but the town still retains control of the land for future use.

Later in the meeting, Ciotti motioned which the council passed allowing to use this piece of land to park cars during the annual 1890's Festival to raise money for the school.

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Casey Girardin addressed the council asking why she could not get her site plans approved from the code enforcement officer or have her issues resolved with the code enforcement board. She said she's been waiting three-four months with nothing resolved.

Phillips said he could not speak to this because it involved the code enforcement board. But later in the meeting another resident, Jody, raised his hand and asked about a code enforcement issue and his concern was discussed by both Phillips and the code enforcement board chairman Harris Fellman.

Though there is a separation of powers between the code enforcement board and the council, all citizen boards serve at the pleasure of the council. Phillips pointed this out at last month's meeting when he wanted to have board members removed for signing petitions against council members.

The town attorney also said code enforcement would not meet with Girardin and her attorney without an attorney for the town present.


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McIntosh will have a special election October 3 for a town council member to replace former council president Danaya Wright who resigned in July.

Candidates who are interested in running for Wright's seat will need to turn in their qualifying paperwork to Julie Musselman in the town office next week between Aug. 14 at noon and Aug. 18 at noon. Qualifying paperwork packets are now available at the town office.

Wright resigned in July and had been the subject of a recall petition. She resigned before she entered the defense portion of the recall and before a second petition was circulated.

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Council President Joe Phillips reintroduced several ordinances that were previously voted down and defeated earlier this summer under a great deal of public pressure regarding land use originally prepared for the council by the Land Planning Agency. Phillips said he thought people were given misinformation about these ordinances and that he said they needed to be heard again.

Attorney Scott Walker and Mayor Marsha Strange questioned the validity of rehearing these ordinances, even amended, without first noticing them in the paper. Further questions arose regarding Roberts Rules of Order. Since Phillips was not a council member who voted these ordinances down, he could not bring them back up as business. Only council members who had voted against them and wanted to reconsider these issues could bring them back up.

After Phillips removed his motion from the floor pulling these ordinances from the agenda, neither Ciotti nor council member Eunice Smith chose to open them again for discussion.

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Phillips made good on his promise to ask the council to charge a resident for the July election to add an amendment to the town charter banning expansion of the historic district. He asked the council to send a bill to Lee Winters who he said had offered to pay for the election. No other council members took him up on this point.

But looking back at this reporter's notes and recordings of council meetings, it was not Winters who offered to pay for this election but Charlsie Stott said the committee would pay for it if need be. That need was not ever established by the council.

Last spring Winters wrote an open letter to the town's residents and the council asking them to add to the July election the option of voting on the CRA.

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Up next: Check back for Darts and Laurels and a new poll.

posted by Cher @ 10:34 PM,

2 Comments:

At   August 11, 2006 3:35 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Cher, will this meeting be made available for download? I often cannot attend the meetings but I find the tone of voice some of our council people use sometimes more informative than the words they use! Thanks for everything.

 
At   August 16, 2006 11:18 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Council removing Art Davis was for the best. We can not have a enployee speaking to our Mayor in such a manner as he did. We do not need someone that does not show our people of McIntosh some respect. Joe Phillips thinks people signing a petition is because they have been lied to. Wake up Joe the people know they are smarter than you think.

 

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Editor

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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