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.
5.25.06 -- Town Council Meeting May 11
Thursday, May 25, 2006
By CHER PHILLIPS
McINTOSH -- Residents of the Town of McIntosh met a man who could turn out to be their very own version of Dr. Phil.
At a McIntosh Town Council meeting tonight, Jim Barrell asked the town to allow him to heal wounds caused by rumor and conflict.
Due to political and social unrest in the community, Barrell said he thought his talents as a counselor of conflict resolution could be tapped for workshops in which he would make the town's residents see each others' points of view. Barrell, a two-year resident of McIntosh, pressed a hand over his heart and said the town was a spiritual place.
His proposed workshops -- which council members decided not vote to implement but encouraged residents to voluntarily organize and attend -- are part of the new wave in which the "in" thing is for council members to paint themselves as victims. Several council members complained about being the subjects of rumor. Council Member Jim Strange threatened he nearly quit and told the attending public at the meeting he prayed for them but that no one at the meeting was his friend because they'd all called him, an unpaid public servant, crooked at some point.
While Jim Strange didn't quit, Town Clerk Julie Musselman did. She said her reason was she'd been asking for a vacation for two years and the council wouldn't give her one. Musselman's resignation was on the agenda under "vacation" -- a surprise to the town and the council.
Council President Danaya Wright said, "That's not vacation. You can't just make a change like that."
Other council members and residents from the public asked her to stay and made suggestions they hoped would ease her job. Musselman agreed to work longer than her intended two-week notice but she still stole Scott Walker's thunder.
The town's attorney had put his resignation on the agenda beforehand. It's unclear how many years Walker has been working for the Town of McIntosh, but Howard Walkup's brother -- the Colonel -- hired him. The colonel had not been on the council since the 1980's. Walker said he is quitting because he thinks a client should have confidence in his attorney and the town council did not have confidence in him. Wright, a UF law professor, did not meet his eyes but looked down at her council paperwork packet during discussion and as Walker read his resignation letter into the record. At a workshop meeting in February, she and other council members discussed at length plans to remove Walker as the town attorney. Council member Joe Phillips went as far as to bring a newspaper article questioning Walker. He read an e-mail written to him at that meeting from Micanopy's attorney who refused to hear an offer to become McIntosh's lawyer.
Other business from tonight's council meeting:
- Under objection from Mayor Marsha Strange, the council unanimously passed the first reading of an extensive 77-page ordinance with changes to historical codes without reading the ordinance. Strange said, "Don't you think you should at least read it first?" This ordinance included code that allows the town to force homes from outside the historic district into historic district one Historic Board member said.
- The council set a date for an election in August for a citizen petition amendment to the town charter banning expansion of the historic district. There was no discussion of how this might affect the new historic ordinance since no one had actually read it.
- The town will continue to hold Renee Wacha's blue prints for her planned home hostage in exchange for a letter of apology because she was rude to the town clerk earlier last month. Wacha, who was not present at the meeting, attempted to bring criminal charges against the town for holding up her documents but the local sheriff's deputy attending the meeting said it was a civil issue and the case was closed. The mayor made a plea to the council to copy the documents and return the originals to Wacha. The council instead decided that when Wacha does submit her apology letter and picks up her site plans, they will void her site plan approval and refuse her the right to build on her property. Wacha will then have to start over with site plan approval process which took her a year to obtain. Dr. Jim did not interject.
Audio files for the above meeting coming soon...
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
About This Blog
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.