“The Supreme Court has held time and again, that the mere fact that someone might take offense at the content of speech is not sufficient justification for prohibiting it,”

“The First Amendment does not give some people free speech rights while denying it to others,”

“The Supreme Court has made clear repeatedly that the government cannot stifle speech on the basis that someone might consider it controversial,” . “To engage in that kind of censorship is a gross violation of the First Amendment and the civic virtue of robust debate should be embraced and encouraged among citizens.”

There are “all kinds of labels being put on so-called ‘unacceptable’ speech today, from calling it politically incorrect and hate speech to offensive and dangerous speech, but the real message being conveyed is that Americans don’t have a right to express themselves if what they are saying is unpopular or in any way controversial.”

“Whether it’s through the use of so-called ‘free speech zones,’ the requirement of speech permits, or the policing of online forums, what we’re seeing is the caging of free speech and the asphyxiation of the First Amendment,”


Are both coming to White Springs? More as the murky waters clear up. Imagine a Liquor Store in White Springs. This is an example of what a functioning Town Council can do, NOT!!! I imagine I know a lot of preachers who are going to be  upset.


With the Liquor Store, the Beauty salon won’t be necessary – (think about it !)


I did ask for via a 119 request for Municipal Ordinance (MO) 99-20. It came upon payment of the statutory proscribed fees, $.15 per page.

Reading the Ordinance I got from Pam I sent off a 119 Request to Bill Lawrence, Town Manager, for any sheet of paper that would tell me why the Ordinance (MO) was not being followed, why is the Council breaking its own law? Lawrence comes back and says that “THERE IS NO MO 99-20.”

The lightweight did it again today (Thursday) saying there was no such Ordinance as 99-20. I had Pam make a copy and place it on his desk. Don’t know what is up with the BOY but it certainly isn’t good government.


Is it possible that Bill and Pam don’t talk to each other, or is more likely that the town has decided to “double down” on its stupidity by saying something which is patently not true. I vote for the latter.

By the way, MO 99-20 is the method that the Council reportedly uses to handle Citizen Complaints. Of course the Council isn’t following their own laws by appointing a Council member to “investigate” using the words of the Ordinance Citizen Complaints. In 15 3/4 years not a single time has anyone, Council member or Town Manager, ask me about a Citizen’s Complaint. They have demonstrated complete disregard for their own law over 100 times. The Tax Man cometh.


My reasons are three-fold:

1.     My wife and I believe with all our hearts that the town in attempting to file the non-felony harassment criminal complaint against us both violated our Civil Rights (Redress of Grievances) and Slander. While Slander and 119 cases can be handled in a State Court the Redress of Grievances must be handled in a Federal Court.

2.     The Attorney we decided upon to assist us in, what one observer says is “Continual Harassment by the Town”, the case only works in Federal Court. He (our attorney), like I, don’t believe that the Third Judicial Circuit is a place where an outsider, including me, can get a fair hearing much less a conviction.

3.     The MONEY that is available in Federal Court is twice as much as is available in State Court. The Florida Municipal Insurance Trust (FMIT), who is funding the Town’s defense has a twice as high limit for Federal Court as it has for State Court.

Such are the reasons. I firmly believe the Town will lose this case. I believe that because, as in an old Navy saying, you’ve never seen a rat swim toward a sinking ship. Everyone is blaming someone else. What a surprise that there isn’t an honorable person among them.


The reasons I file so many 119 requests are four fold.

1.     The Council won’t entertain Citizen Complaints, Municipal Resolution 08-08.

2.     The Council won’t allow people to address the Council except during the 5 minute period BEFORE any discussion takes place, Municipal Ordinance 99-20.

3.     The Council won’t answer questions, corporately or individually, either in meetings or not during meetings. A clear violation of the Right to Redress Grievances.

4.     The Council won’t protect me from their police department if I choose to go to a meeting. Have been told multiple times that I would be arrested if I went to a meeting. Last meeting I went to they tried to arrest me on a trumped-up charge.

If I want to get information about the Town’s workings I must file 119 requests that the town now says are illegal despite a State Statute and a provision in the Florida Constitution. I definitely want to know what is going on in town because the Town is rife with Corruption. That’s why I file so many 119 requests, 45 of them in 2014.


All without ever enforcing the regulations. Dilapidated and unsafe structures abound in town and the Town Managers (Townsend, Farley and now Lawrence) are like eunuchs at a brothel, unable to do anything. Let’s review some of the bidding, shall we.

In 1999 (that’s right folks, 1999) shortly after I moved to town, a member of the planning a zoning board said in a Town Council meeting that the parking of my big truck on my property was lowering her property values. So it began. I did a public records request which was denied by then Town Attorney Kennon. I then did a Citizen’s Complaint, denied by the town council. I then did an agenda item request which was also denied by the town council and finally I filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit was defended by the Florida League of Cities attorney (Marks and Grey) who is now defending the Town in the Civil Rights suit. Because I didn’t even know the law well enough to fight my way out of a paper bag, I lost.

I soon discovered that the house the Zoning Board member was living in had been condemned by a prior town manager after the house literally burned itself from the inside out. My big truck was in violation of Municipal Ordinance 98-01 (the Land Development Regulations, commonly called the LDR’s or Zoning Code) reportedly but her living in a condemned building WAS OKAY. She was stealing electricity from the power company and was getting her water via a garden hose from her neighbor across the street, BUT I WAS IN VIOLATION.

I went to Gainesville to get a copy of the LDR’s since the town wouldn’t give me a copy, again in response to a public records request. It was then, in 2000, that I learned that the town, in its infinite wisdom, had paid close to $7000.00 (in 1998 dollars) to have the North Florida Regional Planning Council (NFRPC) draw up an LDR for the town. Upon inspection, the town’s new Zoning code was simply a copy of the Gainesville Zoning code with a global search and replace substituting White Springs for Gainesville.

I pushed, cajoled, begged and pleaded with town officials to re-condemn the building and the other building on the same lot. Finally, in late 2000 then Manager Henry Dunn re-condemned the two structures. Because, I believe, the property was owned by the Brother in Law of a Council Member, and the Council didn’t appreciate a “favored son” having property condemned by an outsider, Mr. Dunn was soon fired. The town paid approximately $8000.00 in legal fees and severance to Mr. Dunn.

The Town, because Kennon told them that they would never be able to enforce the zoning code again if they didn’t sue the Council member’s brother in law, then sued the owner of the two buildings for violation of the Zoning Code based on Mr. Dunn’s condemnation. The suit lasted two years and was dropped by the council after expenditure of approximately $3000.00. The condemned houses still stood as a public safety hazard and eyesores in the community. The buildings reverted back to the Brother in Law because of non-payment of the mortgage by the new owner. He subsequently sold them again when he, reportedly (and I’ve never gotten a copy of the money trail) got the Building Inspector to certify that one of the two structures was safe for human occupancy according to State Law. Even if that was true, that it met State Codes, which it certainly did not, the Town Zoning Code was quite a bit “stricter” than the state codes. A new owner moved into the other house, not the one the Zoning Board member lived in. That lasted about two years with this gentleman living in a condemned building with Town Council’s permission and concurrence. He finally moved out of the house when, according to rumor, part of the roof gave way and almost injured his son.

Fast Forward several years and the zoning board member and the man, also a council member, from whom the condemned house was getting water from, were both deceased but the Council member’s brother in law still owned the properties when he sold the property to another Favorite Daughter of the town. I again pushed for demolition of the two structures, filed two more lawsuits coupled with scores (that’s 20 Walter) of 119 requests, at least 10 agenda Items and 15 Citizen Complaints (all denied). The town spent approximately $10,000 in defending all of the lawsuits.

Finally in 2012, (13 years after the problem came to light) the property was sold to a new resident in town and a long-time resident. I again pushed, cajoled, begged and pleaded with Bob Farley, then town manager to re-condemn the two structures. He condemned one and the owner of the other one began demolition of his structure without condemnation papers. So finally, in 2014, one structure was demolished and then, finally, the second structure was demolished.

Here is the problem for the Town. If they now decide to enforce the Zoning Code on ANYBODY, all that person needs to say is that they want the same length of time to come into compliance as the owners of property 8301-000 got, 15 years. And they would win that suit under the Equal Justice under the Law provision of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is doubtful whether the Town will ever seek to enforce the zoning code on anybody.

In 2013 the Town codified the zoning code, to the tune of another $6000.00 but they didn’t include all of the addendums to the Code that had been passed over the years such as the Parking Ordinance and the various wavers the Council granted to its friends and supporters.

Now according to the Jasper News’s (commonly called the White Springs Blog) Web site the town has to re-codify the zoning code including all of the stuff that wasn’t codified in 2013. The cost is anticipated to be in excess of $10,000.00 of taxpayer funds. All without ever enforcing the Zoning Code on anyone in a timely manner.

Let’s review the bidding again, shall we. The town, over the almost 16 years I have lived in town has spent approximately $30,000.00 of taxpayer funds to KEEP FROM ENFORCING THE LDR’s. They have denied over 100 public records requests, denied at least 30 citizen complaints and 20 agenda items requests and defended at least 4 lawsuits all to protect their friends. Can you say “special strokes for special folks”? All of this has cost us money. But the real crime was in not enforcing the monetary (that’s money Walter) fines REQUIRED BY STATE LAW AND THE ZONING CODE. If the town had simply “fined”, again as required, the sum of $5.00 a day (when state law allows for $250/day) for the violations they could have put over $40,000.00 INTO the town treasury instead of losing the $30,000.00 to bad politics and lack of concern for safety issues.

But no, Walter and his cronies, including the Council member who’s Brother in Law owned the unsafe structures wouldn’t hear of it. Taxpayer moneys be damned. We can’t let Griffin win. And now the town is being forced to spend $10,000.00 more to codify an ordinance that is worthless. They need to scrap the whole thing and do a new ordinance. But what do I know. I’m just the complaining citizen.

This Message is Solely for You in response to Last Night



I am writing this blog piece for you and you know who you are.


If you will go back in time to last year’s election and the telephone conversations you had with Joe, you will recall that the statements I placed on the blog are correct and you did say those things to Joe after the arrest.  I sat by his side continually and the conversation on the other end of the phone, yours, came in loud and clear.  Whether I have assessed your intent correctly is another thing to consider but each of us has our own agenda and if I have judged yours incorrectly, then I apologize. Yet the statements remain and my reasoning stands below.


I do believe you honestly had some concern about Joe and whether that was real concern or knowing that if something happened to Joe you all would feel my wrath.


I am not here to judge you or anyone else. In the end it is we who judge ourselves.  From what I can see there have been very few people that have stood up for Joe and I mean standing strong in front of others and telling those that persecute him they are wrong.  In fact I know of only a few of us in White Springs that would and these are the people who came to our aid. You sadly were not one of them.


The writings pertaining to council meetings where Joe was not heard came directly from the White Springs Council Meeting minutes.  Just because Joe spoke his mind and tried to have WS understand the law, the constitutional rights of all citizens and point out things the Council did not wished changed, you treated him with disrespect, the type of treatment you would give a worthless criminal indigent. And yet the real criminals of this town have more rights it may seem and have the respect of the council.  In my opinion from what I have heard he was treated like a truck driver with no brains who wished to bring forth contempt for no legitimate purpose.  But unlike the Camel club who just called us names for no legitimate purpose, Joe wished to live in a town where we would all be treated equally under the law.  No “special strokes for special folks” as he would say.


All Joe was to the Council was a “Cash Cow”.  It was known that Joe would complain about the infractions of the law so you would not listen.  Instead Joe wrote a 119 request, followed by an agenda, and then a complaint and when all else failed your ilk knew he would file a law suit and your attorneys were just waiting for the chance to pump some other money into the town by not allowing mitigation for Joe solely but allowing it for others.  After all, none of you wished to hear the truth.


Let’s go back to when I did not know the players of White Springs. I don’t remember everyone’s name but it was obvious Joe desired your friendship for whatever the reasons.  Not one person at the time would admit Joe was right but rather condemned him and made it so he was arrested for disorderly conduct and ridiculed continually by your close friends who we have recently learned are in the Camel Club.   I did not question but I sat back analyzing the situation.


At least three times at Fat Belly’s when I arrived here Joe acknowledged you and after just a short acknowledgment by you, you turned your back, once almost in a rude way, showing others that you did not wish to have anything to do with Joe.  Yet you were pleasant when we stopped by your home…I would assume because no one of the status quo would view you and  associate you with Joe.


I tried again so we invited you to a dinner party at our home. You were friendly and nice and since I was new to WS the conversation kept turning to me.


It seemed as though thereafter the only time we heard from you is if there was some form of chaos in WS.  But the realization came when we attended a similar function as you. We greeted you at the door and because I lip read, you may recall the displeasure in the comment your wife made to you when she saw us approach. It was like you then rushed to speak to others and even though Joe and I were there throughout the event, you would not approach us, even for simple conversation.  We are the lepers who none in the town dare to speak because should they speak or stand up for us, they too would be considered lepers.


You, like many of the officials, here feel you are better than most.  And, for political reasons, you may not befriend anyone the status quo does not appreciate.  You speak of being a veteran like Joe; however, when was he ever invited to a Veteran’s program or even been considered to attend?  Instead he has been ridiculed and considered dishonorable when you of all people know the truth.


You do influence many people in this town and you had great opportunity to change the corruption.  Everyone seems to have their own conception and analysis of what is fair and honorable but until such time as all people are accepted and treated equally, there is no fairness or honor.


Again, I have not printed untruths about you.  I have taken the information the Town of WS provided us in its minutes, the comments made and how one person, Joe Griffin, has been treated unfairly in comparison to others.


I do not believe in untruths and my Judeo Christian upbringing would not allow me to hurt or persecute one person for sticking up for one’s rights.  And in your case, I found these so-called untruths within the meeting minutes of the council.  You were one of the people who cost Joe thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs by your requests for the attorneys to dismiss his claims without ever even questioning his complaints or even an investigation.  There is nary a person who has ever admitted they are wrong or apologized for their ill actions against Joe Griffin.


In summary, you could not have been considered a friend but Joe definitely liked you as a person.  Joe only wished for you to understand his point of view for once; rather than what other people say about him.  You are very good at ferreting information from others so you can relay it to others who have your best interests.  You know that Joe would assist anyone in their plight for fairness and many in the town have used that information against him.  A friend is one who stands by one’s side and if someone takes a shot at a friend, you stick up for the friend, whether or not it is the status quo if you know your friend is right.


Karin Ann Griffin for the blog