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NOT THAT IT MATTERS TO THE “CROOKS ARE US” THAT IS THE TOWN COUNCIL.

COUNTY COURT

IN AND FOR HAMILTON COUNTY FLORIDA

CIVIL DIVISION

JOE GRIFFIN ) CASE NO:

Plaintiff )

V. )

TOWN COUNCIL OF WHITE SPRINGS)

Defendant )

_____________________________

COMPLAINT

The Plaintiff JOE GRIFFIN (GRIFFIN) pro se files this action against the TOWN OF WHITE SPRINGS, FLORIDA (TOWN), a municipal corporation, and alleges as follows:

NATURE OF CLAIM

  • This is an action to have the TOWN COUNCIL, Defendant, to receive instructions from this Honorable Court to follow Charter Provisions, State Statutes, Municipal Ordinances and Robert’s Rules of Order that bind the TOWN to specific actions in procedures and furtherance of Open Government and Individual Rights and Liberties.
  • The Town Council is the final non judicial OR Quasi Judicial ruling authority for questions of law AND Citizen Complaints forwarded to and of the Town of White Springs.
  • Defendant has denied over 150 Citizen Complaints over the last 17 years. Not one of them has been investigated much less to suggest a probable cause.
  • Hence this appeal to this Honorable Court.

 

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  • Florida Statute 34.01 lists the County Courts as the Venue of cases that have to do with violations of Municipal and County Ordinances.
  • This action highlights violations of Municipal Ordinances among other charges.
  • The town charter is listed as a Municipal Ordinance, Municipal Ordinance 95-05 and 99-01.
  • Most violations listed in the complaints are violations of the Charter, or a Municipal Ordinance.
  • The venue thus exists in this court for an action seeking to cease not enforcing and to require enforcement of Municipal Ordinances.
  • Not enforcing a Municipal Ordinance by the Defendant is the same as violating that same Ordinance by Defendant.
  • Charter Provisions, including reliance on Roberts Rules of Order and the Town Charter coupled with Municipal Ordinances call for the Town to follow all State and Federal Laws and Constitutional provisions.
  • The Town Charter (adopted by a municipal Ordinance) requires adherence to Open Government doctrines.
  • The Town Charter is superior to ordinary Municipal Ordinances because the Charter was voted on and approved by the Town Citizens in a referendum/ election.
  • The Town Council is bound by the exact wording and clear meaning of the town charter.
  • A municipal charter is the basic document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of the city government. It is comparable to the Constitution of the United States or a state’s constitution. The charter is, therefore, the most important legal document of any city.
  • When adjudicating Citizen Complaints the Town Council sits as a Quasi Judicial body. They, Defendant, sit as a Judge and Jury when judging validity of any complaint.

 

    1. A quasi-judicial body is an entity such as an arbitrator or tribunal board, generally of a public administrative agency, which has powers and procedures resembling those of a court of law or judge, and which is obliged to objectively determine facts and draw conclusions from them so as to provide the basis of an official action. Such actions are able to remedy a situation or impose legal penalties, and may affect the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties.
  • As such the Defendant is obligated to provide Due Process to all concerns that come before Defendant in a Quasi Judicial mode of operation, such as the finding of validity of Citizen Complaints. This includes but is not limited to a neutral, unbiased, judge and jury bound only by the law and not any personal feelings the jury or judge may have.
  • While this court is not a proper venue for Extraordinary Wits, this action is not a petition for either a Writ of Mandamus or a Writ of Injunction. This action simply is a request for this Honorable Court to Instruct the TOWN to follow the provisions of its Charter in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

 

PARTIES

  • Plaintiff JOE GRIFFIN is a Citizen of the United States, the State of Florida, of Hamilton County and of the Defendant, TOWN of White Springs.
  • Plaintiff has been a resident of each of these political entities for in excess of 17 years and all times relevant to this complaint.
  • Defendant TOWN OF WHITE SPRINGS is an incorporated municipality organized under State of Florida rules and is located in Hamilton County.

 

CONDITIONS PRECEDENT

  • Plaintiff is under a vexatious litigant restraint from the Appellate Court (Circuit Court in and for Hamilton County) in this case.
  • GRIFFIN filed with the TOWN in excess of TEN (10) Citizen Complaints during the last 4 months.
  • Plaintiff is allowed to Petition his government for a redress of grievances per Amendment One of the U.S. Constitution.
  • PLANTIFF HAS NOT been notified by Defendant that any of the petitions were to be considered nor has it allowed Plaintiff to present his petitions to the Town Council. Nor has Plaintiff been notified of any rulings on any of the Citizen Complaints adjudicated by the Quasi-Judicial Board.

 

FACTS

  • The Right to Petition a government for Grievances is delineated in Amendment One of the U.S. Constitution. That all such Petitions are to be treated equally is in the Fourth and Fourteen Amendments.

 

    1. The Town Charter Section 2 Procedures subsection 5 (a) (2) – Rules and Minutes. “Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the procedure of meetings.”
  • ARTICLE 8 SECTION 47 ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER.
  • Votes that are Null and Void even if Unanimous. No motion is in order that conflicts with the laws of the nation, or state, or with the assembly’s constitution or by-laws, and if such a motion is adopted, even by a unanimous vote, it is null and void. No rule that conflicts with a rule of a higher order is of any authority; thus, a by-law providing for the suspension by general consent of an article of the constitution would be null and void; so, the general parliamentary rule allowing a two-thirds vote to amend the by-laws after due notice, is only in force when the by-laws are silent on the subject.

 

30. The U.S. Constitution, Florida Constitution, Federal and State Laws, Municipal Charter, Municipal Articles of Incorporation and Municipal Ordinances are covered by Article 8 Section 47 of Robert’s Rules of Order.

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF

NO CITIZEN COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATED IN THE

LAST 4 MONTHS.

  • Paragraphs 27-30 are brought forward to this Count.
  • The Town Charter of the TOWN allows in Section 2.04 for the Investigation of any complaint forwarded to the town by any party.
  • No Due Process was allowed any Citizen Complaint.
  • In the last 4 months Plaintiff has filed in excess of 10 Citizen Complaints.
  • They range from Perceived Violations of Hours worked provisions of town employees, Residency requirements for the Town Manager, Sunshine Meeting notice requirements for Town meetings, Lack of Enforcement of the Land Development Regulations, Roberts Rules of Order and Florida Constitutional Mandates just to name a few.
  • Plaintiff was not notified when the some of the 10 plus Complaints were dismissed on December 13, 2016, up to four months after they were posted to the TOWN.
  • Some of the complaints outstanding have yet to be handled by Defendant.
  • No evidence was allowed to be presented. Due Process was not forthcoming.
  • No investigations were even considered by the Town Council simply because the Defendant Town never sought to review the complaints, to provide due process to the complaint review procedures.
  • No investigations were had because, in the words of one of the Council Members of Defendant, said and recorded in a public meeting, and accepted by the remaining Council members that the Council didn’t have to investigate any item Griffin, Plaintiff, brought before the council.
  • No investigation were even considered by the Town Council because Defendant, and all members of Defendant’s ruling board, the town council, believe that they do not have to take any notice of Citizen Complaints filed by Plaintiff.
  • Such is a violation of the Town Charter and Several Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  • No Show Cause or Good Cause finding was ever made, rejected or even considered despite the fact that the Council was sitting as a Quasi-Judicial board or function.
  • Despite receiving a “Council member’s briefing Packet” for the December 13, 2016 meeting Plaintiff did not receive notice that a limited number of his citizen complaints were to be handled.
  • Therefore Plaintiff didn’t show up for a meeting that had no subject matter that Plaintiff was interested in.
  • The existing protections of the Town Charter, and the Municipal Ordinances, State Statutes if required by the Charter or Ordinance and all Constitutional provisions must be adhered to by Defendant.
  • Plaintiff is NOT seeking this court to review any or all particular Citizen Complaints as the Respondent’s Town Council, the quasi-judicial board charged by the Charter and Municipal Policy with reviewing the Citizen Complaints, can and will do its job, if instructed to do so by this honorable court.
  • This court can order Due Process to be accomplished when lack of Due Process elicits a violation of a Municipal Ordinance.

 

WHEREFORE, as due to the First request for Relief, Plaintiff asks that this court order Defendant TOWN revisit or review each of the 10 Citizen Complaints for Probable Cause. This review should include a conversation with the Complainant to fully investigate the complaint.

Plaintiff requests NO (punitive or compensatory damages) compensation from Defendant Town other than cost of fees for filing and service. Plaintiff requests pro se attorney costs of $15.00 per hour for his time in researching, formulating and publishing this legal action.

SECOND REQUEST FOR RELIEF

NOT FOLLOWING ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS IN COUNT ONE ABOVE.

  • Paragraphs 27-30 are brought forward to this count.
  • The 10 Citizen Complaints has each used either some part of the Municipal Charter, or Ordinance, a Constitutional provision or state law that some member of the Town Administration or the Town Council has, it is believed, to have violated.
  • ALL CITIZEN COMPLAINTS, INCLUDING THE 140 PLUS THAT WERE FILED BEFORE THESE 10 COMPLAINTS, HAVE BEEN REJECTED WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, THE CHANCE TO PRESENT EVIDENCE AND GET A RULING.
  • The adoption of any “no probable cause” finding by the Town Council without judicial Process is in direct opposition to Article 8 Section 47 of Roberts Rules of Order. Article 8 Section 47 is quoted in paragraph 29 (a) of this Petition.

 

WHEREFORE, due to the Second Complaint for relief, Griffin prays that this court instruct TOWN abide by the provisions contained in Article 8 section 47 of Roberts Rules of Order and also Section 2 of the Town Charter with respect to Investigations. If no probable cause found in each or any one of the Complaints that bring forth violations of any municipal ordinance, or Charter provision then that finding of no Probable Cause or any finding which substitutes for no probable cause is Null and Void. If the violation of a Charter Provision or Municipal Ordinance is deemed not relevant or ignored by the quasi-judicial body making such judgment it is Null and Void.

There are obligations to sitting as a quasi-judicial body.
.Plaintiff requests
NO compensation (punitive or compensatory damages) from Defendant Town other than cost of court fees for filing and service. Plaintiff requests pro se attorney costs of $15.00 per hour for his time in researching, formulating and publishing this legal action.

THIRD REQUEST FOR RELIEF

NOT FOLLOWING ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, THE TOWN CHARTER AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW WITH RESPECT TO A SPECIFIC INSTANCE OF VIOLATIONS.

  • ALL Paragraphs in Requests One and Two are brought forward to this request.
  • January 10, 2017 Defendant did meet in a quasi judicial hearing to discuss and find validity or non-validity of a Citizen’s Complaint which echoes the EXACT arguments outlined in this Complaint.
  • They did not follow the following willingly and with intentionality:

 

                1. The Town Charter.
                2. Due Process
                3. Article 8 Section 47 of Roberts Rules of Order

 

              1. Amendment One AND Fourteen of the U.S. Constitution
              2. Town Standard Operating Procedures
              3. Case Law on the matter.

WHEREFORE, due to the THIRD Complaint for relief, Griffin prays that this court instruct TOWN abide by the provisions contained in the articles and subsections of the rules and regulations listed in Paragraph 56 in this and all other Citizen Complaints served upon the Defendant.

Plaintiff requests NO compensation (punitive or compensatory damages) from Defendant Town other than cost of court fees for filing and service. Plaintiff requests pro se attorney costs of $15.00 per hour for his time in researching, formulating and publishing this legal action.

FOURTH REQUEST FOR RELIEF

D. NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION ON AND OF THE DECISION TO NOT FIND PROBABLE CAUSE IN RESPECT TO THIS COUNCIL DECISION HIGHLIGHTED IN COUNT 3 ABOVE.

  • Paragraphs 27-30 are brought forward into this Request.
  • At the January 10, 2017 meeting which discussed the Citizen Complaint highlighted in the Third Request for Relief, Plaintiff sought and was not answered by members of the Defendant questions and answers to each members thoughts and reasons for their decisions on the matter at hand.
  • This was the meeting where the Council took the suggestion to not answer any of Plaintiff’s Citizen Complaints said by one of its members.
  • According to Times v. Williams approved by Neu v. Miami Herald Publishing (Quote Below) Plaintiff is allowed to “know” the thoughts and thought processes of the Respondent, and its members, concerning the questions presented by the Citizen Complaint highlighted in Request 3 above.

 

It is the how and the why officials decided to so act which interests the public, not merely the final decision. As the court recognized in Times Publishing Company v. Williams, 222 So. 2d 470, 473 (Fla. 2d DCA 1969), disapproved in part on other grounds, Neu v. Miami Herald Publishing Company, 462 So. 2d 821 (Fla. 1985):

“Every thought, as well as every affirmative act, of a public official as it relates to and is within the scope of his official duties, is a matter of public concern; and it is the entire decision-making process that the legislature intended to affect by the enactment of the statute before us.”

  • No explanations or thought processes were forthcoming from members of Defendant in regard to this Request for Relief despite being asked to provide them by Plaintiff.
  • Citizen oversight means more than just being allowed to “watch the show” WITH NO METHOD OF QUESTIONING OR UNDERSTANDING THE OUTCOME OR THE REASONS THEREOF.

 

WHEREFORE Petitioner seeks that the members of Defendant are instructed by this Honorable Court to answer questions concerning their thought processes on the matter from members of the Public, including Plaintiff WITH RESPECT to Citizen Complaints.

Plaintiff requests NO compensation (punitive or compensatory damages) from Defendant Town other than cost of court fees for filing and service. Plaintiff requests pro se attorney costs of $15.00 per hour for his time in researching, formulating and publishing this legal action.

Joe E. Griffin

Pro Se Plaintiff

16589 Mill Street

White Springs, Florida 32096-1967

386 397 2951

IF I WERE SUCH A MAN…

Willy “Bobby Joe” Jefferson is a gutless wonder, I BELIEVE.
Every Wednesday morning I have breakfast with Reverend Scippio and Reverend Hutcherson. Willy knows this and last night after the Council Meeting he PROMISED to meet me at Breakfast this morning (Wednesday) to discuss last night’s finding that I am not entitled to Helen Miller’s e-mails.

There we were. Karin and I were waiting for the man to show up. But he didn’t show. Now maybe it was because his work kept him longer than expected. But he PROMISED. He could have called Fat Bellies and said he was running late or not at all. But he didn’t make that call. Instead he was a gutless coward, I believe, because he could NOT bear to hear the truth.

If I were a man of his size I wouldn’t be afraid of anything. Obviously if I were a man of his integrity I wouldn’t show up either.

STATE STATUTE ON RECALL OF COUNCIL MEMBER JEFFERSON AND BROWN

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title IX ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS Chapter 100 GENERAL, PRIMARY, SPECIAL, BOND, AND REFERENDUM ELECTIONS View Entire Chapter
F.S. 100.361

100.361 Municipal recall.—

(1) APPLICATION; DEFINITION.—Any member of the governing body of a municipality or charter county, hereinafter referred to in this section as “municipality,” may be removed from office by the electors of the municipality. When the official represents a district and is elected only by electors residing in that district, only electors from that district are eligible to sign the petition to recall that official and are entitled to vote in the recall election. When the official represents a district and is elected at-large by the electors of the municipality, all electors of the municipality are eligible to sign the petition to recall that official and are entitled to vote in the recall election. Where used in this section, the term “district” shall be construed to mean the area or region of a municipality from which a member of the governing body is elected by the electors from such area or region. Members may be removed from office pursuant to the procedures provided in this section. This method of removing members of the governing body of a municipality is in addition to any other method provided by state law.

(2) RECALL PETITION.—

(a) Petition content.—A petition shall contain the name of the person sought to be recalled and a statement of grounds for recall. The statement of grounds may not exceed 200 words, and the stated grounds are limited solely to those specified in paragraph (d). If more than one member of the governing body is sought to be recalled, whether such member is elected by the electors of a district or by the electors of the municipality at-large, a separate recall petition shall be prepared for each member sought to be recalled. Upon request, the content of a petition should be, but is not required to be, provided by the proponent in alternative formats.

(b) Requisite signatures.—

1. In a municipality or district of fewer than 500 electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 50 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

2. In a municipality or district of 500 or more but fewer than 2,000 registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 100 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

3. In a municipality or district of 2,000 or more but fewer than 5,000 registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 250 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

4. In a municipality or district of 5,000 or more but fewer than 10,000 registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 500 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

5. In a municipality or district of 10,000 or more but fewer than 25,000 registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 1,000 electors or by 10 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

6. In a municipality or district of 25,000 or more registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 1,000 electors or by 5 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

All signatures shall be obtained, as provided in paragraph (e), within a period of 30 days, and all signed and dated petition forms shall be filed at the same time, no later than 30 days after the date on which the first signature is obtained on the petition.

(c) Recall committee.—Electors of the municipality or district making charges contained in the statement of grounds for recall, as well as those signing the recall petition, shall be designated as the recall committee. A specific person shall be designated in the petition as chair of the committee, and this person shall act for the committee. The recall committee and the officer being recalled are subject to the provisions of chapter 106.

(d) Grounds for recall.—The grounds for removal of elected municipal officials shall, for the purposes of this act, be limited to the following and must be contained in the petition:

1. Malfeasance;

2. Misfeasance;

3. Neglect of duty;

4. Drunkenness;

5. Incompetence;

6. Permanent inability to perform official duties; and

7. Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

(e) Signature process.—Only electors of the municipality or district are eligible to sign the petition. Each elector signing a petition shall sign and date his or her name in ink or indelible pencil. Each petition shall contain appropriate lines for each elector’s original signature, printed name, street address, city, county, voter registration number or date of birth, and date signed. The form shall also contain lines for an oath, to be executed by a witness who is to verify the fact that the witness saw each person sign the counterpart of the petition, that each signature appearing thereon is the genuine signature of the person it purports to be, and that the petition was signed in the presence of the witness on the date indicated.

(f) Filing of signed petitions.—All signed petition forms shall be filed at the same time, no later than 30 days after the date on which the first signature is obtained on the petition. The person designated as chair of the committee shall file the signed petition forms with the auditor or clerk of the municipality or charter county, or his or her equivalent, hereinafter referred to as “clerk.” The petition may not be amended after it is filed with the clerk.

(g) Verification of signatures.—

1. Immediately after the filing of the petition forms, the clerk shall submit such forms to the county supervisor of elections. No more than 30 days after the date on which all petition forms are submitted to the supervisor by the clerk, the supervisor shall promptly verify the signatures in accordance with s. 99.097, and determine whether the requisite number of valid signatures has been obtained for the petition. The committee seeking verification of the signatures shall pay in advance to the supervisor the sum of 10 cents for each signature checked or the actual cost of checking such signatures, whichever is less.

2. Upon filing with the clerk, the petition and all subsequent papers or forms required or permitted to be filed with the clerk in connection with this section must, upon request, be made available in alternative formats by the clerk.

3. If the supervisor determines that the petition does not contain the requisite number of verified and valid signatures, the clerk shall, upon receipt of such written determination, so certify to the governing body of the municipality or charter county and file the petition without taking further action, and the matter shall be at an end. No additional names may be added to the petition, and the petition shall not be used in any other proceeding.

4. If the supervisor determines that the petition has the requisite number of verified and valid signatures, then the procedures outlined in subsection (3) must be followed.

(3) RECALL PETITION AND DEFENSE.—

(a) Notice.—Upon receipt of a written determination that the requisite number of signatures has been obtained, the clerk shall at once serve upon the person sought to be recalled a certified copy of the petition. Within 5 days after service, the person sought to be recalled may file with the clerk a defensive statement of not more than 200 words.

(b) Content and preparation.—Within 5 days after the date of receipt of the defensive statement or after the last date a defensive statement could have been filed, the clerk shall prepare a document entitled “Recall Petition and Defense.” The “Recall Petition and Defense” shall consist of the recall petition, including copies of the originally signed petitions and counterparts. The “Recall Petition and Defense” must contain lines which conform to the provisions of paragraph (2)(e), and the defensive statement or, if no defensive statement has been filed, a statement to that effect. The clerk shall make copies of the “Recall Petition and Defense” which are sufficient to carry the signatures of 30 percent of the registered electors. Immediately after preparing and making sufficient copies of the “Recall Petition and Defense,” the clerk shall deliver the copies to the person designated as chair of the committee and take his or her receipt therefor.

(c) Requisite signatures.—Upon receipt of the “Recall Petition and Defense,” the committee may circulate them to obtain the signatures of 15 percent of the electors. All signatures shall be obtained and all signed petition forms filed with the clerk no later than 60 days after delivery of the “Recall Petition and Defense” to the chair of the committee.

(d) Signed petitions; request for striking name.—The clerk shall assemble all signed petitions, check to see that each petition is properly verified by the oath of a witness, and submit such petitions to the county supervisor of elections. Any elector who signs a recall petition has the right to demand in writing that his or her name be stricken from the petition. A written demand signed by the elector shall be filed with the clerk, and, upon receipt of the demand, the clerk shall strike the name of the elector from the petition and place his or her initials to the side of the signature stricken. However, a signature may not be stricken after the clerk has delivered the “Recall Petition and Defense” to the supervisor for verification of the signatures.

(e) Verification of signatures.—Within 30 days after receipt of the signed “Recall Petition and Defense,” the supervisor shall determine the number of valid signatures, purge the names withdrawn, and certify whether 15 percent of the qualified electors of the municipality have signed the petitions. The supervisor shall be paid by the persons or committee seeking verification the sum of 10 cents for each name checked.

(f) Reporting.—If the supervisor determines that the requisite number of signatures has not been obtained, the clerk shall, upon receipt of such written determination, certify such determination to the governing body and retain the petitions. The proceedings shall be terminated, and the petitions shall not again be used. If the supervisor determines that at least 15 percent of the qualified electors signed the petition, the clerk shall, immediately upon receipt of such written determination, serve notice of that determination upon the person sought to be recalled and deliver to the governing body a certificate as to the percentage of qualified electors who signed.

(4) RECALL ELECTION.—If the person designated in the petition files with the clerk, within 5 days after the last-mentioned notice, his or her written resignation, the clerk shall at once notify the governing body of that fact, and the resignation shall be irrevocable. The governing body shall then proceed to fill the vacancy according to the provisions of the appropriate law. In the absence of a resignation, the chief judge of the judicial circuit in which the municipality is located shall fix a day for holding a recall election for the removal of those not resigning. Any such election shall be held not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the expiration of the 5-day period last-mentioned and at the same time as any other general or special election held within the period; but if no such election is to be held within that period, the judge shall call a special recall election to be held within the period aforesaid.

(5) BALLOTS.—The ballots at the recall election shall conform to the following: With respect to each person whose removal is sought, the question shall be submitted: “Shall   be removed from the office of   by recall?” Immediately following each question there shall be printed on the ballots the two propositions in the order here set forth:

“  (name of person)   should be removed from office.”

“  (name of person)   should not be removed from office.”

(6) FILLING OF VACANCIES; SPECIAL ELECTIONS.—

(a) If an election is held for the recall of members elected only at-large, candidates to succeed them for the unexpired terms shall be voted upon at the same election and shall be elected in the same manner as provided by the appropriate law for the election of candidates at general elections. Candidates shall not be elected to succeed any particular member. If only one member is removed, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to fill the vacancy. If more than one member is removed, candidates equal in number to the number of members removed shall be declared elected to fill the vacancies; and, among the successful candidates, those receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected for the longest terms. Cases of ties, and all other matters not herein specially provided for, shall be determined by the rules governing elections generally.

(b) If an election is held for the recall of members elected only from districts, candidates to succeed them for the unexpired terms shall be voted upon at a special election called by the chief judge of the judicial circuit in which the districts are located not less than 30 days or more than 60 days after the expiration of the recall election. The qualifying period, for purposes of this section, shall be established by the chief judge of the judicial circuit after consultation with the clerk. Any candidate seeking election to fill the unexpired term of a recalled district municipal official shall reside in the district represented by the recalled official and qualify for office in the manner required by law. Each candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each office in the special district recall election shall be declared elected to fill the unexpired term of the recalled official. Candidates seeking election to fill a vacancy created by the removal of a municipal official shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 106.

(c) When an election is held for the recall of members of the governing body composed of both members elected at-large and from districts, candidates to succeed them for the unexpired terms shall be voted upon at a special election as provided in paragraph (b).

(d) However, in any recall election held pursuant to paragraph (b) or paragraph (c), if only one member is voted to be removed from office, the vacancy created by the recall shall be filled by the governing body according to the provisions of the appropriate law for filling vacancies.

(7) EFFECT OF RESIGNATIONS.—If the member of the governing body being recalled resigns from office prior to the recall election, the remaining members shall fill the vacancy created according to the appropriate law for filling vacancies. If all of the members of the governing body are sought to be recalled and all of the members resign prior to the recall election, the recall election shall be canceled, and a special election shall be called to fill the unexpired terms of the resigning members. If all of the members of the governing body are sought to be recalled and any of the members resign prior to the recall election, the proceedings for the recall of members not resigning and the election of successors to fill the unexpired terms shall continue and have the same effect as though there had been no resignation.

(8) WHEN PETITION MAY BE FILED.—No petition to recall any member of the governing body of a municipality shall be filed until the member has served one-fourth of his or her term of office. No person removed by a recall, or resigning after a petition has been filed against him or her, shall be eligible to be appointed to the governing body within a period of 2 years after the date of such recall or resignation.

(9) RETENTION OF PETITION.—The clerk shall preserve in his or her office all papers comprising or connected with a petition for recall for a period of 2 years after they were filed.

(10) OFFENSES RELATING TO PETITIONS.—No person shall impersonate another, purposely write his or her name or residence falsely in the signing of any petition for recall or forge any name thereto, or sign any paper with knowledge that he or she is not a qualified elector of the municipality. No person shall employ or pay another to accept employment or payment for circulating or witnessing a recall petition. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided by law.

(11) INTENT.—It is the intent of the Legislature that the recall procedures provided in this act shall be uniform statewide. Therefore, all municipal charter and special law provisions which are contrary to the provisions of this act are hereby repealed to the extent of this conflict.

(12) PROVISIONS APPLICABLE.—The provisions of this act shall apply to cities and charter counties whether or not they have adopted recall provisions.

History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 74-130; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 12, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 77-279; s. 1, ch. 81-312; s. 20, ch. 83-217; s. 17, ch. 89-338; s. 15, ch. 90-315; s. 549, ch. 95-147; s. 14, ch. 95-280; s. 1, ch. 2000-249; s. 5, ch. 2001-40; s. 8, ch. 2002-281; s. 13, ch. 2008-95.

Copyright © 1995-2017 The Florida Legislature • Privacy

Rhett Bullard feels the Town is immune no matter what it does to others, including another councilor, but he very well may be in trouble in Helen Miller’s case

Mayor Rhett Bullard continually feels that councilors are immune from all Liability….but that immunity is LIMITED AND establishes the limits by which the councilors may be immune..  The State Legislature provides limited sovereign immunity by establishing specific limits by which the Town of White Springs may be sued.

 

 

The Town of White Springs by Legislation effective July 1, 1974 provides limited Sovereign Immunity, also known as crown immunity.

 

 

Until 1974, a legal doctrine was applicable whereby a sovereign or government entity cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suits or criminal prosecution.  Basically the Town prior to 1974 would be immune from lawsuits or other legal actions excepts when it consents to them.  Historically, this was an absolute doctrinal position that held Federal, State and local governments immune from any tort liability arising from the activities of government.  These days, the application of sovereign immunity is much less clear-cut, as different governments have waived liability in differing degrees under differing circumstances.

 

 

The statute which pertains to the maximum limit allowable under the tort claims against a government entity, including the Town of White Springs, is as follows:

 

 

(5) The state and its agencies and subdivisions shall be liable for tort claims in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, but liability shall not include punitive damages or interest for the period before judgment.

 

 

 

Neither the state nor its agencies or subdivisions shall be liable to pay a claim or a judgment by any one person which exceeds the sum of $200,000 or any claim or judgment, or portions thereof, which, when totaled with all other claims or judgments paid by the state or its agencies or subdivisions arising out of the same incident or occurrence, exceeds the sum of $300,000.

 

However, a judgment or judgments may be claimed and rendered in excess of these amounts and may be settled and paid pursuant to this act up to $200,000 or $300,000, as the case may be; and that portion of the judgment that exceeds these amounts may be reported to the Legislature, but may be paid in part or in whole only by further act of the Legislature.

 

Notwithstanding the limited waiver of sovereign immunity provided herein, the state or an agency or subdivision thereof may agree, within the limits of insurance coverage provided, to settle a claim made or a judgment rendered against it without further action by the Legislature, but the state or agency or subdivision thereof shall not be deemed to have waived any defense of sovereign immunity or to have increased the limits of its liability as a result of its obtaining insurance coverage for tortious acts in excess of the $200,000 or $300,000 waiver provided above.

 

The limitations of liability set forth in this subsection shall apply to the state and its agencies and subdivisions whether or not the state or its agencies or subdivisions possessed sovereign immunity before July 1, 1974.

 

  1. This is a perplexing problem in the least for those individual members, employees and volunteers of the Town. In the event of an occurrence of Bodily Injury including death and Property Damage, the individual members do not have such sovereign immunity personally and may be sued personally as well as for punitive damages (damages exceeding simple compensation and awarded to punish the defendant).  Punitive or exemplary damages are excluded by statute and would have to be paid outside of the limits provided under the limited sovereign immunity of the Town, by the individuals who committed what may be considered a malicious act.   The Trust under which the Town is insured, in its sole discretion may investigate, settle, coordinate the defense of claims or counts whether suits which may not be expressly covered by this Agreement,

 

Similar to all insurance policies there are exclusions for which the “Trust” would not have to provide coverage.  Some of these exclusions under the General Liability policy include but are not limited to:  

  • Willful violation of any federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation committed by or with the knowledge or consent of any member or violation of public trust.

 

  • fines, punitive or exemplary damages or any non-compensatory damages or penalties imposed pursuant to any federal or state anti-trust, civil rights, anti-discrimination or racketeer influence and control organization (RICCO) laws;

 

 

  • to any claim, demand or action seeking injunctive, declaratory, writ of mandamus or any other non-monetary relief against a designated member or any of its agents;

 

  • to any injury arising out of any act committed by the member with actual malice;

 

 

Exclusions – auto exclusion except parking an auto on the premises; racing speed or demolition exclusion; mobile equipment used in racing, demolition, etc the operation of a trailer used with mobile equipment; amusement devices; water theme parks, watercraft over 35 feet ;law enforcement watercraft over 52 feet; passengers of watercraft, barge lighters,etc; aircraft exclusion except the exclusion doesn’t apply to parked aircraft on a premises; contaminants exclusion; lead exclusion; surface or subsurface degradation and deterioration; war exclusion, other insurance exclusion SS, WC, employers liability, unemployment or disability, contractual liability except incidental contracts; Property damage to property of members; property damage to premises alienated; loss of use of tangible property; products exclusion; completed operations exclusion; any act, error or omission by a member committed while acting outside the scope of his employment; unentitled remuneration; willful violation of any federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation committed by or with the knowledge or consent of any member or violation of public trust.

Also excluded operation of the principles of eminent domain, condemnation proceedings, inverse condemnation or takings law EXCEPT inverse condemnation or claims arising from Ch. 95-181 Bert Harris Act Laws of FL.; rendering or failure to render professional services; failure to supply utilities or services of a designated member; failure to supply quality of power, steam, pressure or fuel; violations of ERISA;; inadequacies of water flow, dam, dyke ditches, gates, sewers, water sheds, channels, culverts or drains;  fines, punitive or exemplary damages or any non-compensatory damages or penalties imposed pursuant to any federal or state anti-trust, civil rights, anti-discrimination or racketeer influence and control organization (RICCO) laws; damages because of special acts of the legislature; nuclear energy liability exclusion; to personal injury  publications or utterances claims prior to coverage date; errors and omissions; to any claim, demand or action seeking injunctive, declaratory, writ of mandamus or any other non-monetary relief against a designated member or any of its agents; liquor liability exclusion EXCE[T serving alcoholic beverages without charge at public functions; Sexual action exclusion except for Bodily Injury or Personal Injury coverage;

These types of exclusions may constitute a lack of coverage on the part of the “Trust” even though defense may be provided.  Unfortunately if Members individually are found to have caused such torts or criminal acts, they may have to find their own respective attorneys and be subject to punitive or exemplary damages.  Helen Miller’s case involves Personal Injury (i.e., slander, libel and defamation of character).

 

Karin for the blog

 

Walter McKenzie was my hero at the July 11th meeting with Tom Moore a close second

I have to admit it is embarrassing to have Tonja Brown as our vice Mayor.  A vice mayor represents White Springs in the event the Mayor is absent and Walter McKenzie is an excellent representative being active in what transpires in White Springs as well as our history.  He of course writes weekly in the Jasper News and is articulate, something Brown is not.  Brown’s conversations are embarrassing but since White Springs has a bad reputation already, perhaps she is the perfect representative.

Rhett Bullard apparently got elected on some panel for the Florida League of Cities (apparently jealous of Helen Miller who was beloved by the League and who won a prestigious award).   Walter McKenzie, during the time he was Vice Mayor was asked and voted upon to attend the Meeting.  Tonight Tonja Brown made it clear that she was intending to go so Walter McKenzie recused himself stating there was no need for three people to attend.  Knowing how well McKenzie represents White Springs, Rhett Bullard then agreed that he would attend with Tonja Brown but it appeared that McKenzie’s recusal got Bullard so shook up that he barely could remember Brown’s name.   lol

Tom Moore as a representative of the special events committee, made a formal complaint regarding our Town Manager using the funds which have been budgeted for the Special Events committee without advising the committee.  Mr. Moore explained that the Special Events Committee is an extension of the town council and that they need to be advised.   So much for the Tebo Bullard team who complain about Helen Miller handling projects we have handled for years without a requisition….yet it is okay for our Town Manager Tebo to decide about things without council approval.

 

I can’t wait to see how Ms. Brown represents the Town of White Springs.  Having no business experience and possibly no education to serve her, it should be hilarious.  The humor behind this is that Rhett Bullard shows how ignorant a person he has following in his footsteps.

Way to go McKenzie and Moore.  You have done very well.

By the way, Ms. Tebo who was in such a hurry to place false accusations against Helen Miller in the Jasper News, has not seen fit to respond to Helen Miller’s attorney’s letter or determine a hearing date.  That should have been discussed by the Council but I believe Rhett Bullard may be scared shitless (sorry for the profanity).  This Helen Miller situation has been malicious and possibly the General Liability policy may not cover it because that would be an exclusion. I guess Jefferson, Brown and Bullard may have to fork out some of their own money for their slander and defamation of another council member by stating guilt before innocence.

 

Karin for the blog

 

.  Some of these exclusions under the General Liability policy include but are not limited to:  

  • Willful violation of any federal, state, or local law, ordinance or regulation committed by or with the knowledge or consent of any member or violation of public trust.

  

  • to any claim, demand or action seeking injunctive, declaratory, writ of mandamus or any other non-monetary relief against a designated member or any of its agents;

 

  • to any injury arising out of any act committed by the member with actual malice;   Brown, Jefferson and Bullard fit the crime.

 

 

These types of exclusions may constitute a lack of coverage on the part of the “Trust” even though defense may be provided.  Unfortunately if Members individually are found to have caused such torts or criminal acts, they may have to find their own respective attorneys and be subject to punitive or exemplary damages.

 

Karin for the blog

POST: RECALL OF TOWN MANAGER

Recall of Town Manager

Joe Griffin godforjoe@gmail.com

3:35 PM (23 minutes ago)

to Stacy, Rhett, Walter, Willie, Tonja, Helen
 Please provide me an exact listing of the requirements for the town citizens to recall a Town Manager. As you have found the Charter  is woefully incomplete on such requirements. Please provide the requirements for a Binding and a non-binding vote of confidence in the Town Manager by the electors. Please also provide the authority proof, the legal citation, for all such requirements.
I have come to find that a majority of the people I talk to want you recalled, for obvious reasons. Please provide the requirements, each and every step for such a recall by the voters of the Town of White Springs.

                The Fence Test

                The Fence Test

You can’t get any more accurate than this!

This is straight forward country thinking.

by Jeff Foxworthy

Which side of the fence?

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.

If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.

If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.

If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.

A Democrat demands that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.

A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.

If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican is unhappy with an election, he grumbles and goes to work the next day.

If a Democrat is unhappy with an election, he burns down a Starbucks, throws rocks at cops and takes two-weeks off for therapy.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.

A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended.”

 

Well, I forwarded it

FOR TUESDAY NIGHT’S MEETING.

CITIZEN COMPLAINT

TO BE ADJUDICATED ACCORDING TO

RLOBERTS RULES OF ORDER AND

FLORIDA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

 

May 29, 2017

Citizen complaints that Stacy Tebo, town manager, did overstep her responsibilities of her position when she found and delivered a TIRATE against a council member. Nothing, repeat nothing, in the town charter, the rules and procedure manual, Robert’s Rules of Order or common sense says that she can openly CHASTIZE her boss, or a member of her boss, openly and in such a visible way as she on May 9th, 2017 and the Town Council meeting.

She usurped the power and authority of the Council. This is one of the reasons she was terminated in Debary. This is exactly why she got fired in Debary, talking to individual members of the Council in public session. What flaw in her character makes her think she can chastise her boss’s is beyond me but it has got to stop.

She is not the Council and should not claim to be so. She has opened the door to a slander and defamation suit which the town would certainly not win with the article published in the Jasper News.

Citizen demands an immediate quasi Judicial hearing on this matter in accordance with the Town Charter.

 

Joe E. Griffin

FROM THE JASPER NEWS WEB SITE WE READ….

WHITE SPRINGS — Council member Helen Miller has requested a public hearing regarding her seat forfeiture from the White Springs Town Council.

Miller responded via a letter from her attorney Mark Herron on Thursday.

According to Town Manager Stacy Tebo, Miller received the official letter of notice for forfeiture this past Monday and had seven days to respond by letter requesting a hearing.

The purpose of the hearing is for Miller to provide evidence in opposition of the council’s decision to declare her seat forfeited.

In the letter, Herron requested copies of all “notices, pleadings and papers with reference to this matter.”

After a lengthy discussion at the June 13 meeting, the White Springs Town Council passed a motion to declare the seat forfeited with a 3-1 vote, with Walter McKenzie voting against.

The review of Miller came after Tebo read a prepared statement regarding Miller’s actions during manager comments at the May 9 meeting.

According to Tebo, Miller purchased food, drinks, supplies, decoration, plaques and more without consulting her.

Tebo added she did not know about the purchases until she received the credit card bills and invoices the following month.

Tebo called Miller a “rogue council member operating on her own” and urged the council to address the problem.

Prior to the decision at the June meeting, the council members reviewed a packet, which included more than 200 pages of receipts, purchase order request forms, emails, copies of Facebook posts and an affidavit from William Lawrence, former town manager, stating his support of Tebo and examples of Miller’s actions while he was manager.

WHAT IS UP FOR TUESDAY?

Heard an interesting rumor this afternoon about the Council’s business this coming Tuesday. First off lets just say that Tuesday is not, repeat NOT, Helen’s trial, if you want to call it that.

What will the Council decide, if anything, about Helen’s trial? There are three options, as you might well figure. Option One  is  to do nothing, to keep the prior charges in place even though they are against the Town Charter. This is Willie and Tonja deciding, well, they don’t really decide, to let the dog lie there and not do anything and just let the Attorneys battle it out. I see this as the most logical result of Tuesday night’s meeting.

Option two is to drop the charges against Helen for fear that, when Willie gets defeated in the next election, and he will get defeated regardless of what they do about Helen, because he is a toad-oh with no ability to think for himself. the NEW Majority will bring similar charges against Rhett and Tonja. BE still my heart.

Option Three is that they, the Council, decide, to double down on the charges against Helen even though they can’t be proven in a court of law. Her attorney will see to that. In case you missed it Helen’s Attorney is formerly the head of the State Ethics Commission. He won’t put up with the lack of Ethics displayed by Rhett and Tonja and Willie.  If he doesn’t take the three of them to the Circuit Court, which is what the Charter says, then he is for sure to take Willie, Rhett and the bastion of legal thinking, Tonja to the State Ethics Board for violations of Florida Statute 112.313 (6). Wouldn’t that be sweet.

Anyway, what I heard someone say to day is they believed the Council will attempt too drop the matter entirely, Option 2 above. They will do this because of two reasons, so the thinking goes. Number 1 is that their attorney can’t beat Helen’s attorney, even if it is someone from the firm of Marks Grey operating for the Florida League of Cities. If it is not someone from a League of Cities law firm then that leaves Koberlein, who has advised Helen to do the acts she is charged with. And Number 2 is that Koberlein is such a weak lawyer that he can’t possibly beat Helen’s guy in a one on one match up. The thinking goes that Koberlein will recuse himself for a conflict of interest because of his prior conversations with Helen about doing the things she is charged with and approving them, or at least not advising Helen to stop them.

In short, maybe nothing will happen Tuesday night but that would require Willie and Tonja to grow a backbone, a highly unlikely event. Some would say NOT A CHANCE.

Oh yes. If Helen is forced into court and wins on a slander charge, which is what she will allege, Willy, Tonja and Rhett will have to pay for Helen’s Attorney fees out of their own pockets. How sweet that would be.

Ya’ll come Tuesday night. There may not be any fireworks but there may be significant Fireworks. It could look like 9 PM at Disney world.