April was a busy month in county politics. On the 7th, an ethics complaint was filed against 3 commissioners (Tam, Bell, and Amos) for meeting with Mayor Gravitt in violation of open meeting laws.
The FCN reports that Bell said the commissioners went to visit the mayor for separate discussions about a sales tax. He considered these same-day, staggered meetings — that technically avoided a quorum and thus the requirements of the Open Meetings Act — to be constructive. Bell found it ironic that these parties could be condemned for not communicating and the minute we do they file an ethics complaint. Apparently, we should appreciate clandestine meetings that invite suspicion. If so vital, why not hold the meeting openly?
Revenge for the complaint was swift. The evening of the 7th, Bell and Tam voted 2-1, over the objections of Tea Party Patriots, to approve changes to our local ethics ordinance. These changes granted the government retribution powers over people filing claims it deemed frivolous. Strangely, the local GOP had nothing to say about this assault against the people’s rights.
At the same meeting, Bell proposed parking our county money at a local bank instead of the staff-recommended SunTrust option. Bell and Tam again voted in lockstep to approve.
Coincidentally, according to its most recent published annual report, the most prominent zoning attorney in the county sits on the local branch board of this bank. State Senator Murphy should be so lucky. But there’s nothing to see here. Move along.
Finally, April brought us a public hearing for a HUD financed housing development in the Windermere area. Newt Gingrich once said of HUD, “You could abolish HUD tomorrow morning and improve life in most of America.”
Ironic then that the attorney advocating this HUD financed development is not only employed by the aforementioned zoning attorney, but is also chairman of the local Republican Party. Tea Party, take note of this.
If our commission decides to move forward with this HUD loan, I wonder what bank they will choose to hold the money.
You just cant make this stuff up.