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In today’s Key West Citizen:
Key West City Commissioner Teri Johnston, above and below
Johnston furious at ‘nasty’ behavior
ADA taxi law gets approval
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
City commissioner Teri Johnston called out the entire elected panel for “nasty” behavior at Tuesday night’s six-hour-long meeting at Old City Hall, which was riddled with tension and verbal scrapping.
“These are not passionate comments,” Johnston said, minutes before midnight. “They are rude and nasty and disrespectful comments.”
Commissioners ended the Tuesday meeting just before midnight, to comply with a rule that bars them from discussing any agenda item after 12 a.m.
They meet next at 6 p.m. April 1 at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.
Commissioner Tony Yaniz summed up the contentious meeting as proof the panel has “passionate” discussions about city business.
“It’s a great sign that you have a dynamic working city commission that doesn’t rubber stamp things,” Yaniz said. “We advocate for our constituents while we’re up here.”
The only problem the commission has is its attempt to adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order which doesn’t allow true debate, Yaniz said.
Johnston strongly disagreed with Yaniz’s description.
“We’re not passionate up here, we’re basically rude to each other,” Johnston said. “We’re rude to people in the crowd; we’re rude to each other; we treat Bob (Vitas) with disrespect; we treat the mayor with disrespect. This commission is out of control.”
Johnston urged her colleagues to cut it out.
“We are supposed to be doing the will of the people. We’re up here nit-picking or trying to stand on somebody’s head so we’re all taller. It’s a ridiculous way to run this city and we have got to stop. We have got to come together. ”
Yaniz replied, “I’m glad you used the word ‘we.'”
Cates said, “You had your chance,” before apologizing to those who waited all night only to have to come back April 1.
Cates then adjourned the meeting at 11:56 a.m.
During the meeting, Cates called a ten-minute recess after snapping at Yaniz. Then Yaniz told Cates, while both stood on the dais, to “man up.”
At the meeting’s end, left undone were two lease items, one relating to the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and the other the Monroe County Continuum of Care.
By law, the commission cannot discuss an agenda item after midnight.
Cates apologized to the nonprofit’s representatives, who waited all night for nothing, saying they had to sit through “the pettiest” arguments.
On same subject, from Kurt Wagner yesterday, including the First Amendment rant:
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: FW: Random Thoughts
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 06:40:17 -0500
While watching the commission meeting Tues evening:
The city’s video feed sucks
Rossi doesn’t care about sunsets
Yaniz hates Vitas
Wardlow doesn’t understand english
Cates finally grew a pair
Is Rossi drunk?
Yaniz is a cry baby
Rossi needs a bigger chair
Young was not prepared
Rossi likes loud music/noise
Why have microphones, the commission doesn’t listen to anyone
Does Wardlow ever talk?
7 monkey’s talking in circles
And the biggest lie of the night: from Yaniz “What makes Key West a great place is we care about and love each other”
St. Thomas, USVI
soon to return to Key West
Then Kurt forwarded:
Subject: Re: Random Thoughts
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:43:00 -0400
Wish I could disagree.
And then this:
Email from our wonderful commissioner!!!!
Subject: Re: Random Thoughts
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:11:58 -0400
I hear St. Thomas is quite lovely…ever consider just staying there permanently? One can only hope!
I made a reply back into the group, which my dream maker later tore up and me along with it, causing me to be in fear for my soul, so I will not publish all of that reply today Maybe some parts are okay – if you never hear from me again, then you know I was mistaken:
Aw, Kurt, you keep sending them sweet nothings, maybe they will pay you to stay in St. Thomas. Hell, you might get a nice big fat pension out of this.
I felt the we all care about and love each other comment was especially wonderful along side wondering, as I told a Centennial Bank amigo tonight at Jack Flats, if Cates and Yaniz were going to square off in an old fashioned duel and shoot each other between the eyes – imagine the headlines:
Bashinsky wins Key West mayoral by lead poisoning!
Wasn’t last night’s MMA in Old City Hall also a fabulous testament to One Human Family? And wasn’t it a great role model for the kids from the Boys and Girls Club – thank goodness they were out of there by then. I swan, it’s a dang shame the video feed was spotty; I bet that 6+ hour sitcom could have been made into a Gone With the Wind II, and flapped itself viral around the planet.
I told my banker amigo how A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy begins. Some stupid bureaucrats dream up running a bypass through an inner city neighborhood, and while that is being protested and defended, an alien department of intergalactic transportation shows up and announces from above that the planet, that would be the Earth, lies directly in the path of an interstellar beamway and the planet therefore must be dematerialized to make way for intergalactic progress. On hearing this doomannouncement, some Earthlings said that new beamway had not received any public notice, therefore the demateralization was not proper. The alien commander replied that the public notice was published in a public square on such at such and such place on Alpha Centauri. The Earthlings said, but that’s 4.5 light years away! How could we know about that! The alien commander said, well, if you aren’t interested enough in your neighbors to develop star drive and keep up with local universe government, then you don’t deserve any sympathy. You have 10 more minutes before your planet ceases to exist. Also ceasing to exist, beside the planet and everything on it, were the plans to build a by-pass through the inner city area.
I told my banker amigo that the tale’s intro sort of reminds me of the Peary Court invasion by the British, which was passed on to the American invaders, which later was passed on to the South American invaders, I heard at an Angela Street neighborhood meeting recently. Angela Street lies right next to Peary Court, for those not familiar with Key West. The last invaders hired Jim Hendrick to do the wet work. But before he got going very good, the local Historic Architectural Review Commission and the Key West Planning Director, instead of doing the Bunker Hill thing and repelling the invaders, told them they would have to have bypasses built through their new subdivision for people not even yet identified; Klingons
for all anyone knows, or at least Romulans,
the word on the street is saying, while the little quiet Angela Street and its old conch home residents are just going to have to be tough titty casualties, progress must progress, regardless of Greed being its master.
My banker amigo said it ain’t possible to get away with something you think you got away with; karma will find and git you, there ain’t no gitting out of it.
Well, I wuz also thinking, Kurt, about what you wrote yesterday about the Protect & Serve Department over on Truman Avenue across from Bayview Park,
and connecting that to what Tom Milone
told me the other day, which was, if Key West starts using the Marchman Act on its homeless drunks, instead of putting them in the county jail for 30-60 days, then under that Act police officers are protected from any civil or criminal liability for whatever they do to the people they Marchman. That, Tom said, will open the door to all sorts of bad police behavior.
Well, I had to think about that a little while, and then I recalled what happened to that suspected homeless man in his PT Cruiser last Thanksgiving Day, for soon after being so suspected he was in about the same shape as the Earth after it was removed from the premises by the Intergalactic Department of Transportation, proving already that the Key West Protects and Serves, 13 or 14 of them, I get mixed up on the exact number of them it took to subdue that suspected homeless man with his hands over his head lying face down on the beach armed with the clothes on his back, got that Protect & Serve themselves and covering their own asses thing real down pat? Who ever dreamed it was otherwise?
So, well, Craig Cates and Tony Yaniz getting into a duel and eliminating my competition ain’t really all that far-fetched, don’t you agree?
I don’t know if you have to apply for that stay indefinitely in St. Thomas pension, or if Yaniz will sponsor a resolution to that end at the next city commission meeting. Maybe I will be able to persuade Aphrodite to make an appearance, at that commission meeting, replicating what she did at Salute on Higgs Beach at Hometown! PAC’s call to candidates in the spring of 2009, her bare buxoms kicking off my campaign flagship call for a nude beach in Key West – the hardly used upper half of Smathers Beach.
My banker friend said he still has warm fond memories of Aphrodite stopping that show dead in its tracks, and hollering, “Nude Beaches for Key West, Sloan for Mayor!!!”, and the Sheriff and State Attorney and various other prominent Key West men swarming around Aphrodite when she came back by on her bicycle with her tank top on that time, and she stopped and they had themselves drooling and she had them right where she wanted them.
No, I told my banker friend, I will not lead with a nude beach this year; but with banning (or sinking) all cruise ships making into port here. The loss of the cruise ship lemmings’ nickel and dime purchases on Duval Street will be offset by the gold and diamonds nude beach revenue provided by naturists from the mainland and overseas. My banker amigo said that would clean the riffraff T-shirt shops and Israeli trinket shops right off Duval Street and out of the town; and I said lots of conch trains would disappear, too. My banker amigo said it would be a wonderful scouring, something new and wholesome could grow there and replace the riffraff vaporized by the vaporization of the cruise ships.
My banker amigo ain’t Hometown! PAC’s Chairman Todd German, who quit working for that bank recently and went to work for a local investment fund manager. I hope that investment fund don’t own no stock in a cruise ship line. If not, might be a smart move to sell a bunch of cruise ship line stock short before the big vaporization.
Teri, I ordered a year’s supply of testosterone depressants for you to pass out at the next city commission meeting, along with a year’s supply of estrogen tablets. I figure there ain’t much hope for going at just one side of that particular kind of bi-polar disorder; gotta be holistic, treat the whole animal, which does sort of resemble a Klingon, don’t he?
Tra la la,
From the same Key West Citizen article today:
Throughout the marathon meeting, the commission made headway with several big issues, namely the proposed changes to the city’s noise ordinance, which was approved unanimously.
Commissioners amended the proposal to bar anonymous complaints about noise and to allow up to three violations in one year before enforcing a penalty.
More than two hours of public comment and debate preceded the vote.
The amended measure passed but requires a second review before becoming law.
During citizen comments, I repeated what I had said at the previous commission meeting; that this ordinance is aimed at people who make egregious noise, the terrorists, the sociopaths, who don’t care a twit for anyone else. I told the many musicians in the audience that it behooves them to become verbal vigilantes and have heart to hearts with musicians and joints making too much noise; a few bad apples ruin all of their reputations. I said I felt the enforcement provisions of the new ordinance will spawn lots of litigation, and I still like just closing down offenders for the rest of the day and night, and let them reopen for business the next day, having lost that much revenue. Maybe they will learn something from that. No lawyers, no arrests, no fines, no courts, no judges. The citizen audience applauded.
ADA taxi law passes
Commissioners Tuesday night finally put to bed an issue that has divided the panel for several months: Putting full-time ADA-compliant taxi cabs on the streets.
A divided dais approved the measure 4-3, and after heated discussion on the dais that included the proposal’s sponsor, City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, to blast his colleagues for what he called their lack of productivity.
“Let’s provide the service that’s needed,” Weekley said. ” Don’t sit there and shoot everything down all the time and want to postpone everything. That’s why we are sitting here until midnight. We’ve had other opportunities to move these things forward and we postpone and postpone and they all come back on the agenda at one time.”
Key West has 13 cab companies, but Weekley doesn’t expect every one to add two of the ADA-compliant taxis due to the cost.
“Give the small businessman a chance to get the license,” Commissioner Mark Rossi said. “If they don’t get it, it’s a lottery. It’s fair.”
Weekley replied, “Like you do with your liquor license?”
Cates intervened at that point.
The new law allows any local cab company the right to convert two licenses on ADA-compliant vehicles to standard cab licenses. Anyone with an independent cab license may apply for one, Weekley said.
A vehicle built to allow a wheelchair-bound person to drive directly into the cab costs some $65,000, a supporter said Tuesday night.
Before this law ADA cab rides had to be scheduled ahead of time by appointment. The same cab serving a disabled client could not roam the streets looking for fares.
Yaniz said the city was putting itself in danger of an anti-trust lawsuit.
“It’s about looking out for what is correct and legal,” Yaniz said.
Rossi also voted against the ADA taxi law, saying it was giving a “windfall” to selected cab companies while leaving out the small business owner. It also puts too many additional vehicles on the roads, Rossi said.
Commissioner Billy Wardlow also dissented.
Jim McCulloch, a 17-year Key West resident who relies on a wheelchair, his wife MaryBeth McCulloch and a few other locals waited for more than five hours before the commission got to the item.
The issue is equality for all, the couple said.
“If you can call a cab than Jim should be able to call a cab,” MaryBeth McCulloch told the commission. “It’s a frustrating conversation to be having at 11 o’clock at night. I’m on Duval Street a lot and I see people in wheelchairs everyday who do not know how to get around. There is no other viable option.”
I know Jim and MaryBeth somewhat. I asked them, “Who would call someone who is not a plumber to fix a plumbing problem?” Why not, therefore, give the new ADA licenses to taxi companies. I simply was unable to wrap my mind around Mark Rossi’s argument. I wondered if he has a friend who wants to get one of those ADA taxi licenses? I wondered who, other than a taxi company, would be able to afford an ADA taxi, which I think I recall MaryBeth saying costs close to $70,000. I told Jim the ADA taxi item should have been the first item on the printed agenda, given the city knew he would be there to speak to that item. Ever upbeat and ever the gentleman, Jim said it was no problem, a lot of interesting things had happened before the ADA taxi item was reached late in the meeting, maybe around 11:30 p.m.
Also in the same Citizen article today:
‘Sunset’ lease goes monthly
Commissioners agreed Tuesday night to extend on a month-to-month basis the city’s lease with the nonprofit that runs Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square — a contract set to expire Saturday.
Commissioner Weekley said had the lease expired would cause “chaos” at Mallory Square.
“There would be no regulations,” Weekley said.
The month-to-month lease will allow city staff to negotiate a longer term contract.
Commissioners Rossi and Yaniz chewed out City Manager Bob Vitas during the six-hour meeting at Old City Hall.
Vitas said Wednesday that the city is so busy with projects it is almost overwhelming to staff.
At the meeting’s start, Vitas presented for the agenda item, surprising several commissioners who said they had no idea this was in play.
Vitas said he added the item onto the agenda Monday morning.
Looks to me that Vitas and his troops are overworked and understaffed. I said during Citizen comments that back a ways in time I had spent a lot of time on Mallory Pier during Sunset Celebration; I heard plenty about the politics in the Sunset non-profit, and decided I wanted to steer clear of that. Even so, I could not imagine why this item had become such a hot potato; sunset performers and vendors could become homeless people, if they could not ply their wares each evening.
There are really important matters pressing the city, this was not one of them. Sunset Celebration is the most popular daily event in Key West; it is internationally known; it is what many people who do not live in Key West think of as being Key West. It was where I always headed in the evening when I came to Key West back in the old days, before I came here in late 2010, to live. It was where I headed in the evening then. It is truly a world-class event, for which the city pays very little wampum and receives a huge amount of good. Google sunset celebration Key West to see more pics.
Meanwhile, up County Commissioner George Neugent
and Big Pine Key way, Banks Prevatt, of Dump The Pumps, Inc. – www.dumpthepumps.com – replied to this part of yesterday’s Sloan for Mayor: in support of pussification of and detesteronizing Key West’s city government; plus yet another Florida Keys County Commissioner George Neugent constituent relations seminar post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com and www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
See below in blue. — banks
(I changed blue to bold black.)
In a message dated 3/18/2014 5:09:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
Did Dump the Pumps start a grassroots campaign yet to defeat the next infrastructure sales tax referendum? George Neugent and others have given you plenty of ammunition to fire into cyberspace, among other places. Working on this.
And. are you telling the Big Pine Key folks not to sign FKAA’s easement agreement and to all hire one lawyer to defend them against any and every thing George, Monroe County, FKAAk, DEP might try against them? Yep.
When I recommended both of those courses of action to you maybe two weeks ago, and a back up plan for the Big Pine folks was to get their lawyer to file an injunction lawsuit, since little to no work had been done by FKAA and it’s contractors on Big Pine, thus no big indemnity bond to worry about, Dump the Pumps’ lawyer, Lee Rhoe, wrote to me that I had given good advice.
I don’t see you folks prevailing, if you don’t put boots on the ground and shoot live ammo at the bad guys and gals. You are right.
Banks also sent:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, ajayfoods@, email@example.com, sallyskura@
Sent: 3/18/2014 11:42:48 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: GRINDER PUMPS
i read your reply to the woman on big pine key ..
that was with out a doubt the worst reponse possible .. in all facets ..
it has become abundantly clear that you are not in the least bit interested
in the well being of the keys or the people who live there ..
the keys and the people who live here deserve the best sewage system possible
and every body knows that the system should be a gravity system ..
i hope the powers that be are able to correct this travesty before it damages the environment ..
jim / sal
From a Key Wester, now living in California having learned of our dilemma.
Who dreamed up the idea of placing a large grinder pump on each property? The grinder pump company? The system should be a sealed system so that methane would not be a problem or a concern. That sounds dangerous to vent methane everywhere. I can see it now – thousands of methane release stand pipes everywhere – releasing methane. Something creates a spark – KABOOM! – the Keys are gone as the explosions follow the sewer pipes along the new system. Keep your insurance paid up my friend. And gas in your car to make a run for your life if needed. Oh, and do not sit on the toilet seat too long as you never know when the methane will burp and blow crap back up and at you sitting there. ha ha ha
More and more it’s looking to me like George Nuegent will not run for reelection this year, and he will be remembered in his county commission voting district, which stretches from lower Marathon down to above Shark Key, as the commissioner who crapped on his constituents on Big Pine, Little and Big Torch, Ramrod, Summerland, Cudjoe, Upper and Lower Sugarloaf, and the Saddlebunch Keys, and then told them to go to hell. If only he had pulled a stunt like that when I ran against him in 2010, or even back in 2006. I might be sitting in his office on Big Pine Key today, instead of stolling for mayor of the Intergalactic Insane Asylum, which is Key West. I’m too old, fat and lazy to run anymore.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West
mi photo taken by mi amiga Rose Dell
in Coco’s Kitchen, Big Pine Key, 2011
Rose, left, her mom Coco, right
Big Pine doe key deer observing humans