2009 Hometown! Call to Candidates at Salute Ristorante on Higgs Beach
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Pedaling my bicycle to Hometown! PAC’s call to candidates yesterday afternoon at Salute, it came to me to tell the audience I am the off the wall candidate because my suggestions to help the city work if they are used, while other suggestions are spaghetti thrown against a wall, hoping they will work.
Earlier in the day, a popular Key West elderly woman had fondly reminded me of Hometown!s howler Call to Candidates in 2009, when topless Aphrodite burst into that event and shouted, “Nude beaches for Key West! Sloan for mayor!” Taking that as cue, and my landlady’s enthusiastic approval, I wore my only remaining campaign t-shirt from the 2009 race, a bona fide relic three women howled over at Salute and said they want one just like it!
back of t-shirt, above, below, same t-shirt after the damsel redesigned it to her liking
I figured maybe 300 people were there yesterday evening, the crowd spilled out onto the sand and pathway in front of Salute, and into the parking lot on the west side; it was the best-attended Hometown! Call to Candidates I had attended.
Todd German, Hometown!’s Chairman,
told me when I got there that the mayor candidates would speak last. I said I had figured that, it would cause people to stick around until the fun part.
The beauty pageant hopefuls each got 2 minutes to introduce themselves and wow the audience.
For a while I sat at Hometown!’s table in front of the west entrance to Salute, talking with Hometown! members who knew me from past times. I said I probably had attended more candidate forums than all the other candidates there last night added up.
A fellow, who said he was one of Hometown!’s founders, said, he had not agreed with me when I said years ago that Hometown! should not put on candidate forums and also then endorse candidates in the different races. But he had come around to agreeing with me, and after Hometown! stopped endorsing candidates, the attendance at Hometown! events took off.
I said the reason I came out against Hometown! endorsing candidates was because, after a candidate Hometown! endorsed got elected, it was Hometown!’s duty to stick with and ride herd on its now elected official for the duration of his/her time in office. But Hometown! wasn’t doing that; it was disappearing after each election, which just was not right when it was endorsing candidates, who were then being elected. The fellow agreed.
Several amigas I had not seen in a while said I look a lot younger. I said, that’s because I cut off the white beard. One amiga asked if I was using Botox? I said, no, just a razor; I’d heard stories of people having terrible trouble after using Botox. She said, yes, she’d heard similar stories.
Several men had similar comments, without Botox. I said I went into Witness Protection, but now my cover is blown.
Here’s Gwen Filosa’s Key West Citizen – www.keysnews.com – article on last night’s beauty pageant, which featured only one woman candidate, Bonnie Helms, a local lawyer running for a local judge position. My thoughts in italics, more of my thoughts after Gwen’s article.
Election event ends in drama
Crowd boos Yaniz’s indecision
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
City Commissioner Tony Yaniz was booed and heckled Monday at Hometown! PAC’s candidates night after he refused to say whether he will run for mayor.
Tony at 2011 Hometown! PAC Call to Candidates
Yaniz was the final speaker at the event, which drew at least 200 people to Salute restaurant at Higgs Beach, where Hometown! organizers welcome candidates and others considering a run for office this year — School Board, Mosquito Control District Board, county commissioner, circuit court judge, Key West mayor, the Florida House and governor — in advance of the Aug. 26 primary and Nov. 4 general election.
Each was allotted two minutes at the microphone.
Most of Yaniz’s time was spent arguing with emcee Todd German over whether he could still speak, given the fact he opened his remarks by saying, “I’ve decided I’m not running.”
Yaniz was joking, referring to perennial candidate Sloan Bashinsky’s declaration moments earlier that only someone insane would run for mayor.
“It’s a hell job,” said Bashinsky, who has never held office despite several attempts at various levels of government. “Because of the hell you catch when you get it. You’ve got to be crazy to do it.”
All of what I said was, at a recent community meeting, Mayor Craig Cates and I had agreed that anyone who wants to be mayor is insane because of the hell the mayor catches.
Qualifying for elections is June 16-22, except for judicial races, which is April 28-May 2.
Yaniz’s opening line didn’t draw laughter, but rather a question from a woman in the front row wearing a blue Tegan Slaton for Judge T-shirt about why he was up there if he wasn’t running for mayor.
Yaniz, wearing a blue button that said, “It’s time!” briefly stepped off the stage with a quizzical look on his face.
I did not think Tony was joking when he said he was not going to run for mayor this year. Then, Todd intervened, tried to get Tony to say more, and read on …
“Why’d you call it ‘testing the waters’ then?” Yaniz asked German, quoting the longtime event’s slogan about who is eligible to speak — prospective candidates and those who have already filed the paperwork, such as Key West Mayor Craig Cates and Bashinsky.
Yaniz contended he had been invited to speak. German, after all, had given him an introduction that included telling the crowd Key West may have an opening for city commissioner soon.
German pointed out Commissioner Teri Johnston in the back of the crowd and told her an election is preferable to an appointment to fill Yaniz’s commission seat if need be.
Yaniz can’t sit as a commissioner while running for mayor. He would have to give up his elected seat.
The mayoral stump speech drew heckling that included one of Yaniz’s recent insults to the mayor at Old City Hall.
“Man up!” a few people shouted from the audience seated at the beachside restaurant. Last month, Yaniz told Cates to “man up” during a break at a City Commission meeting after Cates said he wished Yaniz would just run against him once and for all.
The Hometown PAC crowd Monday included many who feel the same way.
“We’re tired of this bully stuff,” a man in the back said as Yaniz questioned German over the rules of the event.
Yaniz tried to recover, mentioning the importance of affordable housing in Key West.
“The legacy of the city of Key West is at stake here,” Yaniz said. “If you really believe the cruise ship issue is over you’re out of your mind.”
A chorus of boos came when the first-term commissioner, who beat former city manager Julio Avael for the seat in 2011, left the stage.
“I’m still testing the waters,” Yaniz said after he was off-stage, still irked at German’s interruption. “He tells me if I’m not running not to speak.”
Tony went on to say he is listening to his constituents and will run if they want him to run.
Moments after leaving the stage, Yaniz headed toward his girlfriend, Becky Balcer, who told him, “Do not take the bait.”
Tony not only took the bait, he swallowed it hook, line and sinker, down to his gonads, which continue to appear to be where his brain resides.
Cates spoke first, saying the city was in great shape under his watch and telling the crowd he considers himself a mechanic, not a politician, referring to his career in racing and later an auto parts store owner.
Cates did note the campaign time he has had to invest for the two-year job, which last year was cut in half so Key West could sync its elections with statewide contests.
“This is my fourth term within five years,” Cates said. “Not that many people have had to run that many times.”
After Tony was done outing himself, Todd told him, and the audience, that Sloan is a friend of his, and he therefore can say he knows Sloan is crazy. I raised a thumb skyward.
Todd told me afterward that he told Tony while he had the mike, the audience did not hear it, that he was making a fool of himself, and did he really want to take Todd on, on Todd’s turf? Tony then proceded to take Todd on, on Todd’s turf, and most of the audience, too; even as some Tony supporters cheered him. The way the audience sounded, they were about 90 percent against Tony.
Afterward, I told Todd and several other people that I didn’t recall ever hearing a candidate at a forum be booed like that, and what happened with Tony was arranged by the angels, who wanted the public to see the real Tony, and the audience flat got to see the real Tony. I also said, if Tony gets elected mayor, some city commissioners will resign because they do not want to put up with Tony running city commission meetings. No one, not even Todd, said I was crazy for saying it.
Summarizing my own beauty pageant remarks, I told the audience that I doubted I could match what happened in 2009, when a pretty topless young woman burst into this same event hollering, “Sloan for Mayor! Nude Beaches for Key West!” …
I am the off the wall candidate, because my ideas work if they are used …
If that beach out there is turned into a nude beach, it will be covered with people and there won’t be enough hotel rooms …
Craig told me when he ran the first time, 2009, that he was only going to run one time, so he has himself to thank for running 4 times …
At a recent community meeting, Craig and I both agreed that anyone who wants to be mayor is insane because of the hell the mayor catches, it’s a hell job …
Some of you in the audience know me, some do not, you can learn about me and my off the wall campaign by checking out www.goodmorningkeywest.com, something new is there each day, up by noon, or sooner, a daily off the wall state of the city union report and other off the wall stuff …
Truman Waterfront is spaghetti thrown against a wall, and it’s still on the wall, it will not be a free park, it will be a fee park, you are going to pay for it in higher taxes …
I was out of time, but I should have said, using Truman Waterfront for city-owned and operated affordable housing a waitress can afford on her wages, or using it for a city-owned and operated RV and tent camping park, would filled a big need and generate revenue for the city and pay for itself …
Then, Tony Yaniz got the mike and, with Todd German’s able assistance, put all of Tony into plain view.
Todd told me afterward, when the Navy conveyed Truman Waterfront to the city years ago, a stipulation in the conveyance was that the land would be developed in a way that would pay for itself.
A lot of people told me that they liked my comments, I make sense, I call it as I see it, they are glad I am in the race.
One man said I am the people’s candidate. He was right, but during my citizen comments, duh, I did not say, duh, my definition of affordable housing is, if a waitress can afford it on her wages, then it’s affordable; otherwise, calling it affordable is a joke, a lie. I had rehearsed that very line pedaling my bicycle to Salute. Duh.
I did not say the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West, and have been since cruise ships first started calling on Key West, and that needs to stop because those ships are dumping their untreated to barely treated sewerage and their ground up food scraps chum into the ocean, and that is hurting the reef and putting pathogens into the ocean, which cause MRSA and other horrible medical problems.
I did not say it’s madness to put a new homeless shelter next to a championship golf course, sandwiched between an assisted living facility and a botanical garden, down the street from an elementary school – some homeless people are truly dangerous, most are addicts, many have diseases, the only safe, sane, place for a new homeless shelter is on the Sheriff’s land.
I felt I could have done a better job. Sorry about that angels. Sorry about that people of Key West.
Later last night, Todd called me and we talked about the event and other matters. We laughed bit, wondered what lies ahead? Todd said a video of the event should be available on Hometown!’s website soon.
The fireworks are at the end, after Mayor Cates’ part. Me, then Tony and Todd. Ya’ll come!
Moving laterally, tonight brings two public meetings I want to attend, but cannot, since they overlap in time.
There is a Keys Water Quality conference in the Eco-Discovery Center on Truman Waterfront, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Speakers with impressive credentials will be there, but not Brian La Pointe, PhD,
an internationally-recognized ocean enviromental biologist, whose view of what killed most of our reef is not liked by mainstream. His view, which the angels tell me is the correct view, is nitrogen chemical runoff from south Florida sugar and other farms, lawns and golf courses made its way down rivers and through the Everglades into the Bay of Florida, wreaking havoc there, and then the nitrogen runoff migrated down to the Keys and killed most of the reef. Because of that view, Biran told me himself about a year ago, Tallahassee stopped chemical runoff from being dumped into the Everglades and had it routed into Lake Okeechobee and dumped out of the lake into an east-west canal, in which the chemical runoff was carried to the east and west coasts of Florida, where it killed the sea grass manatees eat, but excited growth of red algae (weed), the red tide. Manatee tried to eat the red weed, which is toxic to them, and they started getting sick and dying. East and west Florida communities raided hell, and now Tallahassee is going to start letting the chemical runoff be dumped into the Everglades again, which means the chemical runoff will end up in the Bay of Florida, and wreak havoc there again, and then migrate down to the Keys and kill more of the reef and the undersea coral farms we give taxpayer money to try to restore the reef.
As I wrote recently, not having Brian LaPointe at tonight’s meeting, he was not invited, is about the same as a Pentecostal church not inviting Jesus to its weekend revival.
The other event tonight, which I will attend, is a special city commission on the city’s new noise ordinance. I imagine it will be interested and spirited. My concern at this point is the ordinance in its present form is for show, because the enforcement provisions are for show. I have talked with City Code Enforcement head Jim Young and with City Commissioner Mark Rossi, who owns several clubs on lower Duval Street. They both said they like my enforcement idea.
A bar or joint which makes too much noise simply is shut down for the rest of that day and night. The bar or joint can open for business the next day. A day and a night of loss revenue will cause the bar or joint to be more respectful of other people henceforth. If not, shut the bar or joint down the next time it is disrespectful. Keep doing that until the bar or joint respects other people.
Do the same thing to Harley Davidson riders, who are disrespectful, and to cars and trucks playing their boom boxes disrespectfully. Remove them from their vehicle, call a towing company, let the vehicle owners catch a cab to the towing company’s lot and retrieve their vehicle.
No lawyers, no fines, no courts, no muss, no fuss. Off the wall Alabama Redneck Justice the Conch Republic is free to adopt and use, right Curtis and Leroy?
moi having breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s, photo taken by waitress amiga Cathy Hitchcock, not someone to mess with, same can be said of all the other waitresses there
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, the off the wall candidate for Mayor of Key West