If you go on-line to review the current minutes of the Town Council Meetings, you will find little, if not any information relating to what the Town is accomplishing or attempting to accomplish. Instead, one either has to attend the meetings, if you are allowed to, or to purchase the Jasper News.
We possess a book relating to all the Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) but we understand many of the regulations are just sitting stationary and have not been codified or entered into the book. This in itself causes difficulties by reason that there is paperwork everywhere without the ability to provide what the latest LDR may be. This also is a problem for owners or developers who may wish to review them. Most of the additional LDR’s and ordinances which lie stationary were to “Get Joe Griffin” or in response to a complaint he may have made wherein they made an LDR or an ordinance to stop him from seeking information or making his complaints appear frivolous or unfounded.
In any event, in order to determine what the White Springs Councilmembers are discussing, you shall have to purchase the Jasper News. The Town will be seeking the cost to hire a codifier to place their LDR’s in some type of order.
One such ordinance manifested in 1999. “ ORDINANCE NO. 99-20:
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE PROCEDURES FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND DISPOSITION OF CITIZEN COMPLAINTS PROVING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE, PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF WHITE SPRINGS, FLORIDA.
SECTION 1. REPEAL OF PRIOR INCONSISTENT ORDINANCES:
All ordinances in conflict with any of the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed.
SECTION 2, AUTHORITY:
This Ordinance is enacted for the purpose of providing necessary regulations for the investigation and disposition of citizen complaints made by the citizens of the Town of White Springs, Florida.
SECTION 3, FORM OF COMPLAINT:
Any citizen wishing to register a complaint regarding any aspect of the administration of the Town of White Springs, Florida shall make said complaint in writing on the form provided by the Town Clerk. The completed complaint form shall be submitted to the Town Clerk for investigation and disposition, as provided herein.
SECTION 4. TIME FOR COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATION AND DISPOSITION OF CITIZEN COMPLAINT:
All citizen complaints will be investigated and disposed of within a reasonable time from when said complaint is submitted to the Town Clerk. The time for investigation and disposition will depend on may factors, including but not limited to the following complexity of complaint, subject matter of complaint, the involvement of third parties and the number of staff available to conduct the investigation.
SECTION 5. COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE.
Complaint to be investigated by the Chief of Police and disposition will be determined by Chief of Police.
SECTION 6. COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE CHIEF:
Complaint to be investigated by one (1) member of the Town Council, said member being elected by the Town Council. Disposition to be determined by Town Council.
SECTION 7. COMPLAINT AGAINST TOWN EMPLOYEE:
Complaint to be investigated by Town Manager and disposition determined by Town Manager.
SECTION 8. COMPLAINT AGAINST TOWN MANAGER:
Complaint to be investigated by one (1) member of the Town Council and member being elected by the Town Council. Disposition to be determined by Town Council.
SECTION 9. COMPLAINT AGAINST TOWN COUNCIL MEMBER:
Any complaint against any elected official shall be made pursuant to and in accordance with the applicable laws of the State of Florida and shall be investigated and disposed of by the appropriate agency as determined by applicable Florida law. “
(In my opinion this is basically stating that one would have to institute a law suit in order to have it reviewed by the State or the Courts; but then any such complaint would have a motion to dismiss and for court costs and fees without a review by the Courts or the State. This is the Griffin Story. REMEMBER, ATTORNEY KENNON, ESTABLISHED THAT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO QUESTION THE COUNCIL… THEREFORE YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OR RIGHTS OF REDRESS OF YOUR GOVERNMENT AND THE COUNCIL HAS ALL THE PROTECTIONS OFTEN AFFORDED TO CRIMINALS.) However our charter and the rulings under Robert’s Rules of Order and the Constitutions of Florida and the USA have something different to say about not allowing redress of one’s government.
“SECTION 10. APPLICABLE OF OTHER STATUTES, LAWS AND ORDINANCES:
All investigations and dispositions of citizen complaints shall be conducted in accordance with this Ordinance and in accordance with all other applicable Florida Statutes and laws, Town Ordinances, the Town Charter and Town Personnel Policies and Standard Operating Procedures.
SECTION 11. SEVERABILITY:
It is declared to be the intent of the Town Council of the Town of White Springs, Florida that if any section, subsection, sentence clause, phrase or portion of this Ordinance is, for any reason, held invalid or unconstitutional in any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion hereof.
SECTION 12, EFFECTIVE DATE:
This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption by the Town of White Springs, Florida, in accordance with the provision of Florida Statutes
PASSED upon first reading this 16th day of November, 1999
PASSED AND ADOPED upon SECOND and FINAL READING this 21st day of December, 1999.
TOWN OF WHITE SPRINGS, Joseph McKire, Mayor – Shirley Heath, Town Clerk.”
Sections 9 and 10 are a joke by reason that none of your complaints will get very far without a suit. And if you read the Charter of the Sunshine Laws of the State, you will know this to be true.
“The Sunshine Law is applicable to investigative inquiries of Public Boards or Commissions. The fact that a meeting concerns alleged violations of laws or regulations does not remove it from the scope of the law (AGO74-84 and Canney vs Board of Public Education of Alachua County)”
“The Sunshine Law does not provide for any (government by delegation) exception; a public body cannot escape the application of the Sunshine Law by undertaking to delegate the conduct of public business through an alter ego. (IDS vs. Town of Palm Beach) Thus the Attorney General’s office has concluded that a single member of a board who has been delegated authority on behalf of the board is subject to the Sunshine Law and therefore cannot negotiate such an action in secret.”
Town Charter – FORFEITURE OF OFFICE – For Malfeasance, Misfeasance, or Non-feasance – The council upon majority vote shall notify the effective council member in writing for any of the reasons referenced above.
The Council is required by Town Charter to make investigation into the affairs of the Town and the Conduct of any Town Department, including holding hearings, taking testimony and the required production of evidence.
THE TOWN COUNCIL AND ALL MEMBERS THEREOF CANNOT ESCAPE THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES BY USING ORDINANCE 99-20.
THE 14TH AMENDMENT STATES THAT EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW. THE TOWN COUNCIL CANNOT HIDE UNDER SECTION 9 OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE 99-20.
THE TOWN CHARTER STATES THAT THE COUNCIL MUST INVESTIGATE TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS ACCUSED OF MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE AND NON-FEASANCE; YET THEY REFUSE TO DO SO.
When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than is done.
Karin Ann Griffin for the Blog