Last Evening the ordinances which were passed regarding the election of officials was discussed. Although apparently the elections for terms of Three years and four year terms passed, the four year term was not accepted therefore the ambiguity of the manner in which the ordinances were placed on the ballot, conflicted. Therefore it was determined that the terms would remain at every two years councilors would be elected. There needs to be clarity and recommendations need to be made the next time, with a legal interpretation, so people understand what they are really asking for.
Clarence Strong stated that four year terms are needed so a Mayor can get used to his or her position. He said “His” assuming he meant Mr. Lofton. None of the mayors prior had experience until they were re-elected and they managed well so again, there must have been concern for Spencer Lofton. However, what the people do not realize in White Springs is that the Mayor has no more responsibility than any of the councilors except he puts his signature on paperwork and chairs meetings. That is not what Spencer Lofton did as mayor and Joe Griffin’s complaints were given to Mayor Miller at last night’s meeting for review as well as specific Sunshine Laws whereby Spencer Lofton violated his position for Town Attorney, Karen Hatton, esquire to review.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect Clarence Strong for what he is doing for the Children of White Springs for which he should be commended. Most people do not understand the Weak form of Mayor Government and Mr. Strong is not the first. He has stepped up for two years in a row for providing a basketball camp for our children. Thank you Mr. Strong for your interest in our Town and the Children of White Springs.
Here are my rant and raves to which I admit writing, all of which were publicized in the Jasper News. This should explain why a Mayor is no different than any councilor. And the Manager is to have all the power and Stacy Tebo certainly wields that power even though all her decisions are to the detriment of White Springs. But our councilors are too afraid to stick their necks out in complaining of Ms. Tebo’s actions and would rather make the Citizen’s suffer.
White Springs has a council-manager form of Governance, where the Manager is the Chief Administrative Officer of the City. The Mayor is the ceremonial head of the Town, presiding over council meetings and making appointments to boards and commissions but should not have any role in the day-to-day municipal administration. The Hypocrisy of White Springs allowed Spencer Lofton to negotiate contracts, have an office in Town Hall and interfere in day to day municipal administration, WHEREAS Helen B. Miller, PhD was removed from her council seat for only “asking” for assistance.
I think with all the negotiations made without council approval and council acceptance, Spencer Lofton should be removed from his chair and let the hearings and the courts decide if he is innocent, which I doubt they will find. As my daddy used to say, “What is fair for the Goose is fair for the Gander”.
The Office of Mayor is simply rotated among the elected council members, on an annual basis, at the Organizational Meeting. Walter McKenzie was absent from Thursday’s meeting so no vote could be made for Mayor and Vice Mayor. Yet Tonja Brown nominated Spencer Lofton as Mayor and he in turn nominated Tonja Brown as Vice Mayor, and each respectively seconding the nominations. When Tom Moore and Helen B Miller did not vote in favor, Spencer Lofton stated “Well that’s it” and followed with “I remain Mayor and Tonja, Vice Mayor in a tie”. Town Attorney Hatton attempted explaining the Charter but Lofton refused to believe she was correct.
Many of you will recall in April of 2018, when the Jasper News quoted Spencer Lofton’s promise to White Springs’ residents. As the newly elected official, he stated : “This is nothing new to me and the things going on in this town where it has been dividing us that’s not good. I have watched this happen time and time again and if I get to be mayor I would erase that line.”
After the organizational Meeting ended, Spencer Lofton still could not understand why he could not remain Mayor, without all council members voting. Our new Council Member Tom Moore, decided to provide Lofton with an olive branch by stating that he hoped that all the elected council could get along. Lofton would not have any part of this conversation and said that he did not have to get along with anyone on the council. He further told Tom Moore that he would continue chairing the meetings and Moore eloquently told Lofton that the Mayor would chair the meetings…..So much for Lofton ever stopping the divide among us.
& Rave here:
At Thursday’s Council organizational Meeting, Spencer Lofton again attacked Helen Miller regarding the Local Option fuel Tax money which Miller continues to advise has been misspent for the last four years. His consensus was the same as that previously of Rhett Bullard in that no one in the State Level will ever do anything about it. I guess it doesn’t matter that the Town wasted all the money on Attorney Fees, Salaries, an excavator we don’t need as well as other unrelated items belonging in the General Fund which are not part of the Statute’s definition of Transportation. A restricted fund for “Transportation” purposes only is required. Instead White Spring’s infrastructure is virtually going down the drain by not fixing our potholed roads and streets, lack of Roadway and right-of-way drainage and maintenance, and not providing street lighting installation to part of White Springs as well as safety signalization and markings across 41 at the Dollar General Store and Willie Guy Turner Park. Every State Agency is aware of this violation but White Springs is the only Town in Violation. Just because one is not caught for doing something illegal doesn’t mean it’s right to continue.”
As you will recall, from Last night’s meeting, our CPA indicated a restrictive fund for LOFT hurrying on to say the Town can do what they want. Yes Spencer, you can learn from this mess that you are sometimes wrong. And the CPA just went over everything trying to shrug the liability onto the Council by doing what is right after visiting the CPA firm in Ocala.
Karin for the blog