Where oh Where was Stacy Tebo today? We know she did not attend the School Board Meeting relative to the its removal of the “Reverter” Clause in order for the Town of White Springs to building a Community Center for which the Town received a $600,000 Grant and to secure a FRDAP Grant to building a park, all at the Carver School Location.
When the property was turned over to the Town of White Springs in 2011, the Hamilton County School Board placed a Reverter Clause in the transfer papers stipulating that if in five years, the Town of White Springs did not develop the property for Community Development, the property would revert back to the Hamilton County School Board. That would mean the property should have reverted back to the School Board in 2016.
Now I know when we wrote to Ms. Tebo about the fact that she should not demolish the Carver school, she emailed Joe stating that the town owned the property and the town could do what they wanted, meaning they had the right to demolish the Carver School Building. Of course the Citizens were not considered to be part of the Town, just Ms. Tebo and Staff. And furthermore, the demolition was never voted upon by the council, before the grant was secured for the Community Center. Rather the demolition papers relating to an estimated cost of demolition from Hamilton County was included within this paperwork. Otherwise, we would not have known. So my question is, if Stacy Tebo was our Town Manager (which she was since she made such a comment to Joe) and she working on this new project with our Grant writer, why is it she had no idea about the reverter clause which technically did not give her rights to that property since nothing had been done, until she made a plea with the school board. Why is it that our Town Manager failed again and had to be told by the Grant writer to have this done.
Now apparently Ms. Tebo decided to write a well written email (her specialty) to the Hamilton County School Board and she stated that she would be attending today’s meeting. However, that was not the case.
When we arrived Councilman Spencer Lofton was busy interacting with the Board with Ms. Tonja Brown, another councilor by his side. They apparently drove to the School Building together and sat together and if you do not believe they discussed town business in that vehicle by driving together, think again. As a result since they were not in the open separately driving to the meeting and being at the meeting in public to stipulate their views they are in violation of the sunshine laws.
Lofton was his usual self, until Mayor Helen Miller walked in the room. Instead of Stacy Tebo contacting Helen Miller since she is the official Chair and Mayor, Ms. Tebo contacted Lofton and Brown. Miller said hello to everyone and took her seat quietly, not expressing a word, while Lofton knowing he was in deep dodo apparently lost his composure while speaking at the podium. One could barely hear him and his sentences in some instances didn’t make a lot of sense. When Joe asked to speak, Lofton did not remove himself from the podium so Joe spoke from his wheel chair. Obviously Mayor Miller made Lofton very nervous and he should be. He has violated more than One sunshine Law as well as being a “rogue” Mayor doing things which were really unlawful out of the sunshine without transparency, including interference, which of course Ms. Tebo would not admit. But it shows the Hypocracy of Ms. Tebo and the White Springs Staff.
If I would have been in Lofton’s position, I would have spoken to Mayor Miller immediately and asked if she would like to take the floor to remove the reverter clause and if Miller would have said yes, Lofton would have introduced Miller and brought her to the podium or at least acknowledged Miller…but Lofton not only is lawless but he has no moral compass similar to Ms. Tebo. That’s why they are losers.
Here we are in 2019, three years after the property was to revert to the school board asking for the reverter clause to be removed or extended and since the School Board decided they wish to get rid of their liabilities, they will remove the reverter clause at the next School Board Meeting since this was only a workshop. As to Joe’s speech which was given to show just how broke our Town Is, Johnny Bullard stipulated that whether or not the community center or parks will be built is the decision of the council.
Here is the law the two lovebird council members broke today (Tonja and Spencer):
Section 286.011, Florida Statutes, is Florida’s “Sunshine Law” requiring that meetings of governmental boards or commissions at which official actions are to be taken must be open to the public.
Section 286.011(1) provides that:
“All meetings of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any
agency or authority of any country, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, except
as otherwise provided in the Constitution, at which official acts are to be taken are declared
to be public meetings open to the public at all times, and no resolution, rule, or formal
action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such meeting.”
II. What constitutes a “board or commission?”
A. All governing bodies and decision-making committees.
B. All advisory boards that are more than mere fact-finders (e.g. those that make a
recommendation to the governing body). This includes the committee or board to
which you have been appointed. A public body cannot escape the application of
the Sunshine Law by delegating a job to an “alter ego.” Advisory boards with
“decision-making” functions, (i.e., screening applicants for an appointed position)
are subject to the Sunshine Law. The courts focus on the nature of the act
performed in determining whether a committee is making a recommendation or
decision or merely fact-finding.
III. What constitutes a “meeting?”
A. An occasion where two or more members of the same board are present (includes
presence physically, by telephone, and even when conferring by written documents
or communications through third parties, i.e., spouses); and
B. Discussion ensues on a matter on which “foreseeable action” will be taken (this
encompasses entire decision-making process, including briefings, workshops, etc.).
SUNSHINE LAW – DO’S AND DON’TS
1. Hold any conversation with other members of the committee regarding items that are
scheduled to come before the committee, or is likely to come before the committee outside
of advertised, public meetings.
2. Ask other people, including staff, about their conversations with another committee
member regarding items that are likely to come before the committee.
3. Send memos or emails to other committee members asking that they reveal how they will
vote. This includes “reply all” emails in which you indicate your views on matters that are
either scheduled to come before the committee or is likely to come before the committee.
4. Abstain from voting without having a conflict of interest.
5. If you have questions about whether a meeting or communication will violate the Sunshine
Law, it probably does.
1. Feel free to attend social functions with colleagues (just do not discuss any matters which
may come before your board or committee!)
2. Feel free to talk to City staff and management.
3. Feel free to talk to members of other boards or committees.
4. Feel free to talk to other members of boards and committees of different political entities.
Karin for the blog