Protest or Vandalism?


Is Chris Young, credited with being a member of the Occupy Sarasota group, a protester, or a Vandal.  He himself stated, in a televised interview, that he did not know they were going to be there so, does that make him a member of the group, or just a cause that they can take up for more publicity?

Chris Young was arrested by Sarasota Police when he refused the order to stop writing on the sidewalk, by the officer who arrested him.  He has since be claimed by the Occupy Sarasota group, and the American Civil Liberties Union, as a sort of poster child for tree speech.

This, to the left, is a photo of Chris Young’s work,  published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.  I take it that he was arrested before the completion of his  work of ART,  and so that might explain why the point of his protest is unclear.

This is a photo of Truman Adam, in another photo published by the Sarasota Herald.  This was taken as he was using chalk, much like Chris Young, to portray the United States Constitution.  This protest, of the earlier arrest, was carried out WITH A PERMIT.

Mr. Young‘s doodling have been compared to the recent Art Festival where a section of downtown road was closed off to allow chalk drawing, which were later washed away.  The second protest, with chalk, was permitted because the groups had promised to clean up after themselves.

Sarasota City commissioner Shannon Snyder, and ex-cop, had this to say about the chalk, “The city has an obligation to control its property,” Snyder said. Protesters have been doing the chalk thing for weeks, and “they weren’t cleaning it up. They were leaving it there, as part of their protest.”

In this country we believe in exercising out right to free speech.  My question would be : Does this give us the right, whether in chalk or paint, to deface other people’s property, be it that of a private citizen or government?  If I were to go to the homes of the Occupy Sarasota people to write slogan on THEIR sidewalks, or driveways, would they, or the ACLU, support my freedom of speech of would the have me arrested.

The most probable outcome would be my arrest, rightly, with both the Occupy Sarasota and ACLU telling me that they could NOT support a right to deface property.

In THIS I support the Sarasota City Police Department whole heartedly.

Dear Readers


For those of you who actually read my articles:  I thank you very much…

I love hearing from people who give  me the idea that they have REALLY read my material.

On the other hand, there are those who write generic praise which, most likely, is a result of cut and paste and could refer to anything…   I particularly liked the one that put a comment on my “About Me” page that said something along the lines of “this is a great idea, I never would have thought about it like that”.

While I look forward to your comments: if the comment does not indicate you have read the articles then I will DELETE it…

 

So What would be the DIFFERENCE?


Sarasota County Commissioners have said that they will stand behind the term limits that voters put in place in 1998…

John Thaxton, often quoted by the newspapers, suggested that the term limits would eliminate the experience gained by a sitting Commissioners, and would leave the voters at the mercy of unelected staffers…

My question is: and this would be different, how?

The Country Commissioners’ recently got rid of the Country Administrator, Jim Ley, after the blowup over the Country Purchasing Department…  Mr. Ley had been the Administrator for about 14 years..  Several of our Commissioners had been busy building up their experience during that time but, they obviously had not build up enough experience to know that the Mr. Ley had been blowing them off the whole time..  In spite of several complaints, from various contractors, about problems with the Purchasing Department which they handed off to Mr. Ley  who did nothing…

So.. Where did those years of experience get US?  Nowhere.

Which brings me back to a question I asked in one of my earlier articles, “what do they do?”.

Who do they work for?


Map of Florida highlighting Sarasota County
Image via Wikipedia

In 1998 %68 of Sarasota County voters passed a change to the County Charter that applied a 2 term limitation on County Commissioners.

Later a Circuit Judge would apply a State Supreme Court ruling to say that this was unconstitutional.  In a case starting in Broward County an Appeals court has held that this is not so.  This would seem to indicate that the Charter change was, in face, legal.

When the first judgement was rendered, why did they NOT appeal the ruling?  With such a large percentage of voters in favor, why did they not at least make sure that this would be the final ruling?   Who knows what the appeals court might have done then?  They might have even agreed.

The problem was that the politicians did not want to risk losing their jobs so, inspite of being elected to represent the will of the voters, and that will was voiced by the vote, they did nothing.

Now that I higher courts has overruled that decision, what have they done?

Instead of saying “we will follow the charter, and carry out the people will”, they are planning to put in another change that will allow them not only 3 terms, but will allow them to start the clock over again.

Think of it this way…  What if the U.S. Congress put up another amendment that would allow 3 terms of the President, and negate the terms already served?  An past President, still alive, could again run for office, and have a chance at 3 terms.  Would we want repeats of Bill Clinton, George Bush II, or even Jimmy “Peanut” Carter?

Then again, we could just limit their terms at the voting booth.  In the mean time, even if you believe we should have term limits on County Commissioners, you should vote against this change for the simple fact that we have limits IN PLACE that are being IGNORED, and even if we do pass it, what is say they won’t just IGNORE it when it is time for their terms to run out.

Think about this:  We passed a State Constitutional Amendment some years ago having to do with setting up a bullet train.  So where is it?  It was also IGNORED.

So remember this.  Not matter if it is the County Charter, the State Constitution, or the U. S. Constitution, it is only a piece of paper and means NOTHING if the people we elect IGNORE it…

 

What do they do?


I have, to a degree, been following the scandal associated with the Procurement policies of the Sarasota Country Government…

The scandal seems to have broken out with the arrest of a county employee, by the name of Rodney Jones, for taking kickbacks from the Chaz Equipment Co.  It seems that Mr. Jones used a process called Piggybacking so that the Chaz Equipment Co., who had a contract with Del Ray Beach, would not have to go through a bid process and thus they save a good chunk of money.

It soon came out that there were a number of times when employees used the County Credit cards so that the bid process could be avoided.

Contractors, who lost out in the bidding process, complained to the Country commissioners, who pass the complaints to Jim Ley, the country administrator, who started a policy of charging $2,000 for the Contractors to file complaints.  Then the complains were not investigated.

When Karen Rushing, as Clerk of Court, sent the commission the results of audit, or suggestions on how to fix problems, they were shuffled off to Jim Ley, who would blow them off.

We have a new County administrator now but, the question I ask is this: What do they do?