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Cocoa Beach: If It’s Such A Great Idea …….. Part 3.

We have great readers and commenters here at Raised on Hoecakes. Generally speaking, comments are polite, well written and often factual.

Comments made by people often lead us into another direction. As you can imagine, it is impossible for us to be everywhere, see every thing, and know all that is going on. We often rely on tips or suggestions from readers.

Such is the case with a comment from “Hometown” to our post Cocoa Beach: If It’s Such A Great Idea………. Part 2.

I was looking at the state database for political action committees and noticed that the Cocoa Beach Hotel and Motel PAC made a $1000 donation to this local PAC (on 9/19/2018) that also was not reported to the city in their financial reports.

We decided to follow up on that.

Information on the Cocoa Beach Hotel and Motel Political Action Committee can be found here. This is a screen shot of their organization from the Florida Department of Elections:

On September 19, 2018, the Cocoa Beach Hotel and Motel PAC did make a contribution of $1000.00 to the Protect & Preserve Cocoa Beach PAC. Please notice that the address of the Protect & Preserve Cocoa Beach PAC listed on the activity report is the same as the address for the Protect & Preserve Cocoa Beach PAC given to the City of Cocoa Beach when the PAC registered. (PO Box 320106, Cocoa Beach.) We say that because we want people to see that it is same PAC.

Cocoa Beach: If It’s Such A Great Idea………. Part 2.

Ballot question one is the hot topic in Cocoa Beach. This is the ballot issue that, despite the ridiculous claims of some to the contrary, allows for higher building heights within the city. (It would also effectively allow for a greater density within a given plot of land as more people could live within the same footprint of the taller building. The legal limit to the density does not change, but practically, more people would live in the same plot of land.)

In our post the other day, we wondered “if the ballot question is such a good idea, why the need to lie about it?” Why lie about the particulars, the facts and the effects if the proposed ballot issue were passed?

In that post we mentioned that a Political Action Committee (PAC) was pushing for the passage of the ballot question.

We have questions about this group as well.

The laws covering PAC’s are found in Chapters 97-106 of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Constitution, various Court opinions, State Attorney General rulings and even local ordinances. As you can imagine, that can get somewhat confusing at times, so the Florida Division of Elections puts out a handbook on PACs, including instructions and regulations on registration with the the applicable government entity, reporting requirements, etc. The wording is easy (or at least easier) to understand and probably could be called “PAC’s Made Easy,” “PAC Primer,” or (jokingly) “PACs for Dummies.”

All that brings us to the PAC called “Protect & Preserve Cocoa Beach.”

PAC’s are required at least to register with what can be called “the lowest level of government” for the issue or candidate they are supporting. By that we mean while a group advocating for a local town council candidate could register with the State of Florida, because the candidate is not running state wide, the PAC can register with local town. Such is the case with this particular PAC as the ballot 1 question applies only to Cocoa Beach.

On August 14, 2018, the PAC presented to the City of Cocoa Beach their registration papers as per the instructions in Chapter 4 of the Political Committee Handbook. On August 15, 2018, the City received another form called “Registered Agent Statement of Appointment.”

With that accomplished, the “Protect & Preserve Cocoa Beach” PAC was set to go 13 days before the primary election which was held on August 28, 2018.

Since that time, the PAC has put out signs, sent mailers, and purchased ads on Facebook.

Political signs that you see along the side of the road during elections are not cheap. Any candidate can tell you that. A mailer to voters in the City of Cocoa Beach is not cheap. Ads on Facebook are not terribly expensive, but they are an expense nonetheless.

Yet somehow this PAC managed to do all these things without spending a dime.

Well, that is what they are telling the City and the voters at least.

Cocoa Beach: If Question One Is So Great, Why Lie About It?

Cocoa Beach resident John Byron has an op-ed piece in the Florida Today entitled “Vote ‘yes’ to change Cocoa Beach height restrictions in 2018 elections.”

Years ago, Byron offered that people who would normally register as Democrats should instead register as Republicans so in primaries, they could vote for the lesser of Republican candidates to run against a Democrat foe in the general election. In the general election, the faux “Republicans” would then shift their vote for the Democrat candidate hoping to get them elected. In other words, Byron was advocated lying in order to skew primaries and subvert the election process.

In the op-ed piece, Byron is up to his old tricks of not being truthful.

For example, he writes:

Why? Because it retains the 45-foot height that’s been the law since 2002.

This is patently absurd.

If the ballot initiative was to retain the current height limits, there would be no need for the ballot question – the current law would just be kept on the books without a change.

Why is Byron not telling the truth about the height issue as it relates to the ballot issue?

It appears he is not being truthful about the impact of the ballot issue as well:

Question one has limited purpose. It affects only the 13 percent of the city where buildings as tall as 45 feet can be built. It has no impact on city areas set aside for single-family homes.

Heifer hockey.

The ballot issue seeks to change Section 6.04 of the City Charter which reads:

Cocoa Beach: Commission Meeting Tonight.

Just a small reminder that tonight there is a regular Commission meeting for the City of Cocoa Beach starting at 7:00 PM. There doesn’t seem to be anything on the agenda that we would label “controversial,” but that is our opinion.

There are only two items in the “new business” part of the meeting and both are final votes for approving the final language on ballot questions for the November elections. The first question is the height issue, and the second question is the correction to the charter to correct some alleged errors.

These two questions have been discussed and beaten to death and as this is the second reading of two for both, we don’t expect much discussion and debate.

However, this is also your last chance to comment on the language of these two ballot measures, so if you want to make your feelings known or this or on any other issue, you should head on up to the meeting and speak.

Be a part of the process and the solution.

Cocoa Beach: City Commission Tonight – Final Vote On Ballot Language For Height.

Tonight the Cocoa Beach City Commission meets starting at 6:00 PM for a CRA meeting followed by a 7 PM regular Commission meeting. The agenda for both meetings can be found here.

For a warm July evening, this meeting has a couple of things that will affect the citizens of Cocoa Beach.

First is an item that will confirm meetings to establish the millage rate for the upcoming year. The dates for those meetings would be September 5, 2018 (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM, to set the tentative millage and tentative budget, and September 20, 2018 (Thursday) at 7:00 PM. The could be considered a “save the date” vote.

A second item of interest is to finalize the languages as to what would appear on the ballot this year in regards to height limitations within the City.

Cocoa Beach: Dave Netterstrom -Deja Vu All Over Again.

9image courtesy Florida Today)

Stop us if you have heard this one before.

Dave Netterstrom has quit before the end of his commitment.

In April of 2018, Netterstrom announced he was running for the Cape Canaveral Port Authority commissioner in District 5.

Now, less than 2 months later, Netterstrom has left the race.

The race for Canaveral Port Authority commissioner in District 5 has a new twist, as a third Republican candidate dropped out of the campaign.

Former Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom withdrew from the race, saying his heart is just not in it to campaign for the seat.

That leaves three Republicans and one Democrat seeking the seat now held by Tom Weinberg, who is not seeking re-election.

In November of 2015, Netterstrom resigned as Mayor of the City of Cocoa Beach effective December 31, 2015.

As we posted at the time, Netterstrom wrote in an open letter to the residents of Cocoa Beach:

All good things must end and unfortunately that time has come. I must stop playing and get back to work. At the end of the year, I will resign my position as Mayor (a job highly recommend) so I can clear my mind and focus on new opportunities. As many of you are aware, I’ve been purchasing distressed properties and flipping them to new owners. As the economy gets better, my business model is changing (bad for me, great for everyone else) and 2016 will be an exciting transition time for me.

In 2016 Netterstrom, apparently with a clear mind, focused on the new opportunity of running for the Clerk of the Courts. In November of 2016, he was rather soundly beaten by Scott Ellis with Ellis getting twice the number of votes Netterstrom received. ( 198,2398 votes (67.47%) to 95,657 votes (32.53%))

(Of interest is that Netterstrom ran against Ellis without any party affiliation. For the Port Authority seat, he was running as a Republican. Make up your mind, Dave.)

This past week, Netterstrom said this about dropping out of the Port Canaveral race:

Cocoa Beach: Tumulty Has Memory Problems And Look Who Supports Him.

This post started out looking at one thing and then made a hard turn into another direction.

We got sent a link to a site supporting Tim Tumulty who is running for Seat 4 on the Cocoa Beach Commission against Skip Williams. What caught our eye was in the description of Tumulty, as we read this:

-No highrise development- The will of the people is the deciding factor.

This is a jaw dropping claim. Tumulty must think that if you tell a lie enough, that people will believe you.

One only needs to go back to when Tumult was on the City Commission both as a Commissioner and serving as mayor after Dave Netterstrom resigned. (Tumulty was never elected to the position of Mayor.) During the Ocean Dunes discussions, Tumulty made it clear that he wanted the height limits raised. In furthering that agenda, he voted for the variance to allow the Ocean Dunes condos to be built in spite of the voter supported City Charter provision that established the height limit at 45 feet.

Tumulty and his friends decided that the people weren’t the deciding factor and instead voted against the clear position of the residents.

Now he wants people to forget that. He is, in essence, saying “listen to me! Don’t look at what I did in the past! Listen to my words now!”

That was to be the original focus of this post – that Tumulty says one thing and does another.

But then things took a turn as we wondered “who is running that site?”

Cocoa Beach: Breaking Away, Workshops And Vultures.

Bear with us on this one…..

Tonight at 6:00 PM at City Hall, the City Commission will host a workshop on proposed ballot amendments to be voted upon this November by residents. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. Please take note of the earlier time of 6:00 PM rather than the normal Commission meeting time of 7:00 PM.

The Charter Review Committee is making the following proposals:

1) Building Height Limit
Ballot Title: Cocoa Beach City Charter Amendment Revising Building Height-Related Charter Provisions
Ballot Summary: Amending the City Charter to revise height-related charter provisions, change the Charter building height limit from 45 feet above crown of abutting road to 70 feet (excluding 8 feet of unoccupied rooftop appurtenances) above a defined Base Elevation (which accounts for flood elevations), and change the number of commissioner votes necessary to approve comprehensive plan changes increasing permissible building height up to the 70 feet building height limit from five votes to four.____ Yes____ No

2) Charter Cleanup
Ballot Title: Cocoa Beach City Charter Cleanup Amendment Ballot Summary: Shall the Cocoa Beach City Charter be amended to make certain technical, corrective and conforming changes to the Charter to correct scrivener’s and grammatical errors, provide clarifying definitions relating to City boards, committees and departments, conform City budget procedures to current state law, and add clarifications to make the Charter easier to read and understand?____ Yes____ No

(NOTE: We don’t see how the height and the 5-0 vote change can be tied together on one ballot question. They are two separate issues and will force people who want to the height changed, but not the voting requirements changed and vice versa to make a choice of one part coming along with the other. We aren’t sure if that is legal or not. Usually the different parts of an amendment like this are separated and we believe they should be.)

There is also the “Williams Proposal” which reads:

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