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Palm Bay: The Petitions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we started to work in this post, the more we realized how screwed up what is going on truly is. The initial focus of the post took a turn away from its original destination of “the petitions and the end game is on the agenda” to “what in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a-goin’ on here?”

Tonight at 7:00 PM the City Council of Palm Bay will hold a regular meeting starting at 7:00 PM.

The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

There are two items of interest to us on the agenda and both are related:

11. Consideration of a moratorium on special assessments and placement of language presented by the Citizens of Palm Bay Petition Committee on the ballot for the November 2020 general election. (Mayor Capote)

12. Consideration of the appointment of a Charter Review Commission. (Mayor Capote)

We talked in great length about the petition drive in a post called “A Tale of Two Petitions.”

To re-cap, citizens in Palm Bay wanted to repeal (or revert) an amendment to the City Charter that was passed in 2016. The residents claim that the change was passed due to mis-information from the City and a lack of understanding as to amounts they could be charged for roads and infrastructures in front of their property. The special assessments as approved often ended up taxing people more than the values of their properties in order to build the infrastructure the property owners had been promised for years.

(Because we want to be transparent about this, we supported the idea behind the petition group but felt the wording of the petition and the proposed ballot language was lacking small details. We discussed that here. Our stance on the petition drive was therefore neutral.)

The petition group plowed ahead, got the requisite numbers of signatures to have the issue on the ballot and turned them into the City. The City took the petitions to the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections for signature verification. The petitions were rejected en masse for failure to have a spot for the signer to put in their date of birth and or their voter registration ID number.

Palm Bay: Freudian Slip?

A “Freudian slip” is defined as:

a slip of the tongue that is motivated by and reveals some unconscious aspect of the mind

Wikipedia says:

A Freudian slip, also called parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that occurs due to the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought. The concept is part of classical psychoanalysis. Classical examples involve slips of the tongue, but psychoanalytic theory also embraces misreadings, mishearings, temporary forgettings, and the mislaying and losing of objects.

The reason we are talking about this is that during the comments on the Waste Management contract at the Palm Bay City Council meeting of February 7, 2019, Councilman Santiago makes this statement which can be found on page 5 of our transcript:

Palm Bay: Waste Management Contract. (Part II)

Yesterday we wrote about comments made by the City Council concerning the Waste Management contract.

We are going to do today the same thing we did yesterday – continue looking at the comments and allowing you to see them in context.

Once again, the video of the meeting is on the City’s website. Our overall transcription begins at 3:40:00 of the meeting.

Today’s analysis of the comments begins on page 3 of our transcript with a comment from Councilman Johnson:

Palm Bay: Waste Management Contract.

Yesterday we posted our concerns and conclusions in comparing and contrasting two petition drives to get items on the ballot in two Brevard County cities – Cocoa Beach and Palm Bay. The end results were not the only things that were different as the answers the two petition groups got from and continue to get from elected officials and the staff of cities and government entities were different.

Today we want to start examining the Waste Management contract proposal that was discussed in Palm Bay at the City Council meeting of February 7, 2020. We had looked at the issues in a post called “Okay, Who Has the Naked Pictures?,” but we want to consider the comments from the dais – from the five Council members including the Mayor.

To refresh your memories, here is what we said the other day:

The first is Agenda item New Business – 9 (NB-9) which is:

Consideration of 90-day negotiation period of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials Collection and Disposable agreement with Waste Management, Inc.

But there is more to it than that as provided by the item cover memo:

Palm Bay: Breaking News.

We talked about the issues facing the City Council tonight in this post.

The meeting ended a few minutes ago and here’s what happened:

On agenda item NB-8:

Consideration of the Road Paving Program for Year 1 units, collectors and the use of in-house engineering.

The item was tabled for a workshop on the 24th of February.

On agenda item NB-9:

Due to the complex nature and scope of the services provided, the process of issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids for the service can take several months. Additionally, if another entity were selected for waste and recyclable collection, the transition would encompass several months as well.

That was defeated by a vote of 3-2 with Santiago, Anderson and Bailey voting against it and Mayor Capote and Johnson voting for it.

Capote made some very strange comments that if we get the time and look at the tape, we’ll comment on. It almost seems as he was taking this whole issue personally, which is never a good thing.

Palm Bay: Okay, Who Has The Naked Pictures?

At tonight’s Palm Bay City Council meeting which starts at 7:00 PM and after the Mayor’s State of the City message at 6:30 P.M., the City Council will take up its normal load of things, two of which caught our eye.

The first is Agenda item New Business – 9 (NB-9) which is:

Consideration of 90-day negotiation period of Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials Collection and Disposable agreement with Waste Management, Inc.

But there is more to it than that as provided by the item cover memo:

Of interest to us was this:

Palm Bay: City Manager Morrell In the Florida Today.

Palm Bay City Manager Lisa Morrell

Before we start this, we want to make clear two things. First, we took no exception to the termination of Palm Bay City Manager Gregg Lynk. Lynk had lost the trust of many people in the City which is bad enough, but his investigation by the FDLE for accepting bribes and kickbacks while City Manager is something that cannot be accepted. (Unless, of course, you are Councilmen Santiago and Anderson who voted to retain Lynk.)

Secondly, we like Lisa Morrell and thought that she would be a good Interim City Manager. We thought that she should get a chance to prove herself capable of sitting in the “big chair.”

However, we noticed some things that didn’t seem “kosher” right off the bat. When Lynk was removed, Morrell came to the meeting dressed in full professional business attire. We had never seen her dressed that way as her job normally allowed for much less casual attire.

When Morrell was nominated to be the interim City Manager, we knew that she had been spoken to prior to the meeting by one or more Council members.

If that occurred, as we believe it did, it was a violation of the City Charter which in fact limits the contact between Council members and the staff and department heads:

3.052 Interference with administration. Neither the council nor its members shall either direct, interfere, or otherwise deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the city manager, except through the city manager.

We had seen this before in Satellite Beach. Interim City Manager Ayn Samuelson was removed from that position and replaced by another Interim City Manager after a long meeting which went past midnight. The person who replaced her was the Police Chief, who had spoken with a Council member that morning contrary to the Satellite Beach City Charter.

On November 21, when Palm Bay removed Gregg Lynk, the City Council nominated and then voted to approve Morrell. The same series of events – the removal of one City Manager and the appointment of another – happened in Satellite Beach. When the City Council voted to appoint Morrell, they violated the Florida statute that requires that anything that needs a vote and accepts public comment must be on the agenda. Just like in Satellite Beach, the City Council failed to meet that obligation. The removal of Lynk was on the agenda. The appointment of an Interim City Manager was not.

Palm Bay: It Almost Seems They Can’t Help Themselves.

It almost seems that Palm Bay can’t stop hiring and promoting the same people that caused or were a part of the lack of trust that citizens have in the City.

Former Brevard County commissioner Andy Anderson is now serving his second stint as Palm Bay’s interim deputy city manager.

Interim City Manager Lisa Morrell appointed Anderson to the post Monday, following the firings of Palm Bay City Hall’s three highest-ranking administrators.


Anderson is Palm Bay’s economic development and external affairs director, earning $91,857 per year. He was hired in May 2015 while serving as District 5 Brevard County commissioner, a post that he held from 2008-16.

“Mr. Anderson has the capable knowledge of critical and high priority city projects in progress,” Morrell stated in a press release.

“He will have shared oversight of essential projects within the departments of Public Works, Facilities, Economic Development, and Growth Management and will offer these project areas additional leadership, collaboration, and continuity for actionable execution and success,” Morrell stated.

One of the things that was said about Anderson when he returned to the City was that he had “lots of contacts.” (Who knew that government was a social media circle?)

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