How To Take A Good Deed And Turn It Into A Political Turd.

Randy Fine and the City of Palm Bay are involved in a fight over a good deed.

Fine, who is running for reelection to the Florida House, has been helping organize food give-a-ways for people in the Palm Bay area along side a group known as Farm Share, which helps distribute farm produce to needy people and families rather than letting the produce go to waste.

While we support the effort, in many ways we have seen this as a campaign event for Fine far more than we would like. Most people grew up being taught that you help others with humility and without calling attention to yourself.

Politicians can’t seem to do that and Fine is no exception.

However, according to Fine, the City of Palm Bay, specifically the Acting City Manager Suzanne Sherman, Mayor William Capote, and Deputy Mayor Kenny Johnson aren’t thrilled with the idea of helping others:

This is one of those things where no one looks good.

First, it is a given that the City Manager acts at the direction of the City Council – the entire Council – and not just one or two members of the Council.

This issue was never discussed at a City Council meeting which means Sherman did not get her marching orders from the entire City Council.

Sherman replaced then City Manger Lise Morrell on July 2, 2020. It didn’t take her long to start down the path of doing things that are against City policy and procedures.

For Capote (the REMF) and Johnson to express “concerns” about a food give-a-way other than “sounds great. How can we help?” is despicable on so many levels. The fact that neither man as an elected official called another elected official to discuss whatever concerns they may have had and figure out a way to help, says much about their character (or lack thereof.) The fact that both men sent another person to do their dirty work reinforces the designation of “REMF” to Capote.

Capote and Johnson have been trying to convince the people of Palm Bay that citizens are much better off than they were before, yet we are still seeing these backroom, dark of night, out of sight deals that have political implications rather than focusing on the people of Palm Bay.

Same corruption, just a different day.

However, as Fine notes, all is not loss.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has said that he will provide police support for the event.

Ivey has no love lost for Capote and Johnson, so this is a slap back at them from him.

The problem we see is that the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has no jurisdiction in the City of Palm Bay absent an agreement with the Palm Bay Police Department and / or a crime taking place in the BCSO’s jurisdiction that comes into the City of Palm Bay such as a car chase or something like that.

In other words, if the BSCO officers are going to stand out in the middle of the street to direct traffic, they are breaking the law because legally they are not allowed to be there.

Secondly, if these officers are getting paid, where is that money coming from? Ivey and the BCSO has no authority to spend money outside their jurisdiction.

If we didn’t know better (and we don’t) it almost seems as if Ivey is ignoring the law to back up and support a political ally and harm political adversaries.

As for Fine, we will restate our belief that these events are far too political to our liking. The focus should be on the people in need and the group that is supplying the food, not “look at me.”

We also disagree with Fine’s post taking shots at Capote, the City of Palm Bay and Johnson. The things Fine brings up have nothing to do with the helping feed the needy. It is piling on at best, childish at worst.

One person mentioned to us that the sad thing is that as they know the men and women of the Palm Bay Police Department, they know those officers would have volunteered their time for the food give-a-way no matter what.

Unlike the politicians and people within City Hall, you’d probably not even know their name as they stood out there in the hot Florida sun directing traffic and providing security for the citizens and workers.

So who would be doing more for citizens without expecting anything in return? Farm Share, volunteers, and the volunteering Palm Bay Police officers, or Fine, Sherman, Ivey, Capote and Johnson who managed to take good idea to and turn it into a political turd to be slung back and forth?

We know our answer.

It’s not about the people and helping those in need:

In case you are wondering, Farm Share has a web page on how you can help their mission, including volunteering at local events.

One Response to “How To Take A Good Deed And Turn It Into A Political Turd.”

  1. Luke says:

    Wow, so many things wrong here; Fine playing politics and mud slinging, Sherrif for going outside his swim lane, and city officials for talking about this outside of the sunshine laws (i.e. Not at the full commission meeting). That said, most city’s have rules regarding events or gatherings that are put in place to avoid these “concerns”. Seems like the city manager, staff, law or code enforcement, or pretty much anyone could have just approached the organizer and pointed them to the rules and all this nonsense could have been avoided. I kind of feel sorry that an apparently decent organization has to go thru this mess.