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Palm Bay: Mayor Capote, Got A Minute To Talk?

(The above base image was taken from a 2015 interview with the Mayors’ Institute on Civil Design)

Got a minute Mayor?

You see we, like many people in Palm Bay, the County, the State and perhaps even the country are perplexed by what is going on in Palm Bay and Brevard County.

We can’t understand how a town with great people fell to such depths.

Moreover, we can’t understand your reaction to the whole scandal.

In an article appearing in Florida Today, you said concerning the fall out from what has happened and what will continue to get worse:

But Capote added that Palm Bay has “a totally different administration” than the City Hall leadership team when Isnardi was employed by the city.

Did we miss something?

Correct us if we are wrong, but you were elected Mayor in 2012. It was on your watch that the allegations concerning former Deputy City Manager Dave Isnardi and others took place, right. The events the arrests of people happened while you were mayor, right?

In fact, didn’t your wife work with the Aguiars in a 501(c)(3)? That is her name on this financial report, right?

In a way, there is a bad “guilt by association” problem here, but it is difficult for us to accept your statement that a “new administration” is running things when your family was tied at the hip with the accused Jose Aguiar. Surely you knew about this connection, right?

So assuming that everything from 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 (you can pick the year) was a change from the corruption prior to that date, aren’t you tied into the corrupt actors prior to that time?

Let’s examine the three Charter officers – the City Clerk, the City Attorney, and the City Manager.

City Clerk Terese Jones was hired by the City Council in May of 2015 after working for the City since 2003. In that the events alleged in the infamous affidavit took place in 2016, isn’t it fair to say that the acts occurred on her watch?

City Attorney Patricia Smith was then Assistant City Attorney Smith in 2016. She was part of the leadership in City Attorney’s Office and filled in to represent the City Attorney at meetings when he was not available.. Smith has been employed by the City since 2011, which means she was part of the administration in 2016.

So as far as the City Clerk and the City Attorney, it is hard for most to see a “different administration” that you claim is in place.

We suspect that when you say “a totally different administration,” you are talking about the fact that City Manager Gregg Lynk was replaced by the head of the IT Department and long time employee Lisa Morrell. That’s a fair point but it doesn’t offset that two of the Charter Officers and you were leading the City when this all happened. It also doesn’t offset the fact that when the actions of Lynk came to light, two of the current council members, Santiago and Anderson, voted to keep Lynk in place.

Both men have come out and said “we need to have more facts,” in this case, but it seems to us that neither were intent on ridding the City of any corruption as they had the facts that Lynk was accepting gifts and voted to retain him.

Of the five council members in 2016, all were aware of the “Clubhouse” and its connection to accused Jose Aguiar.

In fact, four of the five Council members currently sitting on the dais were on the Council in 2016.

That means that of the eight people that sit on the dais during Council meetings in 2019, six of them were in their current positions or in positions of authority within their current Charter office.

We aren’t math majors, but we know that having 75% of the people on the dais now from 2016 is not a “totally different administration.”

It’s not even close.

Mayor Capote, we are greatly saddened by your apparent desire to lie or plead ignorance of these events to the people of Palm Bay.

It is time for you, and all of the Council to come clean. We suspect that you will have been advised by Ms. Smith to not say anything to the people that will appear at the City Council meeting to comment on this developing situation.

That’s a shame in a way, because you and the other Council members have always said that you are willing to talk about anything and respond to citizens concerns unless there is pending or ongoing litigation which at the current time, there is not as far as the City is concerned.

We suspect that you will stay silent.

Still, no matter what, your willingness to bury your head in the sand, not take responsibility for what has happened on your watch, and say “things are better now!” in a vain attempt to deflect citizens’ agitation.





17 Responses to “Palm Bay: Mayor Capote, Got A Minute To Talk?”

  1. Matt Fleming says:

    Raised By …wait, whatnow??

    This is some tripe and it’s nothing more than a smear piece.

    If it wasn’t, it would have more substantive and damning evidence of wrongdoing. It doesn’t. It goes after a Mayor who was repeatedly attacked by the very people who stand accused by law enforcement of serious wrongdoing.

    That means one of two things.

    1) This is ALL of the damning evidence this little publication has been able to gather while desperately attempting to link the Mayor and others to the very serious crimes alleged against Aguiar and Isnardi.

    -or-

    2) There is much more that isn’t yet being revealed by this publication for political reasons.

    I’m not sure which of those two things would be worse, but why not report on the fact that Randy Fine’s “CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE” included several of the people included in the indictments? That’s actually much more substantial than what’s been presented here because their inclusion in that group was at his sole discretion. We all know that cities are an amalgamated government body, often seating warring factions on the same dias right next to each other.

    I agree, the City of Palm Bay deserves honest answers. Not more misleading garbage. If it turns out that the Mayor or others were also involved in bad business, I will be the first to demand accountability. However, in looking for good answers we do ourselves and the city a disservice if we start making assumptions. Unlike the author of this incomplete and shameful reporting, I’m happy to put my name on this.

    -Matt Fleming

    • AAfterwit says:

      Matt Fleming,

      Thank you for the comment.

      The post in question is focused on the statement by the Mayor that Palm Bay has a “totally different administration.”

      As we wrote and showed, 75% of the eight people on the dais and who comprise the “administration” – the five Council members and three Charter officers are the same or in the case of one, was the Deputy in the Charter office – are still there from 2016. Is that your definition of “totally different administration?” If not, can you share what percentage of people or standard would be “totally different administration?”

      Your long comment doesn’t address the facts we laid out.

      We also talked about the call from Councilmen to “wait until the facts come out” when two of them had facts in hand and voted not to do anything about the known corruption and voted to keep the corruption going.

      Your long comment doesn’t address that fact either.

      We didn’t realize in your mind that facts constitute “tripe” and a “smear piece.” We’ll have to remember that.

      Furthermore, while accusing us and our post of being “political,” you are the one who brings another political player into the conversation in the person of Randy Fine.

      We realize that no matter how simple we try to keep posts, there are going to be people who cannot comprehend them. The fact of the matter is that Randy Fine doesn’t work in the Palm Bay City Hall. Perhaps you were unaware of that? That means the Mayor’s comments and position on “no corruption” and “new administration” within Palm Bay’s City Hall doesn’t apply to Fine. We thought that was painfully obvious to most people, but alas there is always an exception to the rule.

      For the record we have written about Fine in the past. Perhaps you have the memory less than that of a goldfish and forgot about them. If so, you can use the supplied link to review them.

      It is not that we have not noticed you running around screaming about Fine on various FaceBook pages. We have. It seems odd to us that in threads discussing corruption in the City of Palm Bay, you want to discuss Randy Fine. You wouldn’t be trying to set up another run for office would you? After all, you have to hope you could do better than the disastrous run you made in 2018 for County Commissioner for District 4 where you did not carry a single precinct. Not a one. That’s means you were looking up at Walter Mondale election disaster in the 1988 Presidential Election. We understand why you have to and want to change the narrative.

      However, back to the original post and your comment, you did not address the facts we laid out. In calling our post “shameful,” you failed to make one argument to back your claim. Not one word on what we got wrong. Not one word on how our commentary was not supported by the facts.

      That’s interesting, don’t you think? In attacking us and making a claim that the post was a “smear piece,” you did not offer one fact to support your contention.

      As for your last comment as to our name on posts, we have gone down this path before with others.

      Anonymous political speech has long roots in this country. The Founding Fathers used it. The Supreme Court has supported it. The Constitution allows it. It is a shame and telling that instead of supporting it, you attack it.

      That attack says more about you than us.

      We know that people want to know who we are because that would allow them to make ad hominem attacks. We have addressed that logical fallacy in the past and always leave people with this quote:

      “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

      Socrates

      Have a good day.

      A. Afterwit.

      • Matt Fleming says:

        You guys crack me up. What’s funny here is you say: “perhaps you have the memory less than that of a goldfish” in the same long-winded breath which finished with “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss ideas. -Socrates”

        With your original article, were you discussing ideas, events, or people? Perhaps some self-reflection and clarification is in order before anonymously and erroneously judging someone else’s comprehension abilities.

        As for your refutation of my argument, everything I said stands.

        Again, I’ll put my name on this. If y’all want some help, I’d be happy to write a column for you once in a while.

        -Matt Fleming

        • AAfterwit says:

          Matt Fleming,

          Thanks for the comment and the offer.

          We obviously are going to disagree with your statement that “everything I said stands,” as we debunked and shredded what you wrote in our original response.

          As for your offer to “write a column for [us] once in awhile,” we respectfully decline.

          We do have standards, you know.

          A. Afterwit.

  2. Lori says:

    It’s not just the Mayor but a link to Kenny Johnson and this Aguiar guy.

  3. Thomas Gaume says:

    Everyone seems to want to draw partisain lines on this topic.

    The simple fact that there was a “clubhouse” that many (if not all) Council member over the last several years (5+ for sure) out of the Sunshine should be the primary concern of the Citizen’s.

    Did members of Council meet at the clubhouse (or other property after Jan 2016) and discuss policy? Of course there will be plenty of denials to go around, but at this point who do you believe?

    MayorTom2020

  4. Outside looking in says:

    Wow, what a mess. Hopefully the recent investigations and arrests will help expose any and all corrupt dealings and all the players involved in a timely manner. From a outsiders viewpoint there are an awful lot of dubious connections between a lot of these folks which at a mininum creates the impression of impropriety, while a lot of this may be “”legal” it sure doesn’t promote a very good image to the residents. The ties to county government officials is also troubling. PB officials seem to have a tough time admitting they’ve made mistakes and taking positive steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again, this would go a long way towards restoring public trust. Till then, my suggestion for PB voters is to look at each candidates financial filings before casting your vote. Follow the money and you’ll see who the puppet masters are.

    • Third Dimension says:

      What an excellent perspective, and so spot on.

    • Outsider says:

      I know this thread is focused on what was going on under the noses of the mayor and commissioners but I went to the clerks website to read the sworn affidavit about some of the evidence used to obtain the arrest warrants, its off-the-rails kind of stuff, I thought I was reading a cheap mob crime novel. It would appear that a large number of folks are going to “find themselves up that well known tributary without any means of propulsion”. In other words, this is going to get real interesting as these legal cases make their way through the system. Buckle up PB, it going to get bumpy.

      • AAfterwit says:

        Outsider,

        Just to make sure you know, anytime we reference a document, we try to put the document as a link in the post.

        We don’t expect people to believe what we say. We want people to actually look at the documents and see them. People shouldn’t trust us or any one for that matter. Look at the research and documents we provide and make up your own mind. If you agree with us, great. If not, that fine too.

        The point is do look at the documents and be informed.

        Thanks again for the comment.

        A. Afterwit.

  5. Third Dimension says:

    As I’ve said from the very beginning, the worst thing the council could have done was to hire Lynk as manager.
    This was all orchestrated by Andy Anderson and David Isnardi.
    Lynk was not qualified in the least, other than being a long time friend of Anderson’s.
    Did David’s wife know of the scam? Yes, she did. Did they profit? Yes, they did. Did she become a county commissioner with the help of our Sheriff, Yes, she did? Did the Sheriff assist the Isnardi’s, Yes, he did.

    So for a city employee to come screaming out “foul” “tripe” “smear piece” for job security, or another insider using this as a campaign platform to run for Mayor? Please, even his two former campaign advisors and managers won’t help him anymore.

    Simple comprehension is that Palm Bay’s Government is in deep trouble. Which effects the whole community. Seriously, the corruption of all the city council and administration will take years to recover from.

    Let’s not forget Andy Anderson was a sitting County Commissioner while also drawing a paycheck from Palm Bay under his former Chief of Staff (two people) David Isnardi. While his friend Gregg Lynk was the Manager, who gave him a job after leaving the county for twice the salary he just left.
    Oh, great news, Andy Anderson is will no longer be interim Assistant Manager.
    You heard it first on ROH.

    Oh and Tom, don’t waste peoples time and money running for Mayor, your last horrible defeat to Johnson should be answer enough, dropping me, was fatal to your campaign, right after you met with Isnardi.
    (better check the rules, you are not an incumbent so you cannot use “Mayor Tom 2020”)
    Can’t run a campaign, you don’t want him running a city.

  6. Thomas Gaume says:

    I thought I did very well for my first campaign and all the restrictions I put on myself with fundraising and general strategy. Simply trying to do the right thing wasn’t enough and I ended up with both political parties scheming against me, yes even those from leadership positions in my own party.

    I won’t make the same mistakes twice.

  7. Outside looking in says:

    Thomas, Stay true to your principals, from what I saw you ran an open and honest campaign and should take pride in that. You seem to be a good advocate for the residents so keep that up. If you get elected maybe you can push for legislation that adds additional restrictions on campaign financing to allow the residents a louder voice, and prevents PAC’s and big businesses from having so much influence over elected officials. Whenever you get to much money involved in elections they are ripe for cronyism and corruption. Good luck.

    • Third Dimension says:

      Outside looking in….. We can appreciate your stance, we did try to assist Tom, yet read for yourself above and below… “I, I, me, me”
      As he was counseled how to campaign, as a professed “newbie”, his inability to follow experienced and seasoned advocates, or advice Tom kept up this almost paranoid, conspirators mind that he could trust no one, all while making backroom deals himself.
      They made promises they did not keep, and his rookie, immature ways killed his chances then and now.

      Tom likes to Monday morning quarterback, then act as if he knew what he was doing, yet the facts prove differently.

      I will personally say, as a seasoned, effective, knowledgable, winning consultant in elections, it is in very poor taste to use a tragedy as a campaign kickoff.
      “MayorTom2020” will have began, and ended here, he does not want to follow the rules, and isn’t that just more of the same?

      Let us find you a competent Mayor, that you can trust.

  8. Thomas Gaume says:

    Thank you OLI.

    I refuse to be bought or bullied. I’m my own person and let my conscience lead the way.

    Some don’t like that (for obvious reasons), many others do. I don’t care either way, I’m just going to be myself, keep my head down and work at making things better, while also trying to avoid all the noise.

    • Third Dimension says:

      Must be tough always being the victim.

      Let us know how your one man on a rowboat works for you. Government is about representing the masses, it takes a team, not a lonely victim with little experience.

      “many others do”? As is usual, your embellishments are fictional, not factual.

      You were beaten almost 60-40% That in the world of general elections is a slam dunk.
      Beaten by an inexperienced novice who was arrested for sending vulgar pictures to children, and ties to recently arrested co-conspirators.

      You, run the City of Palm Bay?
      Won’t happen.

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