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Palm Bay: Tone Deaf.

“Do ya think they’ll notice we aren’t listening?”

Oh what a night it was in the City of Palm Bay Council Chambers last night.

At 6:30 PM Mayor Capote gave his annual “State of the City” speech. As usual, these types of speeches – particularly from Capote – are more “rah rah” than substance.

However, usually these types of speeches not only highlight the good things that are happening, but the challenges that lay ahead. That’s simply not Capote’s style. Despite the fact that the City was dragged before the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee after the Committee found 31 violations of policies and the law within a 16 month span, no mention of that was made. It would have been the proper thing to mention the JLAC Report and how far along the City was in correcting the violations, but that was not to be.

The Mayor did not mention the FBI reports concerning violations of the law by current and former City Council members.

Those violations include: bribery, racketeering, prostitution, illegal drug use, true threats of violence, Sunshine Law violations, campaign contribution violations, “pay to play” requirements by members of the Council and the Mayor and many more.

It’s the elephant in the room and Capote chose not to address it or mention it in his State of the City Address.

Even though Capote tried to cover up the negative issues, citizens were not as accommodating to the Mayor’s plan to be an ostrich, putting their heads in the sand hoping the issues would go away.

Citizen after citizen stood up during the public comments portion of the agenda calling for everything for a thorough accounting of the actions of elected officials and others, to demands that the entire Council resign.

Of course, the City Council not only did not respond, but acted as if the citizens were invisible.

Five grown men sat in front of everyone in Palm Bay and essentially told the citizens that their voices did not matter; that there was nothing to see or act upon in the JLAC and the FBI reports; and that the palm tree on the City’s logo was actually a gigantic middle finger directed toward the citizens who had elected them in good faith.

Not one word on the issues of the JLAC report or the FBI reports came out of the five City Councilmen on the dais. Not one word was said in response to the citizens who have legitimate concerns for the City.

Not.

One.

Word.

The men who all said “trust us!” “vote for me!” and “corruption is an issue in the City that needs to be addressed” were suddenly deaf and mute.

We have a certain righteous anger about this. Men who told people they were men of faith and that faith would guide their actions are now spitting on the very morals, ethics and religious beliefs they told us they had.

Obviously, they lied.

We were going to end this post with the famous quote by British statesman Edmund Burke who allegedly said:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

It’s a great quote, but Burke didn’t say it. No one is really sure where it came from and it seems to have evolved into the short, pithy sentiment we all recognize as truth today.

What Burke did say is much longer and in our opinion, better and more thought provoking:

Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. (emphasis ours)

–Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents 82-83 (1770) in: Select Works of Edmund Burke, vol. 1, p. 146 (Liberty Fund ed. 1999).

Look at it again, especially these two lines:

Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design.

….

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

There are 112,000 plus people in Palm Bay – roughly 77,000 of whom are eligible to vote.

There are only 5 members of the City Council.

While we were essentially alone in our homes, living our lives with our families and trusting in the City Councilmen, they were meeting in what was known as “The Clubhouse,” plotting, scheming and breaking the laws of the land.

They came together for the purpose of evil in this community.

It is time for the community to join together and fight the insidious evil these people (and others) brought in the midst of our city.

There are roughly 15,400 voters for every Council member who went along with the evil. That’s a lot of voices. That’s a lot of voices to demand change within the City because those who allowed the evil to come into the City cannot be allowed to govern the people anymore. We don’t care where they go, but they cannot be allowed to sit on the dais and look down their noses at the honest people of Palm Bay.

They must go.

Justice demands it.



9 Responses to “Palm Bay: Tone Deaf.”

  1. Thomas Gaume says:

    I can’t believe that not one of the Council Members addressed any of the many comments from their constituents.

    Just sat up there stone faced, as if they didn’t care what anyone thought of them and their actions. Not one statement of remorse. Not one explanation.

    I guess if I was going to be positive about the situation I could say “at least they didn’t lie”, which means they kept their mouth shut.

  2. Ron Lockwood says:

    Our faith in trusted civil servants has become a daily ritual of deceit, disappointment and dishonesty. How could you expect a response when they haven’t devised a new serpentine move allowing them to disillusion you some more.
    I find this behavior baffling as most of these elected officials pronounce their faith publicly as they promised to fight corruption during their campaigns.
    Without silver bracelets, they are seemingly untouchable and without remorse to their constituents…NO conscience, No remorse, No problem…I will not be swayed by Rules and Laws…Palm Bay Government continues as the eyesore of Brevard County…

  3. Truthful says:

    Unfortunately, Palm Bay is not the only local government that turns a blind ear to their residents and deceives them. Other cities are just quieter about such business, while spending your tax dollars unwisely.

    In addition, far too many weak-willed and easily corrupted people run for public office, promising “this” and then doing “that”.

  4. That Guy says:

    First, I am neither for or against anyone up on the dais, but has anyone paused to think that perhaps they are not speaking on the corruption stuff, simply because it is still an ongoing case? How would you have wanted them to react to citizens speaking at and questioning them? They each individually would have had to respond to everything said, which in turn would probably lead to an out of control meeting of going back and forth, or respond as a group which would then make it appear to violate Sunshine Law as a coordinated response. As far as the JLAC “investigation” it should also be noted that the person(s) that initiated it were also brought up several times within the FBI corruption investigation to make the mayor look bad, when in turn it exposed the very people that were going after him. Granted, violations did happen, however, the Mayor and council are not a strong mayor system of government. While they do vote on things brought before them, the City Manager is in charge of the city, so the focus should be on what that person(s) did while running the city and making deals, on behalf of the citizens and how certain members voted for those items. While I do enjoy reading some of the articles here, a lot of stuff gets sensationalized and can be a bit misleading with misinformation. I have no skin in the political game for any of them, and I agree that any of them that were involved with the bribery and corruption should resign. We all know these types of things happen within small government all the way up to the White House, yet people continue to party vote bad/corrupt politicians in, simply because they are of the same party. Fix yourselves on who and how you vote first, before trying to fix others.

    • AAfterwit says:

      That Guy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      …..but has anyone paused to think that perhaps they are not speaking on the corruption stuff, simply because it is still an ongoing case?

      Then the response should have been “we are aware of the allegations resulting from some investigations, and we will work with the authorities to maintain the trust of the people of Palm Bay.” Saying nothing does nothing.

      They each individually would have had to respond to everything said,….

      First, see above. Secondly, if some wanted to respond, that is fine. There is no back and forth allowed so that kills that idea that the meeting devolving into chaos.

      As we said, the silence is troubling and has the appearance that the City leaders are hoping people will forget.

      (You may have noticed that in the Mayor’s “State of the City Address,” he stated that the connection and opening to what has been called the “interchange to nowhere” will happen early in 2020. With the back and forth and acrimony between the City and the County, that isn’t going to happen. Not by a long shot. So was the Mayor ignorant or deliberately deceptive?)

      Granted, violations did happen, however, the Mayor and council are not a strong mayor system of government.

      Perhaps you missed the part where the Mayor has repeatedly said there is no corruption within the City? There were internal documents showing the corruption that were sent not only to the City Manager, but members of the City Council. Once again, it is the willful blind eye upon which we are commenting.

      As for the “person(s) who initiated” the request for the JLAC investigation, you may have missed that we have tried to bring their actions to light as well. We have one standard here and it applies to all.

      That being said, even if the person did have problems with the FBI, does that negate what the JLAC investigators found? We would say it does not. One side does not get a pass simply because the other is guilty or accused of something else. That gets into relative morals and that is a path we are not willing to go down. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

      Fix yourselves on who and how you vote first, before trying to fix others.

      We can say with absolute certainty that we have not tried to bribe anyone, or accepted a bribe from anyone. We have never done illegal drugs. We don’t hire or partake of prostitutes. We have never violated campaign laws or Sunshine Laws. Although we have been parts of government and government committees, we have never sold our votes and would never do so.

      We don’t know why anyone would be willing to accept what happened on the basis of perceived “party lines.” We don’t agree with the idea that being crooked means a pass for others being crooked. “They did it too” is an excuse that we gave up in second grade.

      Once again, either the citizens of Palm Bay join together and say “this is unacceptable,” or they are complicit in accepting the corruption within the City.

      We think the people are better than that.

      We know they deserve a better government and City Hall than we have gotten.

      A. Afterwit.

      • That Guy says:

        “Then the response should have been “we are aware of the allegations resulting from some investigations, and we will work with the authorities to maintain the trust of the people of Palm Bay.” Saying nothing does nothing.”

        I would think for them to make a canned statement such as that, would not satisfy the masses, and would end up being a no win situation no matter what they said or do, so why not remain quiet until the full case is resolved, because I am sure a lot more will be coming out during the trial.

        “There is no back and forth allowed so that kills that idea that the meeting devolving into chaos.”

        There have been plenty of times to where when the audience didn’t like something that was being said, they would continue to speak out and then be escorted out, which in this case probably would have happened. Then it would have been said that council was trying to silence the public because they didn’t agree with what was being said about them from the audience. In no way shape or form am I defending any of them, just thinking with a wider viewpoint. Also, I would think anything they say publicly could possibly be used against them in court, if any of them are brought up on charges, so it would be VERY smart for them to be quiet at this point.

        I love the fact that all of this stuff is coming out to show just how corrupt some of the members are, and how deep things really go.

        To me the interchange was a bad deal all the way around, with lots of people to blame, past and present. Whether the negotiations being done now are genuine by both parties remains to be seen, but with all the finger pointing going on I highly doubt it.

        “That being said, even if the person did have problems with the FBI, does that negate what the JLAC investigators found?”

        The JLAC investigation was a farce to begin with to try to eliminate the Mayor, as uncovered in the FBI investigation. HOWEVER, it did uncover true violations which is a good thing. The things that were pointed out, the city can now put policies in place, and can now fix, just like any other city that goes before the board.

        The fix yourselves comment was not directed at this site in particular, more of a general statement.

        • AAfterwit says:

          That Guy,

          Thanks for the comment.

          I would think for them to make a canned statement such as that, would not satisfy the masses, and would end up being a no win situation no matter what they said or do, so why not remain quiet until the full case is resolved, because I am sure a lot more will be coming out during the trial.

          We don’t believe a response is worse than no response. “Canned” or not, the effect of not saying anything is that the City leaders don’t care about what the people are seeing and saying. Once again, Capote, Santiago, Johnson and Anderson have all made very public statements that there is no corruption within City Hall. Capote has been the loudest, but still, people can and do understand reasoned responses.

          There have been plenty of times to where when the audience didn’t like something that was being said, they would continue to speak out and then be escorted out, which in this case probably would have happened.

          You might want to look at who the speakers were. Some of them were part of the Special Assessment Petition Group and even though the Mayor and the Charter Officers lied to them, they never got to the point where they were threatened with removal much less had to be removed. These were people who are aware of the power and authority of the gavel.

          Also, I would think anything they say publicly could possibly be used against them in court, if any of them are brought up on charges, so it would be VERY smart for them to be quiet at this point.

          Have you looked at the evidence? Have you looked at the summaries and matched it up to the tapes and videos that were released? There are a great number of tapes and videos that are not available. The release of this material means that the FBI won’t be prosecuting on this information. The additional information in the tapes and videos may be a different matter.

          Still, how hard is it to acknowledge what is going on? We just are not buying into the fact that sticking their collective heads in the sands while citizens have concerns is a valid course of action.

          The things that were pointed out, the city can now put policies in place, and can now fix, just like any other city that goes before the board.

          We don’t know if you watched the hearing, but several of the comments from members of the JLAC noted that there was a systemic problem in the City. While the actual audit only examined 16 months, they referenced issues all the way back to 2013, which of course is years before Lynk was hired. So when the Mayor and the Council members claim that the corruption was part of the “previous administration alone,” that is a lie. A good example is that last year (can’t remember the month) the City Council made a resolution and presentation to the Procurement Department for their quality service. Yet the JLAC report nailed the Procurement Department on critical issues of law and policies. We understand what you are trying to say, but we hope you can understand that the Mayor and the City Council made statements that don’t match factual reality. They are desperately hoping that people won’t remember that come November.

          To us, that is what this is really all about.

          You have people who want to be re-elected or elected elsewhere and they cannot afford to have the scandals, lies and corruption out there for all to see. So they say nothing and hope voters will forget.

          These five people all campaigned and promised transparency and now when the rubber meets the road they throw up sheets of steel and zip their mouths. They don’t have to say a lot, but they have to say something.

          As for fixing the problems found within the JLAC report, don’t you think that would have been a good thing to bring up? That the City had addressed “X” number of the deficiencies the report had noted? Wouldn’t that have shown progress toward less corruption? Instead, we got the Mayor saying 61 housekeeping and hotel maintenance jobs are “high paying.” (As if he had control over what people at the Hilton will be paid to begin with.)

          We just aren’t buying what the Mayor and the Council are laying down.

          Capote was a REMF when the JLAC report came out, and he remains that today.

          A. Afterwit.

  5. That Guy says:

    We both have points, and opinions, but we are also both on the outside trying to look in, and won’t know the full scope of what’s going on at any given time for various reasons. The pending trial will possibly give some answers and shed more light on the situations. Before you say it, yes I know this is city govt, and everything is public record. LOL

    For all we know, they may have been instructed by the FBI, and or the prosecutors not to make any statements prior to the trial. Again, only guessing here, and to me that would be a smart thing to do, as to not poison any part of the trail by any one of them saying something.

    Having worked behind secretive closed doors, and knowing what can be reported to the public at a certain time, and what is really going on can be very frustrating when you can’t put out more info to clear things up, or give factual accounts. Knowing this, I always hold judgement until all info is accounted for…otherwise everything is opinions, speculation, and innuendo.

    • AAfterwit says:

      That Guy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      We both have points, and opinions, but we are also both on the outside trying to look in, and won’t know the full scope of what’s going on at any given time for various reasons.

      None of which has ANY bearing on the Mayor, the City and or City Council members acknowledging the existence of the JLAC report as part of the State of the City Address. None of you statement does anything other than excuse ostrich heads in the sand hoping people will forget about it.

      For all we know, they may have been instructed by the FBI, and or the prosecutors not to make any statements prior to the trial.

      Except for the fact that only a judge can issue such a gag order preventing people from saying there is an issue. And certainly, there is no such issue with the FBI and prosecutors when it comes to the JLAC report. Sorry, but your opinion doesn’t match up with facts.

      Having worked behind secretive closed doors, and knowing what can be reported to the public at a certain time, and what is really going on can be very frustrating when you can’t put out more info to clear things up, or give factual accounts

      You are still equating the idea with giving more information to our point that the City and the Mayor has a duty to acknowledge the existence of the reports and where the City is in relation to fixing the JLAC reported deficiencies.

      The JLAC investigators were looking within City Hall for 21 months. Do you really think that doesn’t deserve a mention? For people who talked about and campaigned on “transparency,” don’t you think there was a duty in the State of the City to at least acknowledge the report?

      Knowing this, I always hold judgement until all info is accounted for…otherwise everything is opinions, speculation, and innuendo.

      Great. Then we agree. We know of the existence of the JLAC report should have been acknowledged by the Mayor.

      Why wasn’t it?

      A. Afterwit.

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