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It’s Not Enough.

Jose Aguiar, the man at the center of a long-simmering corruption scandal in Palm Bay, has pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, a third-degree felony. In return, the state agreed to drop felony racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering charges.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 7. Aguiar faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Had he been convicted on all charges he faced up to 30 years in prison.

Aguiar’s trial was to have begun today. He is free on a $60,000 bond as he awaits sentencing.

Aguiar and then Deputy City Manager Dave Isnardi were arrested in May 2019.

The arrest warrants for the two showed that the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement had been investigating allegations of corruption and undue influence on city officials in Palm Bay since at least 2015. The warrants drew heavily from secret recordings made by a confidential source working with investigators.

It’s not enough.

Sorry to say that, but it isn’t.

Underwater In Palm Bay.

The last few years have not been kind to the Palm Bay Utilities Division, specifically the water and sewage part.

The City’s contractor which was processing online payments was hacked not once but twice. The City sent a notice out saying to contact the contractor for possible reimbursement of costs related to the hack such as new checks, etc. That number went to a call center who would take your name and phone number and that was the end of it. The City was saying “contact the vendor,” but the vendor was not answering the phone.

The City changed the vendor for online payments and they are having issues with that as well. A recent notice came out saying that bills viewed online may be late in appearing, but graciously the City would not charge you if your payment for a bill you could not see was late.

How kind of them.

Palm Bay: Good Money After Bad?

One of our ninjas sent us a note concerning item number 2 under new business for the Palm Bay City Council meeting tonight.

The Legal Office of the City is seeking raises and additional compensation for several lawyers.

Pages from Agenda_2021_9_16_Meeting(119)


Palm Bay Wants To Send Money To People Affected By A Disaster. Just Not In The US.

As we noted several weeks ago, Councilman Felix of the Palm Bay City Council wants to send money to Haiti in order to help with the relief efforts following an earthquake there.

Tonight at a special meeting at 6 PM, the City Council will take up the idea of sending $5,500 of taxpayer dollars to Haiti.


Palm Bay: Councilman Wants To Use Disaster Fund For Haiti.

A powerful earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday morning, killing at least 304 people and leaving hundreds of others hurt, authorities said. The 7.2 magnitude quake was strong enough to be felt in neighboring countries.

Haitian officials said more than 1,800 people were injured in the disaster, some of whom were being treated in hospitals in the three most affected communities.

The epicenter of the quake was 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s about 78 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

According to CBSNews, the number of dead and injured has increased since the initial reports:

The death toll from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Haiti soared to at least 1,297 Sunday as rescuers raced to find survivors amid the rubble ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching tropical storm.

Saturday’s earthquake also left at least 2,800 people injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes.

Haiti is in need of assistance on many levels.

Palm Bay Jumps Into The “Let’s Give Bonuses To Workers” End Of The Pool.

According to the agenda to tonight’s Palm Bay City Council meeting, the City is looking to jump into the pool to give bonuses to those employees who get vaccinated for COVID.

COVID-19 Voluntary Vaccination Incentive
According to 31 CFR Part 35, Eligible Uses (b)(1)(xiii) and (xiv), and further supported by section 2.12 of the Interim Final Rule released by the U.S. Department of Treasured [sic] dated June 23, 2021, recipients may use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to offer “incentives reasonable expected to increase the number of people who choose to get vaccinated or motivate people to get vaccinated sooner than they would otherwise.” Staff is requesting Council consideration to provide a monetary incentive in the amount of $300 to City personnel who can provide official proof that they have become fully vaccinated before October 31, 2021. Similarly, for City personnel who are already fully vaccinated, this benefit will be retroactive.

The cover sheet for the item mentions two sections of the law, specifically 31 CFR Part 35, Eligible Uses (b)(1)(xiii) and (xiv):

PALM BAY: The Discussion And The Vote.

Last week we reported on the Palm Bay City Council vote to pull ordinance 2020-50, which was the ordinance that addressed some changes in Florida Statutes in regards to elections, but also proposed changes in how a vacancy on the City Council would be filled. The ordinance would have allowed the City Council to appoint a person to fill a vacancy on the City Council. That is a change from the current ordinance passed in 2012 which said that for a vacancy with less than a year remaining in the Council person’s term, the Council could appoint a person to fill the seat and with a year or more left, there would be a special election to allow the voters to decide.

On July 15th, the ordinance passed on its first reading by a vote of 3-2 with Vice Mayor Johnson, and Councilmen Felix and Foster supporting passage with Mayor Medina and Councilman Bailey voting against passage.

On August 5th, Johnson, who had made the initial motion for the ordinance said he wanted to “pull the resolution.” With his changing of position, the ordinance was defeated by a 3-2 vote with Johnson, Medina, and Bailey voting to kill the ordinance, with Felix and Foster continuing to support it.

We said that night that we would come back to this, and this is the post where we do just that.

BREAKING: Palm Bay City Council Pulls Ordinance On Interim Replacements.

By a vote of 4-1, the Council voted to shelve the entire ordinance. (Felix dissenting.)

We’ll have more comments at a later date.

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