On Thursday, i asked the court to enjoin the city from illegally spending any more of our tax dollars on its propaganda campaign to “educate” the voters. The city attorney did not deny it was illegal but just said, no problem judge “we’re finished spending taxpayer money”… Not only did Silverboard and the City spend our taxes on “educating” us, the city manager violated the city’s ordinance that prohibits his spending more than $10,000 without commission authorization. Mayor Minning and the city attorney were warned at least three times about this, yet the Mayor sent a letter out to all of the voters using those illegal expenditures. Do we want our government using our money to “educate ” us ? It’s outrageous. It’s unethical, It’s immoral and It’s illegal.
I ask all of you Treasure Island voters to send the Mayor and commission a message by emailing them to tell them how you feel about illegal action. Go to the CIty’s website and click on the send an email to commissioners. Please. Otherwise they’ll think they got away with it.It’s been a long hard fight to Stop Tall Buildings. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
The City Manager, Reid Silverboard, without any authority whatsoever, spent almost $20,000 of our tax dollars sending us fancy color brochures to “educate the voters”.
The Mayor, apparently disregarding the fact that the “voter education” program was illegally funded, sent us all a letter, telling us that we need tall buildings to become a tourist destination.
Our Commissioners only represent the developers, not the residents. They failed to stop Silverboard from spendign our money when they knew it was illegal.
The Gators property supports the increase with a huge donation to the Vote Yes political committee, because its property value will almost TRIPLE…that’s right, with increased density Gators will get a 272% increase in their property values…maybe $30 million. And who gets to pay for the infrastructure required, residents, of course. We pay over 80% of ALL property taxes.
And, while the national and state elections are important, local elections are what affects us on a daily basis. As citizens, we have the right, actually, an obligation, to challenge our government when it’s wrong…to challenge government when it caters to special interests…when it ignores our voices.
The fight to stop tall buildings doesn’t end with this referendum. It will only end when we replace our elected officials who looked on with bemused indifference, even ignorance.
It has been an amazing process to see how our community of residents has stepped up to take on the challenge against City Hall and the developers. What started out with just a few people, has snowballed into cohesive citizen activism. Be proud of yourselves for taking part.
And, with any luck, some of you who’ve become involved in protecting our Constitutional and civic rights, will come forward and seek public office. We need you….and we’ll support you.