And why am I posting this now? This is PSJ's heritage. This is what we went through in 2002 as we were told we could and should vote to incorporate. I found out the truth and wrote against it. I think it's a good thing to remember the past and not repeat it. Thus, these pages stay up.
Note: This webpage was first put up back in the PSJ Incorporation battle days. Thus, not all links will still be able to send you to the page intended.
This is a Paid Political Advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927 Independent of any group, organization, or committee.
Who elected PSJ4T to represent us? Did you vote for them? Did I? I know I didn't. I don't even remember seeing their names on any ballots. If I had, I wouldn't have voted for them. So, how did they get to "represent" the residents of PSJ? They appointed themselves. It's that easy, folks. Line up and get your number and you, too, can represent a whole population of an area and then you, too, can make decisions for that whole area and force other areas into your area as well! Get them now, folks, they're going fast! Seriously, though; we need to remember that PSJ4T was not elected to represent us. PSJ4T is made up of people who took it upon themselves to read the minds, hopes, plans and desires of the whole population of Port St. John and tell everyone who would listen -- the Commissioners, the newspapers, the world! -- what we want and when we want it. They went to a bunch of meetings, spoke as if they had been elected and -- voila! -- they are our representatives. No vote. No ballots. Not even a show of hands. They are there to tell the world who PSJ is and what PSJ wants. No questions asked, nor allowed. How did this happen? We have lives to live. That's how. Some people get their enjoyment out of living; others out of representing a falsehood that they "stand for" the people of a given area. Did you elect them? No? Then why are they out there acting as if you did?
The most important thing to remember about the TiCo Airport issue is that TiCo Airport is a business and, as such, must do what it can to stay in business. Remember that.
When PSJ4T says that TiCo Airport is a threat because they can -- sometime in the deep, dark future -- say that they now want to go to a 9,000 foot North/South runway, that's a crock. Why? Because if TiCo went to the expense to expand that runway, they would have to have a way to justify that expense. It's like saying that a restaurant is going to start selling shoes because people buy shoes, don't they? Yes, but they buy shoes at shoe stores, or department stores, not from restaurants. Businesses have to justify their business decisions with the actuality that it will work for them. It is not going to work for them if it's just spending money. The manager is going to be fired, the stock holders (if there are any) will complain because they lost money for no reason besides stupidity and the employees will watch their wages go down to pay for that stupid business decision.
TiCo Airport is the same way. They won't do something in the future just so they can scare PSJ residents, nor so that they can get our houses. It's not a wise business move to make that kind of decision. TiCo has to watch out for the pilots it serves, and the communities around it -- or the pilots who live in those communities won't fly out of there anymore, nor store their airplanes there anymore; thus losing TiCo money due to the loss of hangar rental and fuel sales. Don't let the scare tactics fool you: TiCo is a business. Businesses don't do stupid things just to tick people off.
PSJ4T. Provable. Look at the first page of this web site. Look in "Happenings" or "Florida Today" and you will see their lies. PSJ4T lied about signing their names to sponsor the Incorporation Bill; the Memorandum from the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations proved that. PSJ4T lied about the Range Riders reviewing the budget PSJ4T put together. I called the person PSJ4T spoke to within the Range Riders. He never reviewed the budget, nor the Feasibility Study.
PSJ4T has others help them in their distortions, half-truths and lies. Florida Today on September 6, 2002 No longer works a letter to the editor said that we would not have to go onto sewers if we incorporated. All the while PSJ4T has known about a lawsuit the PSJ HOA is in along with Brevard County and the DCA as the DCA tries to force PSJ onto sewers. The lawsuit is in abeyance until the incorporation issue is settled, but we will be forced by the DCA to go onto sewers. The letter writer argued otherwise in the letter to the editor, saying "There are many solutions to the area's problem besides sewers, none of which has been proven unviable." Oh, yeah? Ask the DCA about that. They say in their memorandum referenced on page one of this web site that our soils have "severe" limitations. It is due to the limitations of the soils, not the other "viable solutions" that we have to go onto sewer. It is not just nonaerobic septic tanks that are bad for the soils; it is all septic systems and getting septic systems inspected or pumped more often does not prevent them from being bad for the soil limitations. That's the truth and the crux of the matter.
PSJ4T needs to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Remember, if they have to lie to you, they must think that you are too stupid to figure it out on your own.
Are they the only ones lying? The Civic League of PSJ has had some blatant "mistatements" by some people involved in the Civic League. Some of the things they have said are definitely false; educating oneself is a better idea than speaking first. Do they lie intentionally? Not most of them. And, they do have people who are looking into the laws, the facts and the truth and will make sure it gets posted on the web site. But, just to be on the safe side, I would still suggest that you look for yourself. Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Study for yourself. That's the only way to make sure you are getting the truth.
PSJ4T keeps receiving kudos (praises and acclaim) for "the time they have put into this effort." Well, if someone is putting time into doing something that is bad for a community, then why should they receive praises for it? Doing bad for a long period of time is not the same as doing good for the same period of time. Have they gone to a lot of meetings? Yes. Have they used a lot of their own resources (gas, wear and tear on their vehicles, etc.)? Yes. Have they done something good for the community? You tell me.
Fact: PSJ is now considering forcing four other communities to become a part of the City of Port St. John. Is that something good? Would you like that to happen to you if you lived in Williams Point, Delespine, Frontenac, or Hardeeville?
Fact: PSJ is now divided by this issue. When was the last time you even considered holding a business hostage to the issue of whether their Little League team beat your child's team, or the issue of road repairs? But it is happening now. People within PSJ are not frequenting shops, restaurants, and businesses of other sorts because they do or do not support incorporation. Is that good?
Fact: PSJ is now considering becoming a city because some of its residents are scared. When was the last time you felt scared in PSJ? Yes, there have been a few criminal incidents that may have been eye-opening, or a hurricane that made someone frightened. But I can't remember ever feeling scared of being in PSJ. Why are residents scared now? Because almost every day, PSJ4T has a new pending disaster. Currently, we have this looming airport thing where they may come take away our homes, and the Flagler development thing where Grissom may have to be widened, and the other thing where this terrible or that terrible and if only we were a city it would save us! Why are people afraid, and since when was that a good thing?
Fact: PSJ4T has changed our relationship with our neighbor to the north, and not for the better. Think back to before all this really got going a few years ago. Did you really feel uncomfortable with the City of Titusville being to our north? Did you really fear development on Grissom -- especially residential development? Now, we have people who are afraid of new neighbors and possible new friends for themselves and their children because they will impact our schools, our streets, our parks and our community center. Who is afraid of nice homes? Why be afraid of probably nice neighbors? Why? Because PSJ4T is engendering that fear. They are teaching people to be afraid of it. Why? Is that really good for PSJ? Or is it just ridiculous?
Fact: Port St. John's reputation with the residents of Central Florida is now tarnished. I have spoken to a lot of people within Brevard County who have said that things like, "I was considering buying a house out there, but not if you're going to incorporate." People don't like this stress and neighbor against neighbor we have now, thanks to PSJ4T. People don't like the idea of having a huge homeowner's association looking over their shoulders and telling them what to do all the time. They don't like feeling like "Big Brother is Watching!" PSJ used to be a nice neighborhood with nice neighbors and now we are considered a stressful, in-fighting, and hard to live with neighborhood. That's not what we used to be. Is that a good thing?
There are more reasons as to why this is not something to be commended, but I will stop here. Think about it, people. If time spent on an issue were the only factor to consider, then wouldn't people who spend time planning and executing robberies or kidnappings be commendable also?
PSJ is now looking at taxes higher than ever before and higher than PSJ4T is willing to admit because it would scare people to death -- or to leave PSJ -- if they found out the truth. PROOF: PSJ4T claims our tax base is $485,000,000. That's 485 million dollars. To figure out the taxes we can make on that tax base, you have to divide that by $1,000 because that's the base for millage. So, that's $485,000,000 ÷ $1,000 = $485,000. Now, to get the 0.5 millage (that they claim will be the ONLY tax increase necessary for PSJ to become a "great city"), you multiply the $485,000 by 0.5 which equals a whopping $242,500. Can you really see PSJ, Delespine, Frontenac, Hardeeville and Williams Point -- from Kings Highway to Camp Road and both rivers on east and west -- being run on the budget they propose? If not, where do we get the rest of the money to run a city? Answer: it comes out of your pocket.
Look at the Memorandum from the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations' table on page one of this web site. They say the numbers put together by the Feasibility Study are way off. PSJ4T's little "budget" is not even close to what we would have to have to run a city. Rockledge is approximately 10 square miles and we would be 16 square miles; we have a bigger population than they do and we would have more people and a bigger area to serve, even if we don't have more services. That logically means a bigger budget! Look at it logically; logic tells you that more people means a bigger budget. Orlando's budget isn't smaller than Cocoa's. New York City's budget is not smaller than Titusville's. Think, people! Don't you think that people in Tallahassee who do this every day have more experience than PSJ4T? And the people in Tallahassee said our budget is way off.
PSJ4T's "budget" is put together by Ms. Amy Tidd. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and she works at BCC, not has a degree from BCC (as I previously stated). My mistake. I apologize. She has advanced math courses in her educational background, also. But, in my opinion that doesn't make her "budget" any more plausible. Look at the comparison table on TRUTH, then look at the comparison table on Compare and find out if numbers Ms. Tidd put together add up. Totally incompatible. Tallahassee thought the gap between the numbers would only get bigger. They will. And we would wind up more and more in the hole. Don't take my word for it. Go to the Cocoa Library (still available as of Oct. 22, 2008), second floor documents section and find out for yourself. Or go to Truman Scarborough's Titusville office. He has a copy of the Study analysis from the five committees, too. Look it up for yourselves. I will also put the new information in both places when I get it. Look for yourselves.
"Legal Standing" is the current buzz word for PSJ4T. If we were a city, we would have "legal standing" they keep asserting. Guess what. Legal standing doesn't necessarily mean you'll win. It doesn't necessarily mean you need to be involved in the battle. It doesn't necessarily mean you will get your own way. It means you have the right to be heard in that case, but not necessarily to stop something from happening.
For instance: Legal standing for PSJ in the Flagler development issue. First, the development is within Titusville's city limits (PSJ4T agreed to that for us). Why should PSJ -- if we became a city -- have any say in what goes on legally within the City of Titusville? Would you have considered complaining five years ago? Ten years ago? Two years ago? Second, If Flagler is going to build something, and they do it legally, why not? If you owned the land and you wanted to do something on it, wouldn't you be upset (and rightly so) if a bunch of people from down the road said, "No. Don't do that. We don't like that. It might make our roads more crowded." I don't think you'd like it if someone did that to you on your property, would you? If they had "legal standing" would it make any difference to you if they liked it or not, or would you still want to go ahead with the plans you made? Anyone remember the old saying, "Live and let live"? Whatever happened to minding your own business? Whatever happened to being in America? This is still America, is it not? Third, if "legal standing" status were granted the HOA can you imagine how high the membership prices would have to be in order for you to belong? We are talking thousands of dollars here because we would have to pay an attorney to represent us on all of the issues in which we have "legal standing." Becoming a city doesn't make that any cheaper; it just gives you the right to say that the City of Port St. John is raising its taxes again, and then to complain about that.
How about Hardeeville, Williams Point, Frontenac and Delespine? Have they no legal standing? They are being forcefully incorporated into the City of PSJ if this thing passes. How about their legal rights? They don't have the votes to vote this thing down if every person over the age of 18 who lives in those areas voted against it and half of PSJ voted for it. They would be forced into the City of PSJ against their will, against their vote and without any say in the matter because when the municipal overlay was done that put them within our "municipal boundaries" they had no one there to protect them, to say that they did not want to be there and to say, "Stop! Do not do this to us!" How about their legal standing? Will you trample it for your precious city?
Legal standing is not the Holy Grail. It will not make us more likely to win whatever fight we get into. The County does not win every fight it gets into (and it gets into plenty) and it has legal standing in a lot of issues we may never have legal standing with -- even if we do incorporate. Legal standing is just the catch phrase of the day. Don't let it fool you into thinking it's something of utmost importance. This, too, shall pass.
PSJ4T is fond of harping on "our" schools. The impact of the Flagler deveopment on Grissom on "our" schools. The impact of the amount of new students that will wind up in "our" schools. The fact that we are "nationally rated" in "our" schools. Fact: They are not "our" schools. They belong to and are run by the County. Every school in Brevard is a County school. How long have the high school age kids in PSJ ridden busses to Titusville to go to school? How many years have they attended Titusville High School? Isn't it time for us to repay the "favor"? Besides, how often do your kids say, "There's no one to play with!" Or, "Mom (Dad), I'm bored. I want something to do." With more development on Grissom think of how many potential new friends are going to be there for you and your family. Think of the good times you could have if you took the time and made the effort to meet and get to know some of these people. It's not something to fear. The schools have survived; they always do. The kids will survive; they are more resillient than you and I. PSJ will survive: IF we let it. We don't need to panic. We don't need to be afraid. The schools in PSJ -- County owned and operated -- will be there to accept and welcome the kids so your children will be able to make new friends. If you let them. Don't teach them to fear and hate the kids before they get the chance to meet their lifetime friend, the person who changes their lives for the better, or -- pherhaps -- their bride-to-be. Think of all you will be missing out on if you worry about "our" schools, instead of what great people could be coming into our neighborhood and becoming a positive force in our lives. Don't live by the scare tactics. Dare to think positively.
Actually, maybe I should have headed this part as "The Impact on Businesses in PSJ, Frontenac, Delespine, Hardeeville and Williams Point." Because those are the businesses that will be impacted. When a city incorporates even though it has a mainly residential base, it will also impact the businesses within its borders. It must. Who owns the local businesses? For the most part, people who live in the area to be incorporated. Which means that they are not only paying a higher property tax on their homes, but also on their businesses. In order to make more money to pay those taxes, the owner (let's say it's a male) has to raise his prices at his business. If he raises his prices at his business, fewer people can afford his services or goods. If fewer people can afford his services or goods, then he will have less money from his business. And that's only from his point of view. There is also the consumer's costs in higher taxes taking spending money out of his pocket and now he's unable to buy the things he used to be able to. Something has to give. The business owner either sells his house within the city limits, or he sells his business. Businesses will be impacted. It is only logical. For PSJ4T to demand proof, "tell us why" they scream from one of their recent publications (The Top Ten, published in Sept., 2002, page one, #3) is absurd. Looking at reality will tell them that. If these people knew anything at all about running a business, they could figure that out on one hand. The problem is they can't, or they haven't, or they won't, or they just don't care. But you can see the truth, can't you? If your bills went up, you'd have to make enough money to pay them, too: just the same as any small business within the incorporated area would. Remember, a lot of these small businesses did not start out within the "city limits" of Port St. John. PSJ4T just won't admit that.
This is the part I said I would get to later. It's later.
On July 23 of this year, I appeared before the Brevard County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting asking that they abolish the PSJ Advisory Board. I made this request after trying to catch up on the facts of the Board's accomplishments, stances and votes because I hadn't kept up with this issue. I homeschool my children and took time off from local politics and other interests in order to be able to keep up with teaching them. Refreshing my memory on how to multiply fractions and other math facts was something I had to do. It took my time, it was my priority (and rightly so) and I am not ashamed. But I did have to catch up with the local issues when I got back into politics again. Which is why I looked into the Advisory Board. It's what I found that made me ask that it be abolished. Go to the Brevard County Commissioners' meeting minutes of that meeting to read for yourself if this is what I said, and what PSJ4T members said in opposition.
I found out that they had broken their own by-laws not just once, but numerous times -- once immediately after approving them! I found out that they were not obeying the Sunshine Law and have two letters from Peggy Busacca on their record telling them to turn in their minutes, to prove that. As of July 10th of this year, even Commissioner Scarborough's office had no minutes of their meetings from November of 2000 to July 10, 2002. None. Even though they had considered three zoning and planning issues during that time, no records of minutes were turned in to the County nor to Commissioner Scarborough's office. I found out that they were regularly breaking the ordinance that created them. They were created to handle planning and zoning issues, and "issues brought to them by the general public." Instead, the Board was conducting PSJ4T business on County time. They were only supposed to meet when the County sent them an issue to discuss, but they were meeting monthly without anything sent to them from the County. That's why I went to the Commission and asked them to abolish the Advisory Board. Because the Advisory Board was not -- can not -- claim to represent you and your wishes in these issues without you being able to find out what is going on during the meetings. No elected official can govern in the dark. That's why it's called the "Sunshine Law." Because if it's in the dark, then something can be hidden. I even filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Advisory Board. Ex-Chairman of the Board, Bill Bender, responded immediately, sending me everything he had from last year (2001). Which told me that he had it available and should have had that into Comm. Scarborough's office and to Peggy Busacca's office, but he didn't. I never received a response from this year's Chairman and Vice Chair, Carmine Ferraro and Amy Tidd (who changed her Vice Chair title to "Co-Chair"). That's why I asked that the PSJ Advisory Board be abolished. Not because I thought that the people of PSJ don't "deserve an Advisory Board" (Mary Tees, PSJ4T meeting Sept. 12, 2002, PSJ Community Center, on tape).
The reaction I got from the members of PSJ4T was nothing but lethal. The only members of the Advisory Board to respond were also members of PSJ4T. They brought along Mary Tees and a resident of Canaveral Groves to speak against me as well, (who had met me once when I went to her house to teach her how to use Adobe PageMaker so she could write for Randy, but who seemed able to read my mind anyways). Maureen Rupe also read my mind and said about the same thing: that I was there because I was a "disgruntled citizen" who was against incorporation and that's what all this was about. Mary Tees got up and said that I had, "never been involved in my community, had never been to a single Advisory Board meeting," and more. She knew the part about the Advisory Board meetings was true. I haven't. However (and it's a big however), she also knew that the part about me not being involved in my community was totally false. To wit:
I helped put together the first and third annual PSJ Christmas Parades, bringing in Ranger Bob, The Dannon Magic Girl Dancers, and other top draws to our first ever Christmas Parade. If you don't believe it, I have the newspapers and Happenings to show you.
I helped put together the 1994 July 4th Bash at Manatee Hammock with Barbara Golumbeck. I also have proof of that.
I was involved in the PSJ HOA for a few years, even serving on the Board of Directors in 1994 with Mary Tees, Maureen Rupe, Becky Cronau, Randy Rodriguez, Mike Brady, Trini Bowen, Barbara Golumbeck, Al Yorst, George Broyles, etc. I taught craft classes through the HOA a few times and it was those classes that gave Mary Tees the idea to invite me to come teach a craft class for the women's group at her church in Titusville. I went and taught them "One Minute Crafts" doing a jewel-tone mailbox, a blown egg Christmas decoration and a lampshade decorated with wallpaper border. Mary was even kind enough to drop me off at the car dealership so I could pick up my vehicle they had just finished working on.
I was also the founder of the PSJ Business Group. Our group had several members including Randy Rodriguez, Dyrke Tatro (Subway Subs and TCBY), several home-based businesses, etc. It was because of the businesses in the traditional boundaries of PSJ that I spoke to the Commission against the PSJ Advisory Board on the day it was founded, July 2, 1996. You see, I knew how it would turn out. I warned the Commissioners. They didn't listen; and I was proven right. I have the evidence and so do the Commissioners. It's public record, go ask Commissioner Scarborough if you can read it.
I was involved in local politics working on one presidential election as the Brevard County Special Events Coordinator; worked several other campaigns, including Dave Weldon's; some successful, some not. Maureen Rupe and I worked on the same campaign to get Mr. (I believe it was Don) Williams elected to the District 1 Commission seat many years ago. I only helped for a short time, but back then, Maureen and I were friendly enough for her to call me quite often after the death of Mrs. Williams by suicide. We even went out running errands together once. My how things change.
I sang in the Community Choir for three years and was a member of a local church for just over a year.
I helped Randy Rodriguez put together Happenings for about 5 years. As I said, things change.
There are other things I have done to help my community. None of which were of enough importance or impact for Mary Tees to count them as involvement, apparently, but that does not excuse the outright lie. She knew better. She knew better.
Apparently, I was right about the Advisory Board, as this e-mail from Chairman of the Board, Carmine Ferraro, to the Board members shows. I was kind enough to clear their e-mail addresses and to clear the addresses of the two secretaries so that they would not get personal e-mails. If you want that information, you can go to the PSJ Advisory Board's web site off of the County web site. By the way: this information is public record, as are all e-mails sent to the Commissioners, and it was sent to the Commissioners.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the facts. If you doubt anything on these pages, please feel free to contact me and I will do my utmost to answer your questions. Please ask to make an appointment to see the proof I have. Be sure to check out the new pages.