Note: This page was originally written during the 2002 PSJ incorporation battle in which PSJ4T tried to forcibly incorporate Williams Point, Hardeeville, Delespine, Frontenac, and part of Sharpes. Due to the age of this page, only a few of the links will still work. I have updated some; others are gone forever. Enjoy a great read.
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.
This is a paid political advertisement paid for, written by and copyrighted by Linda McKinney independent of any committee, organization, league, or group. I reserve all rights and that includes the RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. This web site consists of both fact and -- as on this page -- opinion. IF you do not like that idea, leave now. Thank you.
It all started when I was out of the house on Friday, September 27, 2002. My son answered the phone and the caller identified herself as Amy Tidd of PSJ4T. She said that she wanted to talk to me about mistakes on my web site. He said that she should call back in about an hour. Well, I wasn't home in an hour. But when I did get home, I sent her an e-mail asking her to send me the corrections she wants me to make. I got them the evening of September 29, 2002.
I did correct the educational background information I had wrong on my Common Sense page. I did apologize; both on the TRUTH page, and on the Common Sense page (but you couldn't see it because she also requested that they be taken offline at the same time the apology was up; although I did accomodate her and put an extra page up with an apology on it, but she didn't say how long it had to stay up, so it's down now, except for the apology on the Common Sense page). But she also says, "If you can amend your website to reflect these points and publicly apologize on your website to me, then I will not proceed further at this time with the action I have begun against you." So I have met her criteria, no matter how goofy and vague they were.
So, where do I start? How about I go point by point through the letter Ms. Tidd sent me, would that be good? Okay. Let's start there. I will have Ms. Tidd's stuff and then my response will be set off as a block quote. Be aware, there are many instances when I have to break Ms. Tidd's original paragraphs into pieces in order to reasonably respond to the points she makes. REMEMBER: I DID NOT CHANGE HER SENTENCE STRUCTURE, PUNCTUATION, NOR HER SPELLING. All of these things are exactly as they appear in the original letter from Ms. Tidd.
Dear Linda McKinney,
Thank you for answering my call to you concerning inaccuracies within your website. First of all I want to start out by saying that except for our committee, you seem to be the person who has put the most time into studying this important issue that we need to decide in November.
Thank you very much, Ms. Tidd. I have put some time into this, but not as much as you and PSJ4T. But, as I assert on my Common Sense page, the more time spent does not necessarily equal "good."
However, since you have not been involved with the process, you have reached many inaccurate conclusions in your research. If you had called or asked our input earlier these could have been pointed out. However, you chose to publish them without asking PSJFT about them.
True, PSJ4T has "been involved in the process" since before my April 2002 start. As to my "inaccurate conclusions," due to my research I don't believe much of what PSJ4T puts out, so my asking PSJ4T for information would have inaccurate information also. Look at the annexation scare tactics: we can't be annexed without a vote according to State Statute 171, but PSJ4T has asserted time and time again that we can be. PSJ4T's information is quite inaccurate; and apparently, they want it to stay that way.
Two days ago, I read your Common Sense Article on the website. The past article "The Truth" contained many inaccuracies.
Look up the facts. I quote the back issues of Happenings, Florida Today, the minutes from the Brevard County Commission meetings, and the five committees. I also quote the findings of the five committees; these findings were not negated by the fact that PSJ4T had to amend them. The comments just tell of what started out as wrong; not what PSJ4T supposedly fixed. I have received the amendments from my contact in the DCA and put the amendments on the TRUTH page; but that does not negate the fact that all of this was wrong to begin with. My contact in the DCA said that he missed sending me the updated information. With the "facts" we get from PSJ4T (like being annexed without a vote), I wouldn't even think of asking PSJ4T for information. I wouldn't trust what I got from them.
However I did not reply because other members of PSJFT said they were going to. When I read your "Common Sense" however, I am forced to reply. Not only have you put in many inaccuracies to make your point, you have committed libel against me. In the taxes section, you said that the budget is put together (prepared) by someone who has an Associate Degree from BCC.
LET'S GET THIS STRAIGHT: I DID NOT COMMIT LIBEL AGAINST YOU, NOR ANYONE ELSE. The fact that you can't put a sentence together in such a way that it can be understood is no reflection on me. I put down what I and at least six other people in the same meeting heard you say. Your sentence structure was such that most of us, if not all of us, got the same message from you: that your degree was from BCC. If you want an example of what I am talking about, try Florida Today, August 20, 2002, Local Section on the internet: "'We're nowhere different than we were before, which is very disappointing,' Tidd said." Can anyone say, DUH!?
You wanna' talk inaccuracies? "Annexed without a vote. Titusville can force us to hook up to their sewers," etc., etc., etc. The information I provide to the citizens of Brevard County was provided to me by the State after I requested the information and comments the five reviewing committees made on the PSJ Feasibility Study. If it was inaccurate, talk to them. Why did you not publicize the fact that you had to correct some major errors in the Study and its submission process? For instance: PSJ4T wanted this to happen more than anyone else in PSJ, yet they failed to sign the thing as sponsors until it was sent back due to lack of sponsor signatures. Why not sign it in the first place? After all, it is clearly stated as part of the law about feasibility studies that they have to have three signatures on them.
My name is the only one listed as preparer. If you had called me or done any research you would have found out that I have a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, awarded With Distinction, from the University of Rhode Island, and that I work for BCC as an instructor. I have never attended BCC as a student. As you have called my mathematics education into question, I took classes in Calculus with Analytical Geometry, Algebra and Trig, Accounting, American Politics, American Legal System, Legislative Procedure, and Public Administration.
Apparently those math classes didn't pay off. If you look at the "budget" you put together, it is sorely lacking. At an October 10, 2002 PSJ4T meeting, you say that the City of PSJ would have to hire a Planning Consultant (notice that word, "hire", not volunteer). Why is Planning Consultant not mentioned in your List of Nonsense Numbers you call a "budget" (or is that "bodge-it")? You also allege that the Cocoa budget is off by $11 million. I don't think the City of Cocoa is very amused by that allegation, nor that the people whose reputation you besmirched to the PSJ4T followers were amused. You did them some professional damage with that allegation; not to mention the auditors who check the books for them. All those budget employees have bookkeeping as their main area of study in college, or are CPAs. And yet, here you are with your Political Science degree and you found that the Cocoa budget was $11 million off. By the way, Ms. Tidd, your announcement of the $11 million in Cocoa's budget didn't say if they were in debt by that much more than they realized, or if they had that much in excess that they didn't realize. I'm sure if the City of Cocoa budget has $11 million extra, they'd be glad to put it to good use. Why don't you go over there and show them the error of their ways and give them the benefit of your expertise? I think your Political Science degree should have taught you not to commit slander.
If I had called you, would you have reacted the same way you did in the Civic League meeting at the Parrish Medical Center's Community Room that Saturday morning when I asked you about how you came up with the number for renting a house as a government center? Remember, you sidestepped the question once, twice and then when I asked the question the third time, you packed up and said, "I didn't come here to be attacked." You left. You did NOT answer the question. You just left. Is that how you answer questions?
As to doing any research: What was I supposed to research? Your educational background? Without your maiden name? Without any idea where to start if you had attended another college? Besides, with at least six other people having heard the same thing (and I did ask if I had heard you correctly and they agreed that I had), why should I doubt a statement you made in (albeit garbled) English?
With one stroke of your pen you attempted to invalidate two years of my life that I spent studying government. This was done to discredit me, and the PSJFT budget that I worked very hard to prepare, and I consider your statement about my credentials to be libelous. I request a public apology be posted on your web site by October 5th, and "The Truth" and: Common Sense" pulled off of your web site until corrections are made. Libel is a serious issue, and my reputation is important to me. Not only the issue of incorporation is affected by your actions, but my future career opportunities.
This is very flattering to be told that I have this kind of power. Wow, I must be very good. Three things: 1) I did not attempt to invalidate two years of your life, Ms. Tidd, that you spent studying government; how could I do so when you admitted in the first sentence of the previous section that I didn't know you had those years? 2) If I had known, I would have put the truth down. I don't have to lie about things to win the argument. 3) I agree: Libel is a serious issue. Are you libeling me by saying that I am libeling you? You had best be careful.
As to taking my web site pages down: if you, Ms. Tidd, want me to take my pages down, then my web pages must be making an impact in the battle. My web pages must be considered a threat.
Again, we see here another excellent example of Tidd-isms. "I request a public apology be posted on your web site by October 5th, and "The Truth" and: Common Sense" pulled off of your web site until corrections are made." How can you see if there is a public apology on my web site if I take it down? Duh. I made a way; but do you even know what you requested?
Now on to the inaccuracies in your web site. These are just some of them. I will start with "the truth" When you say that all the registered voters of Hardeeville, Frontenac, Delespine, and Williams Point plus half of the voters of PSJ vote against the incorporation it would still pass, simple math shows that to be a majority, half plus about 600 votes would make it fail.
I see where you are making an assumption here, and I understand your mistake. You are assuming that I mean that half of the voters of PSJ voted yes and the other half voted no. That would make it a victory in the NO block. But, that's not what I said and that's not what I meant. I'll make it easy for you. We have at least 12,000 registered voters. Delespine, Frontenac, Hardeeville and Williams Point had in early September of this year, 445. IF 500 of the registered voters in the traditional boundaries of PSJ voted yes and no one else in PSJ voted (let's get rid of the assumption), and all 445 votes in the four communities all voted no, then those four communities would still be forcibly incorporated. Easy enough?
In The first truth, you tell people to look at the Study Analysis sent from the Florida House of Representatives dated Jan 03, 2001. You would know if you had asked us that this article was sent to David Laney and PSJFT also so the problems with the charter and the study could be addressed.
"You would know if you had asked us," you say. Considering the kind of response I got to asking for information from you in the past, why would I ask again? Also, getting information from the State, I thought everything would be current. Why would I ask for duplicate information from someone I don't trust?
UCF and PSJFT worked very hard to address all the issues and sent back a corrected study and charter. Please contact UCF- David Laney, and Carmine Ferraro to find out how the issues were addressed.
UCF and PSJ4T did NOT "address all the issues" and send back a corrected study and charter. Randy Ball's office told me that once submitted, the charter can only be revised and amended by the State Legislature. The amendments you did submit pertained strictly to the Feasibility Study and the comments sent by the five committees, the three signatures added and some numbers changed. Other than that, there was a sentence added here and there, but nothing major. As to the Addendum 1 items: only ten of the comments that the five committees made about the Feasibility Study were addressed in Addendum 1. Only ten. And one of those was the three signatures. The other errors in the Feasibility Study addressed by the five committees, including those I have on my TRUTH page, were not addressed in Addendum 1.
As to contacting David Laney or Camine Ferraro: No. I will not contact David Laney and Carmine Ferraro. I was in contact with David Laney via e-mail (as Ms. Tidd probably knows). He responded to two e-mails, then abruptly stopped responding after accusing me of being in an "organization." Hmmm... Wonder where he got the idea I was with an organization? Could he have checked with someone? If so, it wasn't me he asked. As to asking Carmine Ferraro: I get my information from the STATE. They have a much higher authority than Mr. Laney or Mr. Ferraro; and Mr. Ferraro was a member of PSJ4T for so long that I don't know that I would trust his answers anyways. I am not saying he would lie: I am saying I would not trust.
For instance you say that the study does not meet the requirement of the name and address of three persons submitting the proposal. The amended study did have the name of three people including Carmine Ferarro. You need to take all the parts about this Study Analysis off of your web site until you get the amended Charter and Study and read them thoroughly. The Legislature would not have passed the bill unanimously until all the issues were settled.
1) The law clearly states that the Study had to have the signatures of three sponsoring citizens; why did it take a correction to get those signatures since PSJ4T has been pushing this for over eight years? 2) I have the amended everything on the TRUTH page. But, why did PSJ4T not publish and distribute the amended Study? I got a Feasibility Study from PSJ4T at their May meeting (I believe it was) and it wasn't the amended study; why is PSJ4T not distributing the amended study if they are so hot for people to have it? As to reading it thoroughly: I did. As I did the committees' comments that I put up on my web site and made available to the public at the Cocoa Library and at Commissioner Truman Scarborough's Titusville office. Why hasn't PSJ4T done that to the amended Study and Charter and the comments?
Second, please read the PSJFT budget again. You need to understand that there is a 10% contingency included, plus a surplus of $234,547. It also does not add in the fire MSTU that would be part of the cities tax base although not included in city advalorum taxes, as it will pay for the fire protection as it is now funded.
First, I have read the "budget" again and again and again. It still does not mean we can afford to become a city. We cannot do this without a whole lot more taxes than PSJ4T is willing to admit. In my opinion, and cosidering the other cities in Florida you can find on my Reality Check: Budget page, and on my Compare Budget items page, this is NOT enough money to run a city on. Second, Why is there now a 10% contingency when your first budget said 5%? Why change things if you were so sure your budget was so good? Third, a "surplus" of $234,547? Do you have any idea how quickly a city can go through $234,547? All it takes is one of two things that come to my mind immediately: an unexpected law suit or a hurricane. Remember; we are in a hurricane zone.
Please call me if you have any question on the budget and I will give you my sources although they are listed already on the budget itself.
I tried to check on your sources. I called Randy Ball's office and asked about the referenced, "Half Cent Sales Tax-Fl. House of Representatives Memo dated 1/2/02 p 17". The person I spoke to there couldn't tell me anything about that particular reference without more information. That's how vague some of your references are. IF you would deem to meet the criteria of the APA, or some similar citation standards, we could check on your references. But as they are, some of them are uncheckable. And, no, I will not be calling you nor anyone in PSJ4T.
As to your statement that we never reworked our figures with the Range Riders, I have also attached a copy of Dick Simmons' Email where he suggested that we send it to Palm Coast's Manager Richard Kelton.
This means nothing in regards to my statement. First, the e-mail was not attached. Second, Mr. Kelton, no offense to him and no reflection on him, is not a Range Rider (click on Range Rider to see their web site). PSJ4T's Carmine Ferraro asserted twice -- once in Florida Today and once in a PSJ4T meeting (I have it on tape) -- that the RANGE RIDERS had reviewed the budget; not that they had referred you to someone else. There IS a difference.
We did send it to him, and when we went up and met with him he discussed the figures with us. He also gave us a copy of their 2001-2002 budget, which is only $13 million revenue and expenses. It does add in a 7 million dollar grant they just received to buy conservation land, making the total budget 20 million.
"ONLY $13 MILLION?" Who are you, Bill Gates? I have the Palm Coast budget. I have the link on my web site to their budget. I also have e-mailed the City Manager of Palm Coast twice asking if he met with you and if so, what did you discuss, etc. I did not get a response. I guess he wants to stay out of the middle of it. And I don't blame him. Notice: Palm Coast has a budget that is over twice what PSJ4T put together and, according to its web site, a "population of 35,443 residents and covers an area of approximately 50 square miles." If you will look at my Compare Budget items page, you will see that Palm Coast has budget items that are also in your LNN, but their numbers are quite a bit higher. Notice Palm Coast also has room for an industrial area; something PSJ, the City, would not have without forcibly incorporating Williams Point, Delespine, Frontenac and Hardeeville. The traditional boundaries of PSJ just don't have room for that kind of growth.
If we are a city we could also get millions in grant money to improve our standard of living. After this meeting, however, we wished more verification so we also had our budget analyzed by a resident of PSJ who works with the City of Rockledge in Planning. He gave us feedback and agreed with our budget, only taking issue with about $200,000 in expenses, but giving us other revenues that we had not planned on which balanced out the extra expenses he informed us about. If you want to talk to him ask me and I will give you his information.
If we were a city we would have to hire someone to write grants if we want to get grants. The city manager will be too busy to do that. Does that figure into your budget anywhere? As to writing to Mr. Griffin, the PSJ resident you mentioned above, I called his office a while back and he didn't return my call. I don't know why; but he was probably busy. I have my own sources that said from the beginning that this is a "NO WAY" budget. The numbers that are published do not make up a budget for a city of over 22,000 residents. There are some numbers you just can't know until you are a city and doing the negotiating, the actual budget, and the buying. You can't know enough numbers to say we can afford it until you are there. This "budget" is, in my opinion, a crock of crud. And to say that the "budget doesn't matter" (as PSJ4T has been saying lately) is a crock of crud, too. Of course budget matters! If you are going to buy a house, budget matters. If you are going to buy a car, budget matters. If you are going to spend $20 dollars that your husband had plans for too, budget matters! Incorporating with a budget that doesn't matter makes no sense whatsoever!
UPDATE: On October 8, 2002, at the PSJ HOA meeting, Peter Costello of the Port St. John Civic League read the following quote from a letter written to Mr. Costello from Mr. Don Griffin, who is the Rockledge Development and Grants Coordinator: "I do not endorse the Port St. John for Tomorrow proposed budget in its entirety. There are serious omissions on the expense side. Certain expense items are not shown adequately." In another portion of the letter, Mr. Griffin wrote, "It will be Palm Bay all over again". Recently, Don Griffin was also quoted in the Florida Today paper saying, "If a city doesn't have an adequate business base, it will have to tax its residents to death." Apparently, you, Ms. Tidd, have been sending the wrong message about Mr. Griffin's statements regarding your LNN. But I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding.
We worked very hard to get the best information for the residents of PSJ and asked the other side to do the same, which they refused.
First, Why would anyone who does not want to incorporate put together a budget that would probably be more realistic than the opposition's? Second, if the Civic League had put together a budget, think of the time it would have had to spend on something besides refuting PSJ4T. (What a great distraction that would have been!) Third, If the Civic League had put together a budget, it would have been as incomplete as the one PSJ4T did because, as I said before, there are some things you can't know until you are actually there. So why should the Civic League have done that? To make sure they weren't focusing on fighting you?
As you know, this is very complicated and complex work, which I feel, should have been included in the original study by UCF, but since they did not do it then it was up to the people to find out the info. We will probably only get this one chance to vote to become a town, since Titusville has annexed down to King's Highway and the state requires a 2 mile buffer. We would also need to have a new study done, and is the county going to pay again? I'm sure they will not. We get this one chance so we need to get all the facts and vote right.
First, UCF couldn't have put a budget together; see paragraph above. Second, I HOPE AND PRAY that for a VERY long time this is the only chance we get to vote to become a town with higher taxes than people can afford, thus forcing the good people of PSJ out of their homes and into a less expensive neighborhood. I really, really hope so.
As to the two mile buffer: We have you and PSJ4T to thank for agreeing to that for us. And, I am glad that we will have to wait and might have to get a new study done, etc. That's great in my eyes. I don't want this to happen, so why would I be upset about all that?
By the way, I called Commissioner Truman Scarborough's office about the alleged lawsuit Titusville allegedly threatened against the County if the County did not agree to the King's Highway southern boundary (Mary Tees, PSJ4T meeting, September 12, 2002, on tape). Comm. Scarborough said it never happened.
Finally, concerning the tax increase, in order to get the state revenue sharing, all cities that wish to take part have to tax at a 3.0 millage. This is the reason that the budget and study included a .5 mil increase on taxes. You state that we said it would be a $19.50 tax increase and then changed our minds to $25.00. Tax millage depends on your assessed value, so the exact figure cannot be reached without a tax bill for each individual property. The budget gives an example of an $80,000 house being assessed a raise of $19.50 to show how it is calculated. Some will pay less, some will pay more. Use your tax bill and the formula in the budget to calculate the tax. Remember without the .5 mil increase, we as a town would not get millions in state funds. As you have calculated that we will only raise $242,500 from the .5 mil, this is a great deal from the state. We pay all the taxes now except the .5 mil, they are just sent to the county and we have to go down and beg for them back.
You, Ms. Tidd apparently forget two things: First, that PSJ4T did change their numbers (see PSJ4T's "budget", and see Florida Today article dated April 23, 2002 by Marilyn Meyer) in which the figure for the house is $75,000 with a $25,000 Homestead exemption, "would see a $25 tax increase". Why do you, Ms. Tidd, assert $19.50 for $80,000 here and the Florida Today article say $25 for $75,000? Second: The "millions in state funds" come from (drum roll, please) US!!! That is OUR MONEY ALREADY!! We pay that in -- you got it -- TAXES!!! Not in income taxes, because Florida doesn't have that. But in sales taxes, etc., we pay it. Florida doesn't get its money from the Tooth Fairy! Florida gets its money from us! IS THERE A TAX ANYWHERE THAT PSJ4T DOES NOT LIKE?!
You also quote me of [sic] speaking for impact fees on August 28, 2001. Just so you understand, impact fees are paid by new construction so that existing houses (you the taxpayer) will not have to absorb the cost of the infrastructure like roads and schools for the new residents.
Don't patronize me. I know what an impact fee is. First, A tax is a tax is a tax, no matter what you call it. Higher taxes for impact fees (which is a tax) is still a tax on the new construction. It's a tax. You support higher taxes. Period. Second, what happens if you decide your home is too small for your family? Will you be happy about having to pay those impact fees you so blatantly supported when you are wanting to build a new home?
Yes I feel that the existing residents should not have their taxes raises [sic] to pay for new developments like Vierra [sic], but that impact fees should be paid by the new construction. Do you want to pay for these new houses's [sic] impacts [sic]? This is what impact fees do and I would go again and argue for them and you should too.
Don't tell me what to do, Ms. Tidd. You and I are on totally different pages when it comes to taxes. This incorporation issue proves it. (Remember, the spelling is exactly what Ms. Tidd wrote. I didn't change a thing. Can you imagine anyone misunderstanding her?) As to the new "houses's" [sic] impacts [sic]: I think that the developer who owns and develops the land and sells the houses to make the profit should have to pay; but that does not mean I want to raise it again and again. I don't like taxes. I don't like raising taxes. Period.
In "Common Sense" you say that no one has elected PSJFT. No-one [sic] also has elected the Civic League. These two political action committees were formed to address the incorporation issue. However you need to look at the people involved. I have been elected twice in a general election as a member of the Advisory Board. The people of PSJ elected me to speak for them as I have.
Ms. Tidd, you brag of being elected twice. WRONG!! You were NOT elected twice. The Brevard County Supervisor of Elections' web page (near the bottom of the page) will prove that. You were elected once in 1996, and ran without opposition in 1998, so your name was not even on the ballot: no one got to vote to "elect" you in 1998. Also, if you are so proud of being "elected" why don't you obey the Sunshine laws and answer to my Freedom of Information Act request that you, Ms. Tidd (the current Vice Chair of the Advisory Board) received from me? Don't get arrogant, Ms. Tidd. I think more of the founder of the Civic League and some of the members than I ever will of you and PSJ4T members. At least some of the Civic League members and I are on the same page when it comes to taxes, more and bigger government and our God-given right to freedom. You and I are on totally opposite sides of the road on all of those issues.
They have put their trust in other and me people [sic - an amazing sentence so far] [my bolding] on the advisory board and so I have tried to keep PSJ a great place to live. If elected people do not speak for the people then they can be voted out of office. That is the American way. Ask yourself; out of the people on both sides, who has PSJ elected to speak for them?
(Another Tidd-ism, what fun!) First, let's cover the assertion that -- if I understand that amazing sentence at the beginning of this section correctly -- the people of PSJ have put their trust in you, Ms. Tidd, and others on the Advisory Board to "speak for them." IF the people of PSJ were so very interested in the Advisory Board, why don't more people run for it? In the last two elections, 2000 and 1998, every candidate except one ran without opposition (Judith Bernhardt vs. Christopher Douglas Spinale, 1998) and there were still positions left to fill in all of those elections. In this year's election, only one person qualified for the four Advisory Board positions open. One out of four; great community interest expressed there. That means that there are still three positions unfilled out of seven. This after the Commissioners lowered the number of seats from nine to seven. Sounds to me as though the residents of PSJ are VERY interested in the Advisory Board. In my opinion, the Advisory Board has done a lot of damage to PSJ by blocking businesses that want to bring jobs to the people of PSJ. In my opinion, the Advisory Board has disenfranchised PSJ from potential new markets by being anti-business; except for along the US 1 corridor, where space is at a premium. And when that space is gone, then there will be no more business frontage in PSJ. Thus no additional businesses. There is always Curtis where Carmine Ferraro's stuff is, or out on Grissom Pkwy. south of PSJ, but those are the only commercial areas left that I know of.
Second, "out of the people on both sides, who has PSJ elected to speak for them?" The people of Port St. John have not had to vote for anyone on the Advisory Board since 1998 and then only Judith Bernhardt got elected. That makes, since the Board's inception in 1996, nine people for the first Board election; one person for the Board elections in 1998 and that's all that have actually been elected of all of the Advisory Board openings. Ten people since its inception have actually been elected (using Maureen Rupe's definition of "elected": had their names on the ballot with an opponent and the people had to choose for whom to vote). So, that means that no one in PSJ4T except you, Ms. Tidd, was actually EVER elected (and you only once, in 1996) by the people of PSJ. Carmine Ferraro and Maureen Rupe were both appointed to hold elected positions by the members of the Advisory Board, and Mary Tees was never on the Adviosry Board, to the best of my knowledge. So, now, who was elected by the people of PSJ?
The answer can be found in the Advisory Board, which you tried to abolish. How could any citizen, without attending any of our meetings, which when we attended took time away from our families, try to take away PSJ [sic] voice in its Advisory Board?
There are two answers to that; the easy one (it's called Free Speech: ever heard of it?) and the answer you won't admit to: The Advisory Board was breaking the Sunshine Law, the ordinance that created it, and until the July 2002 meeting of the Board, they were breaking their own bylaws (which they voted to change that day so that they wouldn't be breaking them any more, but which they were still breaking the ordinance creating them). I found that out. I don't like "elected officials" who don't like to govern in the Sunshine. I don't like elected officials who think they can break the rules and get away with it. I don't think that's appropriate at any level: advisory board or president. That's why I voted against Bill Clinton every chance I got, and why I asked that the Advisory Board be abolished. They broke the rules from the time they were established by County ordinance to the time they met right before I appeared before the Commissioners. A few weeks after my appearance, an e-mail from Carmine Ferraro to the Board members (it went to you, too) and to the Commissioners and County Staff (which makes it public record) proved that I had at least something within my assertions right.
As to the "took time away from our families": So? That was your choice. No one forced you to do that. It was your choice. IF your family suffered due to your involvement, then that was something you chose to do. You made your priorities: no one forced you to do that. You chose to make your family do without you. Live with it.
It was formed because the County Zoning Board was making decisions that were not what the residents of PSJ wanted, and we did not want to keep going down to Vierra [sic] every time an issue came up.
I know why and how it was formed: I have read the information and the Happenings issues and the Brevard County Commission minutes. I also spoke against it on the day it was formed, on July 2, 1996. I have always been against it because I knew how it would turn out because of the way the rules governing it were written. And I was proven right. Again.
It gave our community a local zoning forum; just ask anyone who has come to our meetings. We have had issues where over 100 people came to express their opinion. This is an important resource to our community and I resent the fact that you tried to abolish it.
You know what, Ms. Tidd? I don't care what you resent. I resent you trying to bring this into the incorporation issue because you think it will make me a villain in people's eyes. I resent you trying to say that I libeled you when you have proven in your letter -- sentence structure exactly as I got it, only breaking the paragraphs up so that I could respond to each assertion/allegation -- that your grammar and sentence structure are sorely lacking. I heard you say the same thing at least six other people heard you say. They all got the same message I did. You misspoke; I did not libel.
The part where you say that we had three zoning and planning meeting [sic] without turning in records of minutes, if you had attended any of these meeting [sic] you would know that the county zoning department took these minutes and were responsible for them. Go ask them where the minutes are.
I did ask them. I also asked Truman Scarborough's office. I was faxed everything County Staff had; one meeting's minutes (and the Advisory Board's bylaws). I had agendas that said that two more meetings took place that no one had minutes for. I finally got them from Bill Bender when he responded to my Freedom of Information Act request (which you and Mr. Ferraro still have not responded to) and I took them to Comm. Scarborough's office so that he could have a copy of them there so anyone who wants to read them can. It isn't my doing that no one had copies so I don't care what you resent.
You continue to get your facts wrong, and I hope it is just because you did not attend any of the meetings where we have been fighting to keep PSJ a great place to live.
This letter is a good illustration of who has their facts wrong, Ms. Tidd: you. My facts are facts; not just assertions. Ask Commissioner Scarborough, Commissioner Colon, Commissioner O'Brien, Commissioner Higgs, and Commissioner Carlson. Ask Maureen Rupe who admitted that there was wrongdoing on the part of the Advisory Board when she spoke before the Commissioners. Ask Carmine Ferraro who admitted the same thing to the Commissioners. I didn't get my facts wrong. You allege that I did, but you allege a lot of things, don't you? Click on the link to the Commissioners' minutes. Read what actually happened. It's public record.
And I don't have to attend the meetings of the Advisory Board where you have been fighting (in my opinion) to keep PSJ out of the business loop, to know that it is a great place to live. On October 8, 2002, at the HOA meeting's "debate" between PSJ4T's Bill Bender and the Civic League's Pete Costello, Bill Bender had a long list of things that PSJ4T takes credit for. One of those things: "They stopped countless commercial applications for residential Port St. John." That keeps business and jobs out of PSJ. How is that good for PSJ?
The last time I attended a meeting and saw you there, you were opposing the MSTU to build our community center and sports complex, and buy Fay Lake. Do you still think that they should have not been built?
You need to clarify that I was not at an Advisory Board meeting. That's not clear in your writing. And, yes; I think it was a bad idea. I wrote a letter published in Happenings in February of 1996 encouraging money to be spent to make another exit for the west side of I-95 dwellers. But that took a back seat to the fishing hole and the off-road vehicle park. I saw in October 2002's Happenings another letter from someone else asking the same question, but the safety of the children in the schools on this side of I-95 and the safety of the residents here still seem less important than the fishing hole. The March 1996 Happenings article from the HOA (Maureen Rupe), says in item 3: "According to our County Commissioner's office, if more houses/businesses are built, their taxes would be used to pay off the bond early." It's been six years since that was written. Why are we still paying on this? The answer: Because we will always need to maintain these things. We will always have to pay staff to be at the Community Center and we will have to pay to keep the bathrooms going and clean at Fay Lake Park, mow the lawn at Fay Lake Park, etc. We will probably pay for this forever, even though Fay Lake Park is hardly used. I go by there often just to see if anyone is there and I have seen children there only once. I have seen an adult there once: it looked like he was eating his lunch in his truck. I have yet to see anyone use the pavilion. I am not saying it doesn't happen; I have just never seen it in my many visits to check.
The fact is that we have been working for the community because we care. We encourage any citizen to do the same.
I care about our community, too, Ms. Tidd. I just care that the people maintain their freedoms, their rights and their own incomes instead of handing all of that over to any government: Federal, State, County or City. I took time off of being involved in local issues because I homeschool my children. I was involved before that; as my Common Sense page details. But you don't really wish that I be involved in the incorporation issue because I'm opposing you. And my previous involvements don't seem to matter, do they?
There are many other inaccuracies, but I will choose at this time to only mention these.
No, there are not: they are not inaccuracies as you allege. They just get you where you live, don't they? So you had to try to break them. Too bad.
If you can amend your website to reflect these points and publicly apologize on your website to me, then I will not proceed further at this time with the action I have begun against you.
I don't know what kind of "action" you have allegedly begun against me, but I am not afraid of you. I pity you, but I am not afraid.
I admire your enthusiasm for your viewpoint and hope that it can be used in the future to better our community. We need everyone involved to keep PSJ a great place to live.
You mean, don't you, everyone who agrees with you and what you want? I don't think you actually want me involved because if I am involved, it will be fighting you. It will be in trying to stop you from turning PSJ and the four communities into a socialist mecca that has taxes so high that only people who enjoy paying taxes will want to live here.Sincerely, Amy Tidd