Light at the end of the tunnel?
I just saw this fabulous story in the Free Press. The Free Press belongs to the Key West Citizen family of newspapers, so let’s hope it’s not fake news. Those guys lie like it’s their job.
After learning that the district will receive $3,333,333 in 2017-18 Stewardship Grant funds from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and that those funds could now be used to pay down debt, some commissioners weighed further reducing debt incurred from building Key Largo’s wastewater treatment infrastructure while others proposed reducing rates for property owners.
I’m glad the state is finally backing off their ridiculous, senseless, dumb-ass, crony-friendly, fraud/waste-encouraging, efficiency-punishing wastewater funding policies. They must be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine after extracting their heads from their butt holes at long last. Breath it in, guys. See how nice that is. Continue reading
Get your sh__ together, people.
The Blue Paper is continuing their phenomenal work. They’ve got a story up about the reality behind the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA) kill rate among other things.
By the way, you should financially support the Blue Paper if you don’t already. The other two major newspapers in the Keys (the Key West Citizen and the Keynoter/Reporter) simply don’t do their jobs. They’re all about relaying spin from dishonest local officials. They have nothing to offer in terms of investigative reporting. No reader should ever automatically trust what they have to say because all too often it’s flat wrong.
Anyhow, back to the Blue Paper’s story. There’s a lot to it. There’s a cat colony in Key West that’s about to be dislocated by a new business. The well-meaning caretakers are being dragged into court and basically being harassed through the legal system. And there’s the FKSPCA in the middle of it all – apparently misrepresenting their kill numbers and misleading their donors. Continue reading
Dear Rep. Raschein,
Monroe County government is plagued by corruption, incompetence and waste.
The latest outrage is the $425,000 per year contract awarded to the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA). This is an increase of $175,000 (or 70%) over the previous contract amount. The county has been unable to explain the massive cost increase and refuses to provide documents that justify it. In fact, available documents show that the actual cost of running the shelter is much lower than the amount of the contract awarded.
I feel strongly that this matter warrants an investigation by law enforcement and I have relayed my suspicions to the appropriate agencies. In the course of researching the how, where and who of reporting my concerns, I ran across a corruption situation in Brevard County. Continue reading
Update: When I reread this post, I realized I buried the lede. Bottom line – available cost information does not support the $425,000 contract price. Taxpayers are being forced to pay FKSPCA more than it costs to run the Marathon animal shelter. So where’s our money going?
Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.
I asked the county to provide the following audited financial statements from various animal shelter operators.
- Audited financial statements from SUFA (2009-2011). None received.
- Audited financial statements from SHARK (2011-2015) – 2011, 2012, 2013 received; 2014 and 2015 still missing. I did, however, manage to find a 2014 tax return at Guidestar.com.
- Audited financial statements from FKSPCA (2014-2016) – 2014 and 2015 received. FKSPCA apparently never bothered to submit a statement for 2016 so now the county is chasing that. Or so they say.
The operators are required to submit these documents each year. They should not be difficult to find. In fact, I would argue these documents would have been absolutely required in order to evaluate the validity of FKSPCA’s astronomical bid price. But the county is struggling to locate the most relevant of these financial statements.
My guess is they’re tangled up in their web of lies. It might take a while before they’re able to “find”, “doctor” and/or “manufacture” the documents I requested. Continue reading
Just trying to sort it all out.
I submitted the following public records request to Kevin Wilson, the Assistant County Administrator who is supposedly responsible for animal control.
Please provide the documents that show what due diligence was done to confirm that $425,000 per year is a reasonable cost to run the Marathon animal shelter.
Wilson responded by providing four documents which do nothing to justify the $175,000 price jump is in any way reasonable. The whole dialog can be found here. Continue reading
There’s a lot of smoke. Ya think there might be fire in there somewhere?
It’s funny. That phrase has popped up more than once in the past few days. Donald Trump used it.
“People’s lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” the president said in his tweet Saturday. “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”
He’s referring to a staffer who resigned over domestic violence allegations. Now, of course, there was photographic evidence to support the “mere allegation”. And reports from not one, but two ex-wives to the FBI. The FBI found those reports compelling enough to deny a permanent security clearance. I’d say that goes beyond “mere allegation”. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, right? Continue reading
Update2: Chris Weber responded to my email. Standard uselessness. I also sent another public records request to Kevin Wilson, which he is in the process of ignoring. And why shouldn’t he? He certainly has nothing to fear from the state attorneys office.
Update: I sent another email to Chris Weber, Chief “Investigator”, at the state attorneys office. I doubt that’ll get me anywhere, but its worth a shot I suppose.
The image above is a screen shot from the Florida Inspectors General website. Is the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA) over-charging the taxpayers to run the Marathon shelter? Sure looks that way.
Are county officials benefiting somehow? There’s no smoking gun, but documents that would shed light on how much it cost the previous operators to run the shelter are mysteriously unavailable. And the state attorneys office has made it abundantly clear they cannot be bothered to properly look into the matter. Where does that leave the taxpayers? Twisting in the wind. That’s where.
And so the animal control drama continues. A suspicious procurement process, inflated costs, stories that don’t add up, frantic efforts to suppress questioning, disappearing public records, law enforcement officials who look the other way.
Here’s a good place to catch up on the back story. Continue reading
Just want to let everyone know, I added a couple of new pages.
The Memory Hole: This is my attempt at keeping track of things.
Incorporation Station: This is where I gathered up all the posts about how incorporation would benefit Key Largo.
Update: FKSPCA did provide the documents I requested. Here are the P&L reports by class for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
I submitted a request for information to the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA).
Here’s what I asked for:
Please provide FKSPCA’s 2016 tax return. For the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, please provide documents which allow the taxpayers to understand which expenses they are responsible for and which expenses the charity is responsible for. Those documents should also allow the taxpayers to understand how expenses are allocated between the two shelters after the FKSPCA took over the Marathon shelter.
Here’s what I got:
The Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA) was recently awarded a $425,000 contract to run the Marathon animal shelter under very suspicious circumstances. I wrote a few posts about it. Here’s my initial reaction. Here’s a post that runs through the many questions generated by the situation. And here’s one that prompted a response from the FKSPCA.
FKSPCA President, Jane Dawkins clearly resents the questions that the shady Request for Proposal (RFP) process quite naturally generates. Rather than attempting to clarify the situation, Jane wrote a snooty letter that actually makes her organization seem extremely defensive. Continue reading