Kolhage – Talking Sense on Canal Restoration?

New Monroe County Logo2It’s been a strange couple of days.  First, I fact-checked an animal control matter, and statements made turned out to be truthful.  What the heck!??  Then I read this news story about those abominable canal restoration projects and Kolhage actually said something sensible.  What on earth is going on here?

These are strange times.  I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.  Anyhow, here is how reporter Tim O’Hara characterized Kolhage’s comments. Continue reading

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Animal Control – Clarification and Update

cat-278187_1920The Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSCPA) submitted a letter to the editor to clarify some issues related to the new building the taxpayers are partially funding.  Here’s a link.

The letter says some very interesting things.  First of all, it repeats Gastesi’s excuse about the “construction boom that raised prices”.   Continue reading

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Animal Shelter Tax Returns

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I’m still on the high kill rate issue at the Upper Keys animal shelter run by Humane Animal Care Coalition (HACC).  I took a look at the tax returns for all of the animal shelters.  Interesting.  I found them on Guidestar.  I have a free basic membership.  Recommend it to anyone.  Great service.

I compared returns from each of the three shelters for 2013.  I chose that particular year for a few reasons: Continue reading

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Madok’s Resume Lie

long-25529_1280I was recently reminded of something that happened when Kevin Madok ran for Clerk of Court in 2012**.  Madok’s opponent, Matt Gardi, pointed out that Madok wasn’t actually a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), though he did use that designation on his resume.  I didn’t pay it much mind at the time, bigger fish to fry.  But it sure is relevant now.

Madok used the letters “CPA” after his name when he applied for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position at the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District (KLWTD).  Other than that the resume doesn’t mention that credential.  You can’t put the letters “CPA” after your name if you are not, in fact, a CPA.  It’s illegal.  Madok, formerly a CPA in California, certainly would have known that. Continue reading

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Monroe County Mishandling Public Records Requests – Again

New Monroe County Logo2I’m very curious about the county’s refusal to fund emergency vehicle purchases for the Key Largo area.  I’d like more information about that.  It’s a serious issue involving public safety.  So on September 10, I submitted a public records request.  I heard nothing, and so I repeated the request five days later.  Still nothing, and so I sent a third request – thirteen days after my initial email.  County attorney, Bob Shillinger, responded immediately to my third request by pretending that my earlier requests probably went unanswered because nobody is monitoring the Office of Management and Budget email account.  He made a reference to Tina Boan’s motorcycle accident in his response.  Ick.  Using such an unfortunate incident to excuse the county’s failure is just…gross.  Besides, my first email was sent about nine days before the accident even happened.  The second was sent four days before. Continue reading

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If we pay for a building do we get to keep it?

stupid-1245103__340More animal control weirdness.  The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) agreed to use $1.5 million of taxpayer money to pay for a new animal shelter in Stock Island, but it doesn’t sound like this facility is going to belong to the taxpayers.

Apparently, the county already donated the land for the new facility to the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA).  Is it even legal for a government to give away public land to a private entity?  I’d love to know the circumstances behind this donation.  Who will actually own the building the taxpayers are being forced to contribute to?  What happens if the county and the FKSPCA part ways?  I don’t see anything about it in FKSPCA’s agreement with the county. Continue reading

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Character Assassination by Hysterical Overreaction?

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Update:  I tightened this up a little bit.  Clarified that the inflammatory language came from Shillinger’s letter, not from the press release.  The Citizen’s newest article says they made a public records request and Shillinger replied promptly.  Has the county really turned over a new leaf or do they only willingly answer public records requests they like?  I’ll let you know.  I resubmitted a public records request from last week that they ignored.  It was about emergency vehicles.

Anyone who pays attention to Keys news has already heard about the hullabaloo over at the Clerk’s office.  To summarize:

  • The county issued a press release claiming that Clerk of Court, Amy Heavilin was “deleting public records” and did not renew an “important contract”.
  • The KeyNoter/Reporter/flkeysnews.com printed a story using the press release and some inflammatory comments made by county officials as the only source of information.  They’ve since updated it to mention that the State Attorney will be looking into the matter.
  • There’s also a story in Citizen/keysnews.com.  They seem to have done a bit more research.  The article is more balanced with a non-hysterical tone.  They also made an attempt to get the other side of the story.

Buried toward the end of the updated story from the KeyNoter – after the alarming headline, after the mention of “criminal activity”, is this quote apparently from Bob Shillinger: Continue reading

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