PB: Political Quick Bites

by SDM

Campaign Report Questions

According to the Florida Department of Elections, campaign treasurer’s reports have been due in Palmetto Bay’s elections for the following periods:

 Cover Period Report Code  Due Date
10/01/11 – 12/31/11 2011 Q4 01/10/12
01/01/12 – 03/ 31/12 2012 Q1 04/10/12
04/01/12 – 07/06/12 2012 F1 07/13/12
07/07/12 – 07/20/12 2012 F2 07/27/12
07/21/12 – 08/09/12 2012 F3 08/10/12
08/10/12 – 09/14/12 2012 G1 09/21/12
09/15/12 – 09/28/12 2012 G2 10/05/12
09/29/12 – 10/12/12 2012 G3 10/19/12
10/13/12 – 11/01/12 2012 G4 11/02/12
11/02/12 – 12/31/12 2012 Q4 01/10/13 *

However, when SDM visits the village clerk’s website, the latest report posted for all the candidates is marked “Q2.”  SDM readers pay attention so they will notice immediately that there is no Q2 report listed above for the 2012 period. Are we seeing a mass case of failure to follow the rules prescribed in the candidate handbook?

When to File

Except for the third calendar quarter immediately preceding a general election, reports must be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar quarter (January, April, July, and October) from the time the campaign treasurer is appointed, except that if the 10th day occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the report shall be filed on the next business day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

Reports must also be filed on the 32nd, 18th and 4th days immediately preceding the primary election and on the 46th, 32nd, 18th, and 4th days immediately preceding the general election.

(Sections 106.07, 106.0705 and 106.141, F.S.)

The days preceding the primary and general are labeled F1-3 and G1-4. Is someone at village hall telling these candidates that they are not required to file all of these forms or are they sitting on the clerk’s desk safely outside the public’s view?

Next up: NPO Part II

According to the village website, there is a second workshop scheduled for September 5, 2012 to discuss the “neighborhood protection” concept. SDM calls it a concept because to date no drafts of an actual ordinance have been released or posted anywhere, at least to SDM’s knowledge.

What’s also interesting is that there is no agenda for the September 5th meeting posted on the village website. This is so despite Vice Mayor Pariser taking credit on his website that he passed legislation requiring agendas to be timely posted:

I sponsored the ordinance requiring the publication of council meeting agendas on the Village web site from (3) three to  (7) seven days.

The only way the public gets seven days to review the agenda for the NPO workshop would be to count today, August 30, 2012, as one of the seven days. This post went up around 11 a.m., so almost half of one of the seven days is over.

SDM admits to nitpicking here. The true problem is Mr. Pariser’s push to publish “meeting agendas” is incomplete without also publishing the draft ordinances, resolutions and supporting documentation along with the agenda. The village customarily posts these documents, but has failed to do so where the NPO is concerned.

SDM Wonders: Will the community be given a copy of the NPO before the September 5th meeting? How can anyone comment intelligently on legislation that either has not been written or is sequestered from the public?

Recall Palmetto Bay Wins Skirmish

Careful readers of SDM saw the comment posted by Recall Palmetto Bay leader David Zisman reporting that his group settled their dispute with the village over its attempt to purchase an advertising package for the 10th anniversary event. See PB: Who’s running this circus? for details of the contretemps.

According to Zisman’s comment, Recall Palmetto Bay will be permitted to have their signs posted at the entrance of the anniversary celebration, but will not be permitted to purchase the advertising package.

SDM sends kudos to the village staff for finding a solution that short-circuited the lawsuit. Learn and repeat, learn and repeat…

From a strictly political perspective, Recall Palmetto Bay clearly won the skirmish, however. The group’s recall message appeared in a Herald article on the front page of the Local Section…that exposure alone was worth tens of thousands of dollars. And, Recall Palmetto Bay saved the $2,500 they would have spent on the gala to boot! Not bad for a bunch of amateurs.

SDM Says: If the village had just taken Recall Palmetto Bay’s money in the first place, this issue would have been no big deal and largely ignored. To whomever dropped the ball on this one: Nice work.

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