PB: Getting Personal

by SDM

If you haven’t watched the March 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, you might want to do so.

Village gadfly Gary Pastorella once again embarrassed himself with a completely unsubtle and direct personal attack on Vice Mayor John Dubois.

Mr. Pastorella makes no bones about his intense, personal hatred of the Vice Mayor. As an example, Pastorella spoke against a recent land use decision by accusing Mr. Dubois of voting based on campaign contributions. Of course, Pastorella ignored that his favorite pol Mrs. Stancyzk accepted campaign contributions from the same individual.

What struck us as bizarre was Mayor Stanczyk’s flexible application of the village’s ever-malleable decorum ordinance. For a refresher, below is the decorum statement:

Any person making impertinent or slanderous remarks or who becomes boisterous while addressing the Village of Palmetto Bay Council shall be barred from further audience at this meeting before the Village of Palmetto Bay Council by the presiding officer, unless permission to continue or again address the council be granted by the majority vote of the council members.

According to Dictionary.com, impertinent is defined as follows:

im·per·ti·nent [im-pur-tn-uhnt] adjective

1. intrusive or presumptuous, as persons or their actions; insolently rude; uncivil: a brash, impertinent youth.

2. not pertinent or relevant; irrelevant: an impertinent detail.

3. Archaic. inappropriate, incongruous, or absurd.

4. Obsolete . (of persons) trivial, silly, or absurd.

 Mr. Pastorella made statements, which the Vice Mayor directly addressed as being untrue, alleging that a landowner coordinated contributions and expenditures of an independent committee with Mr. Dubois. Isn’t such a comment intrusive and presumptuous, not to mention insolent, uncivil and rude?

Or, as the Mayor stated, is Mr. Pastorella merely exercising his right of free speech?

To give you an idea of how the Mayor views free speech, almost immediately after Pastorella’s rant, sometime guest poster David Singer rose and questioned how Mr. Pastorella as a simple flight attendant had such amazing access to information.

Mayor Stancyzk interrupted Singer to upbraid him for calling out Mr. Pastorella.

So Mr. Singer doesn’t have a free speech right, Mme. Mayor?

SDM Says: Mayor Stanczyk is not the first presiding officer challenged by implementing restraint on public speech. She’s also not the first to muddy the water when applying the rules. SDM would like to see some consistent application of the decorum rule or the council should abandon it entirely. Otherwise, decorum just becomes another word for favoritism.

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